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Job Details

UCLA Health Systems

Scientific Research Associate



Full Time

On Site


Los Angeles, California, United States


UCLA's Jonssson Comprehensive
Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary matrix organization at UCLA and an
integral member of a network of 69 comprehensive cancer centers through the
United States that are mandated by federal legislation and supported by the
National Cancer Institute. The UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has
been designated 'comprehensive' by the National Cancer Institute since 1976.
The NCI granted UCLA gold-star comprehensive status for maintaining the highest
standards of excellence in research, education and patient care.

The newly formed Cancer Data
Sciences group at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Jonsson Cancer
Centre is seeking a Scientific Research Associate. The successful candidate
will have at least 15 years experience as a senior scientific research
associate or laboratory manager, or equivalent, focused on cancer genomics and
functional biology. They will have experience setting up new research
laboratories, including coordinating initial health & safety and
procurement, as well as hiring and training of new staff. They will be working
with a broad team of quantitative analysts, including Statisticians, Data
Scientists, Clinical and Basic trainees, and other bioinformaticians. They will
drive the generation of large molecular and imaging datasets of very high
quality and using a mixture of established and novel strategies. They will also
coordinate the molecular and functional validation of key results from
large-scale data science studies, providing key links to support deeper insight
into function and mechanism. They will
be passionate about generating high-quality results, with a careful approach
that identifies potential confounders and sources of error, and a track record
of reproducible results and scientific publication. This will entail working
with closely and collaboratively with many others, ranging from trainees to
technical staff to local and international collaborating faculty to vendors. In
this internal- and external-facing role, it will be key that the successful
candidate has a clear focus on training the next-generation of talented
scientists at all levels, and serves as a role model for professional
scientific interactions. In addition to strong laboratory experience, this role
requires a strong background in biology (PhD anticipated) to help ensure the
right questions are asked, but linked to strong technical and personal
communication skills, to help ensure insights are broadly adopted and
appropriate experiments are performed. The successful candidate will be helping
us perform research that will transform the lives of cancer patients.

Your responsibilities will be
to use your biological and laboratory skills to establish the wet-lab component
of UCLA's new Cancer Data Sciences group, building out the physical space,
equipment, procurement, protocols, sample banking, driver studies and training.
This work will focus across a range of cancer types and experimental
data-types, ranging from cell culture models to primary patient samples. You
will typically have several different projects or components thereof underway
at the same time, and will work closely with our colleagues in the UCLA Jonsson
Cancer Centre Genomics Core, the UCLA Institute for Precision Health and the
UCLA Institute for Urologic Oncology, amongst many others. The successful
candidate will be integrally involved in the hiring of new team members, and
directly supporting their training and on-boarding. The successful candidate
will also serve as a key external-facing voice with vendors, including
negotiating contracts and interacting with the appropriate groups throughout
UCLA to ensure timely project completion and meeting of all local, national and
international guidelines and procedures. Prior experience working in the
wet-lab component of a large cancer data science group would be considered a
key asset.Qualifications

Required: Working knowledge
of R, Perl or Python programming. Understanding of molecular biology. Strong
verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills. Basic
univariate and probabilistic statistical understanding. Knowledge of LINUX/Unix operating
system, and source-code versioning systems. Applied experience with NGS, proteomics or radiomic data (>1
Preferred: Experience with applied machine-learning
(e.g. hyperparameter optimization). Working knowledge of containerization (e.g. Docker, Singularity). Data Visualization experience. Computer science knowledge, including
software design patterns. Knowledge of
relational database software (e.g. Oracle, Postgres). Master's or PhD Training in Computational
Biology, Computer Science, Biostatistics or a related discipline. Skill in keeping accurate and organized
experimental records. Skill in
analyzing, developing and adapting established experimental methods to specific
research needs. Knowledge of basic
statistical methods to be able to compute ratios, percentages and to summarize
data using graphs. Working knowledge of
experimental designs. Proficiency in
maintaining a lab notebook. Skill in
analyzing scientific data. Skill in
developing and conducting scientific studies. Ability to coordinate and negotiate contracts for the purchase,
maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment. Ability to maintain inventory of chemicals and laboratory
equipment. Knowledge of and ability to
control safe and efficient use of laboratory equipment, supplies and
space. Skill in maintaining laboratory
equipment and in seeking qualified assistance when necessary. Ability to instruct new and continuing
laboratory personnel in experimental procedures and in the use of facilities
and equipment. Ability to search
relevant publications and information. Ability to develop or learn new techniques. Abilities to resolve complex experimental
issues to implement long range plans. Skill in setting priorities when there are deadline pressures, competing
requirements, and heavy workloads. Skill
in performing a variety of duties, changing from a duty/task to another of a
different nature. Skill in managing
research lab staff. Ability to follow
instructions. Ability to give a
presentation in Lab. Ability to maintain confidentiality of records and
information. Ability to detect and
correct grammatical and spelling errors in written correspondence. Ability to maintain files accurately, in
paper and in software programs. Ability
to effectively supervise personnel and complete all associated personnel
actions in a timely and accurate manner. Ability to assist students/ technicians in the use of laboratory
instruments and equipment. Ability to
effectively operate a chemistry laboratory and direct student employees. Ability to interact professionally with
individuals of diverse backgrounds and educational levels. Ability to work cooperatively with other
personnel. Preparation of manuscripts
for publication into scientific journals. Ability to effectively communicate verbally
and in writing. Ability to
interact in an effective and appropriate manner with diverse populations, the
University community and the public.

UCLA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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