Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Senior Research Specialist - Kingsley Lab

3+ months agoPalo Alto, CA

Primary Work Address: Beckman Center, Stanford, CA, 94305-5323

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

We are currently looking for a talented and resourceful Research Specialist to join the laboratory of Dr. David Kingsley at Stanford University. The Kingsley lab uses a combination of genetic and genomic approaches to identify the detailed molecular mechanisms that control evolutionary change in vertebrates, with a focus on five fundamental questions:

1. Are key evolutionary traits controlled by countless genetic differences of small effect, or by a few genetic changes with large effects?
2. What specific genes have changed to produce interesting evolutionary differences seen in nature?
3. What kinds of mutations have occurred in these genes (e.g., dominant or recessive, coding or regulatory, preexisting or de novo)?
4. How predictable is evolution? If you know how evolution has occurred in one population, is it possible to predict the types of genes and mutations that also underlie the same trait in different populations or species?
5. How has evolution produced the unique characteristics, and the common traits and diseases, found in humans?

The lab studies these questions using a variety of genetic and genomic methods in mice, stickleback fish, and human and chimpanzee stem cells. More information about the Kingsley lab can be found on their website.

This is a dynamic position that will contribute broadly to the Kingsley lab's goals while also managing one's own independent research projects. The ideal candidate enjoys bench research, has strong interpersonal skills, and has the ability to serve as a trusted resource and mentor for more junior lab team members in a highly interactive and supportive lab environment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manages one or more independent research projects studying the genetic basis of complex traits and diseases using human and chimpanzee stem cells in vitro, and modeling of specific genomic changes in mice.
  • Manages and oversees multiple cell lines and mouse strains for studies of the genomic basis of vertebrate traits
  • Coordinates with and trains lab members on specialized research techniques involving cell culture and mouse prenatal and postnatal development.
  • Reviews research activities to determine where new information, methods, or collaborations could positively impact projects and improve efficiency of processes.
  • Routinely develops innovative techniques and systems needed to meet the lab's research goals.
  • Writes and edits research publications, manuscripts, and other scientific papers describing original research.
  • Presents own research updates with other team members on a weekly basis.
  • Trains new lab members in basic techniques of cell culture, mouse genetics and molecular biology.
  • Serve as point person and schedule coordinator for specialized pieces of scientific equipment such as cryostat microtome and microCT X-ray scanner.
  • Depending on chosen candidate's research interests and capabilities, there is flexibility to work with stickleback fish as an additional research model.


A Ph.D. in genetics, genomics, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, or a closely related discipline is required.


  • Hands-on experience with mammalian cell culture and mouse genetics is required.
  • Hands-on experience with genomics, and molecular biology techniques is required.
  • Experience with cloning and building constructs is required.
  • Previous experience with computational analysis of large-scale genomic datasets would be a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Passion for both collaborative research and independent project work.
  • Ability to read literature, think creatively, and plan effective experiments.
  • Strong mentoring, teaching, and interpersonal skills with lab members at all career levels.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong attention to detail and high degree of accuracy in research and writing.
  • Ability to troubleshoot and problem solve while working on interesting research problems at the frontiers of current knowledge.

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.

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.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Client-provided location(s): Stanford, CA, USA
Job ID: HHMI-R-343

Perks and Benefits

  • Health and Wellness
    • On-Site Gym
    • Fitness Subsidies
    • Long-Term Disability
    • Short-Term Disability
    • Life Insurance
    • Vision Insurance
    • Dental Insurance
    • Health Reimbursement Account
    • Health Insurance
    • HSA
    • FSA
  • Parental Benefits and Childcare
    • Paid Family Leave
  • Office Life and Perks
    • Commuter Benefits Program
    • Snacks
    • Happy Hours
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program
  • Vacation and Time Off
    • Personal/Sick Days
    • Paid Holidays
    • Paid Vacation
  • Financial and Retirement
    • 401(K) With Company Matching
    • 401(K)
  • Professional Development
    • Access to Online Courses
    • Learning and Development Stipend
    • Tuition Reimbursement

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