Skip to main contentA logo with &quat;the muse&quat; in dark blue text.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Research Technicians - Torii Lab

Austin, TX

Primary Work Address: 2500 Speedway, Austin, TX, 78712

Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) advances the discovery and sharing of scientific knowledge to benefit us all. As a biomedical research organization and philanthropy, HHMI supports a vibrant community of academic researchers, educators, students, and professionals. Together, we're unlocking the fundamentals of biology and building an open, inclusive future for science.

We are currently looking for two proactive, experienced Research Technicians to support the lab of Dr. Keiko Torii at the University of Texas at Austin. The Torii lab has a long-standing interest to unravel how plant stem cells function and contribute to growth and development, with specific emphasis on signal transduction pathways and underpinning genomic/epigenomic mechanisms. In addition to harnessing chemical and synthetic biology, they are designing and building synthetic signal transduction circuits to control plant growth and development suited for a changing climate. Current project includes solving the exact protein structure basis of how plant cell-fate decision process takes place. More information about the lab can be found here:

Want more jobs like this?

Get Software Engineering jobs in Austin, TX delivered to your inbox every week.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

About the role:

The ideal candidate is a collaborative individual with strong problem-solving skills who is excited to support various research and operational initiatives throughout the lab, has a genuine curiosity about the lab's science and goals, and works well with a wide variety of people from a diverse group of backgrounds. The Torii lab would also welcome candidates with skills and background in genomics/transcriptomics research and basic bioinformatics' analysis.

What we provide:

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.
  • A flexible schedule
  • Training and Certifications
  • One on one mentorship

What you'll do:

Position 1: Protein Biochemistry/Structural Biology

  • Perform assigned research duties including but not limited to:

    • Expression, purification, and refolding of recombinant proteins from E.coli, yeast, cell cultures, and/or plants.
    • Perform protein-protein interaction assays, such as Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP), yeast 2-hybrid assays (Y2H), Biolayer Interferometry (BLI), isothermal calorimetry (ITC).
    • Perform gel-electrophoresis (both DNA and protein gels) and Immunoblotting
    • Perform small molecule/ligand binding assays and/or enzyme activity assays
    • Assist protein structural analysis (such as protein/peptide NMR analysis)
    • Assist proteomic analysis, including sample harvesting
    • May participate in basic molecular cloning (plasmid construction and analyses) and PCR-based genotyping
    • May participate in plant care

Position 2: Plant Molecular Genetics/Developmental Biology/Cell Biology

  • Perform assigned research duties including but not limited to:

    • Grow plants in sterile conditions/growth chambers/growth room, genotyping plants, care and organize transgenic and mutant plants, propagates seeds and plant stocks.
    • Construct, purify, and analyze plasmids.
    • Perform tissue culture and regeneration of plants, generate transgenic plants.
    • Performing microscopy (light, fluorescent, and confocal laser scanning microscopy) for phenotyping and reporter assays (e.g. GFP)
    • Assist gene expression analysis (e.g. RT-qPCR) and/or transcriptomic/genomic studies (e.g. RNA-seq, scRNA-seq)
    • Assist generating transgenic plants
    • Perform gel-electrophoresis (both DNA and protein gels) and Immunoblotting as necessary.

For both positions:

  • Perform day-to-day laboratory operational and management functions together with the PI and the researchers in the lab with a relevant project..
  • Maintain and support the development and implementation of efficient operating procedures and laboratory practices.
  • Lead all aspects of organization and storage of research materials including cells, seeds, and clones.
  • Maintain appropriate inventories of supplies and materials; work collaboratively with other Torii lab team members to purchase all supplies, materials, lab services, and equipment.
  • Be responsible for operation and maintenance of essential equipment; arrange equipment repairs as necessary.
  • Build and maintain relationships with vendors, HHMI staff, UT Austin staff, and other outside stakeholders.
  • Develop and maintain electronic inventory systems for all materials; verify materials to be shipped to other researchers, and supervise verification, recording, and storage of materials received from others.
  • Actively participate in regular laboratory meetings and planning sessions.
  • Coordinate utilization by the lab of University Core services such as DNA sanger/NGS sequencing and use of greenhouse facilities.

What you bring:

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Exceptional problem-solving skills with a solution-oriented attitude.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, prioritization skills, and time management skills.
  • Exceptional ability to be proactive and take action on vital items with a 'can-do' demeanor.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong attention to detail and high degree of accuracy in work deliverables.
  • Proficient computer skills with experience using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, ImageJ, and/or Google Docs would be a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively both as part of a team and independently.
  • Ability to remain calm and poised under pressure.


  • Bachelor's degree in molecular biology, plant biology, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, or similar field is required.
  • Advanced degree (master's, PhD, etc.) in a relevant field is highly welcome.


  • Demonstrated experience performing research tasks in molecular biology, plant biology, and/or biochemistry in an academic laboratory is required.
  • Experience with genotyping, protein expression and purification, molecular biology, and/or microscopy techniques is preferred.
  • Experience with genomics/transcriptomics and bioinformatics would be a plus.
  • Previous experience serving in an operational capacity within an academic laboratory would be a plus.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances or other hazardous materials.

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more.

Compensation Range
$40,800.00 (minimum) - $51,017.00 (midpoint) - $66,300.00 (maximum)

Pay Type:

HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Client-provided location(s): Austin, TX, USA
Job ID: HHMI-R-2479
Employment Type: Other

Perks and Benefits

  • Health and Wellness

    • FSA
    • HSA
    • Health Reimbursement Account
    • Fitness Subsidies
    • On-Site Gym
    • Health Insurance
    • Dental Insurance
    • Vision Insurance
    • Life Insurance
    • Short-Term Disability
    • Long-Term Disability
  • Parental Benefits

    • Non-Birth Parent or Paternity Leave
    • Birth Parent or Maternity Leave
  • Office Life and Perks

    • Commuter Benefits Program
    • Happy Hours
    • Snacks
  • Vacation and Time Off

    • Personal/Sick Days
    • Paid Holidays
    • Paid Vacation
  • Financial and Retirement

    • 401(K) With Company Matching
    • 401(K)
  • Professional Development

    • Learning and Development Stipend
    • Access to Online Courses
    • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Diversity and Inclusion

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program

Company Videos

Hear directly from employees about what it is like to work at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.