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Job ID: 166910

Protein & Cell Specialist (9611C) 20435
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Sep. 9, 2021
Title Protein & Cell Specialist (9611C) 20435
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Professional Staff
  • Biology - Biochemistry

Protein & Cell Specialist (9611C) 20435

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

Departmental Overview

The Wilson lab is dedicated to development of new technologies enabling therapeutic genome editing. To do this, two key resources are essential: highly pure genome-editing enzymes, as well as made-to-order cell lines for use as reporters in genome-editing assays. To this end, we are seeking a skilled researcher capable of producing bespoke proteins and cell lines to support Wilson lab research efforts.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: 7/15/2021


With minimal supervision, the incumbent will be responsible for completing focused, journey-level projects in the distinct fields of protein engineering and cellular engineering. For example, the incumbent will be required to clone, express, purify, and characterize a novel enzyme with specific properties. This aspect of the work will require extensive experience in protein biochemistry, including expert knowledge of molecular cloning and FPLC-based purification. At other times, the incumbent will be required to design and generate novel cell lines with specific properties. This aspect of the work will require substantial experience in cell engineering, including assembly of reporter constructs, generation and use of lentiviral vectors, generation of clonal cell populations, and characterization of said clonal cell lines.

In pursuit of these goals, the employee will oversee apprentice-level researchers (e.g. undergraduates, visiting scholars, or interns) capable of routine laboratory work. The employee will develop new protocols for efficient production of research assets, and will characterize and validate these assets upon their production. This work will require expertise in the fields of protein science and cell engineering.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Cloning & purification of made-to-order genome-editing enzyme samples. An example project to be performed with minimal supervision might be clone Cas9 fused to an antibody-tethering domain into an expression vector, recombinantly express the novel construct, and then purify it, developing a novel protocol if necessary. Performing such tasks independently requires expert-level skills including but not limited to: familiarity with current best-in-practice cloning strategies, awareness of structure/function relationships of genome-editing enzymes such as Cas9, and protein engineering best practices such as the impact of incorporating fusion domains and/or codon optimization.
  • Generation of novel reporter cell lines for genome editing assays. An example project to be executed with minimal supervision might be generate a stably integrated reporter for single-nucleotide changes (i.e. base editing) based HEK293 cells, using an appropriate lentiviral strategy and a suitable cassette design (including antibiotic resistance, etc.). Performing these tasks is only possible with extensive experience in cell engineering as well as moderate experience with genome editing.
  • Validation & QC of above research assets via techniques such as gel electrophoresis, FPLC-based chromatography, mass spectrometry, immunohistology, flow cytometry, and DNA analysis.
  • Training of mentees in established research protocols.
  • Note-taking & data maintenance.
  • Co-authoring manuscripts to which they contributed.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications
  • Extensive experience with molecular cloning, recombinant protein expression (including knowledge of various helper cell lines & plasmids), and protein purification (including use of various FPLC-based chromatography approaches: affinity, ion exchange, size exclusion).
  • The ability to troubleshoot techniques and experiments, adapt published protocols to specific experiments, and develop new experimental methods as needed.
  • Ability to work on multiple assignments, set priorities, reprioritize with ease mid-task, and take initiative in defining and executing work. Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively on a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, especially regarding technical details, instrumentation, etc.
  • Excellent organization skills (keeping track of work schedule, paperwork, sample storage, and inventory), including use of electronic/shared laboratory notebook systems (e.g. Benching).
  • General computer skills (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, cloud-based Google apps) for keeping track of results and sharing progress, including use of electronic laboratory inventory systems.
  • Experience with standard molecular biology techniques: PCR; electrophoresis; western blot; microscopy.
  • Must adhere to all campus and EH&S safety policies.

  • A bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Cell Biology, or a related field or equivalent education/training.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Ph.D. or M.S. degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Cell Biology, or a related field.
  • At least 3 years of post-graduate research experience.
  • Experience with cell-line generation including lentiviral production/transduction, single-cell sorting to produce clonal lines, and characterization via immunohistology.
  • Experience with genome-editing assays (e.g. T7E1/PAGE analysis, TIDE analysis, and/or next-generation sequencing).
  • Experience with cellular reporters of genome-editing (e.g. GFP on/off, GFP-to-BFP, etc.).
  • Experience with cellular reporters of intracellular trafficking (e.g. split GFP systems to assay for endosomal escape).
  • Experience with fluorescent microscopy/histology of live or fixed cells.
  • Flow cytometry for cell characterization and/or single-cell sorting.
  • Experience with endotoxin removal from bacterially expressed recombinant proteins.

Salary & Benefits

Salary 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.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California 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. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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