Research Associate (Fixed-Term) – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. USC is consistently ranked among the nation’s most prestigious universities, and the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology features one of the world’s best degree and research programs in gerontology. The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology has an international reputation as a hub of aging research and with additional strong programs throughout the university, leads the way in defining and advancing the field of gerontology:

The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology is seeking a Research Associate for a fixed term of five(5) months (August 1/2024 to 12/30/2024) to work in the Finch lab. This role will be focused on conducting complex research on the role of air pollution in the initiation of AD neuropathology. The Finch lab research focuses on brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), particularly on how air pollution nanoparticles accelerate brain aging and neurodegeneration, and the interaction with other risk factors of AD. The lab collaborates with clinicians, epidemiologists, and engineers; and uses various biochemistry and molecular biology techniques, with experimental models of cell, mouse, and human tissues.

The Research Associate will provide general laboratory assistance to support research activities such as collecting post-mortem mouse tissues and keeping a record of tissues in stock, as well as analyze tissue samples by using techniques including qPCR, ELISA, Western blots and/or immunohistochemistry. Other duties include data analysis and interpretation, helping in training undergraduate students and technicians in the lab, and assisting with lab maintenance and lab safety. The Research Associate will work occasionally with a team to expose mice to air pollution particles, under safe conditions.

The ideal candidate should have experience in working with laboratory mice or rats, have the basic laboratory skills of performing biochemistry and molecular experiments, be able to conduct research experiments in accordance with laboratory and safety protocols, perform assignments that are non-routine and vary in complexity with minimal direction, compile and compute results for a variety of research procedures, tests, and techniques.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • BS education in life science or related fields is required.
  • Expertise in histochemistry and microscopy
  • Must be able to perform at least two of the following techniques: Western blotting, RNA reverse transcription, quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, and animal behaviors.
  • Experience in brain research.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education: PhD
  • Experience: 3 plus years
  • Field of Expertise: Working knowledge of laboratory equipment and research protocols. Knowledge of computer analysis techniques and ability to provide routine analysis and interpretation of research data.

This is a full-time exempt position that will require substantial commitment and flexibility. This fixed-term position is required to work from the UPC campus full-time.    

There is no visa sponsorship for this position. Benefits include a competitive salary, and a rich array of USC benefits including healthcare (including dental and vision), 403(b), tuition reimbursement, national holidays, paid vacation, and more.

The salary for this position is $36,458.40 for the 5 months. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

This position is funded by a research contract/grant and may be funded by a subsequent contract/grant. Accordingly, your position is contingent upon receipt of the necessary funding from this or any subsequent contract/grant to continue employment.

If you are interested, please submit your completed application, including a cover letter and resume with references. Thank you for your interest!

USC 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, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance. We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources by phone at (213) 821-8100, or by email at  Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.

Minimum Education: Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate
Minimum Experience: 1 year
Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related education and experience in research specialization with advanced knowledge of equipment, procedures and analysis methods.

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