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Job ID: 132883

Staff Research Associate 3 (9611C) - 2443 - 2443
University of California Berkeley

Date Posted Nov. 4, 2019
Title Staff Research Associate 3 (9611C) - 2443 - 2443
University University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Department N/A
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Professional Staff
  • Research/Technical/Laboratory

Staff Research Associate 3 (9611C) - 2443 - 2443

About Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's most iconic teaching and research institutions. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world. Berkeley's culture of openness, freedom and acceptanceacademic and artistic, political and culturalmake it a very special place for students, faculty and staff.

Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students. In deciding whether to apply for a staff position at Berkeley, candidates are strongly encouraged to consider the alignment of the Berkeley Workplace Culture with their potential for success at

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: November 14, 2019

Departmental Overview

The Department of Molecular & Cell Biology (MCB) is home to undergraduate and graduate academic programs as well as Faculty Research performed by faculty organized in five divisions:
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Genetics, Genomics and Development
  • Immunology and Pathogenesis
  • Neurobiology

The teaching and research activities of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) concern the molecular structures and processes of cellular life and their roles in the function, reproduction, and development of living organisms. This agenda covers a broad range of specialized disciplines, including biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, structural biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, cell biology, developmental biology, tumor biology, microbiology, immunology, pathogenesis and neurobiology.

The types of living organisms from which the departmental faculty draws its working materials are as diverse as its disciplinary specializations, ranging from viruses and microbes through plants, roundworms, annelids, arthropods, and mollusks to fish, amphibia, and mammals. The faculty of the department is organized into five divisions: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics, Genomics and Development; Neurobiology; and Immunology and Pathogenesis.

  • Generate biological dark matter samples for electron cryotomography imaging and 3D volume analysis by serial block face imaging.

Two types of samples will be prepared. Vitrified cryoEm grids of biological dark matter will be prepared using automatic plunge freezing robots. Liquid samples will be applied to glow discharged quantifoil EM grids, placed into an automatic freezing device, excess sample removed with a filter paper and then the grid is plunge into a pot of liquid ethane. The grid is then removed from liquid ethane and transferred to liquid nitrogen without warming up and stored until allocated time on a TEM.The second same is resin embedding. Samples will be fixed with chemical fixatives like glut-aldehyde, dehydrated with alcohols and then embedded in epoxy resin. The resin is hardened in an oven and sectioned in to 50nm thick slices using a microtome. The sections will be then viewed on a 120kv microscope and tomographic tilt series obtained.
  • Collect tomographic data of biological dark matter samples.

Candidate will prepare and load vitrified grids of biological dark matter into a 300kV transmission electron microscope. They will then align the microscope, screen the grids to identify targets for imaging, set up automatic data collection software and collect a tomographic tilt series.
  • The incumbent will the process, analyze and interpret tomographic data.

Data collected on the Krios or Jeol3200 will be processed using an open-source software program called IMOD. This converts a series of projection images collected at different tilts into a 3D volume containing the 3D structure of the sample processed. Depending on the sample, the candidate will then either use subtomogram averaging to determine the structure of proteins to 10nm resolution or using manual and automatic segmentation software, they will highlight voxels associated with membranes, cells or other biological entities and place them into individual label field allowing the 3D visualization of a target feature. Further analysis could involve measuring length, widths, depth, or distribution of features and oral description of what is observed. The analysis will be performed in relation to what is already known in the literature.
  • Perform literature reviews.
  • Complete accurate records of research performed.
  • Present literature reviews and research to group on monthly basis.

The candidate is expected to search online databases to locate manuscripts associated with the topic being studied. They are then expected to read and comprehend the manuscript and relate the findings to the research being performed. The candidate is expected to present monthly literature updates on the field of research to the group every month.
  • In addition, the candidate is expected to abide by general laboratory practices, which involve accurately recording all research activities that are performed each day in the laboratory notebook with dated pages. Research progress should be present via PPtx presentation to the group every month.

Required Qualifications
  • Experience of handling and preparing biological dark matter samples for electron cryotomography.
  • Experience in isolating mitochondria for electron cryo-tomography studies.
  • Competency and experience in collection of tomographic tilt series and processing.
  • Competency in negative stain imaging using a Jeol1200 TEM.
  • Experience using laser dissection microscopes.
  • Ability to abide to and actively implement EH&S requirements.
  • Ability to read and understand scientific literature and implement new protocols.
  • Ability to keep an ordered and complete record of research activities and present data to group.
  • Good communication and social skills.

  • Degree in biological relevant subject.
  • Experience of electron microscopy and 3D data acquisition.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with chemical fixation, resin embedding and sectioning of biological material.
  • Ability to prepare and present lab work and literature reviews.
  • Ability to summarize research results weekly in lab meetings.

Salary & Benefits

This is an exempt, monthly paid position. Annual salary is commensurate with experience.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Other Information

This is a limited (temporary) position intended specifically for work on a short-term project lasting no more than one year, which will not convert to career status per RX.31.B.3.d.

This position is governed by the terms and conditions in the agreement for the Research Support Professionals Unit (RX) between the University of California and the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE). The current bargaining agreement manual can be found at:

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

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