Research Scientist, Team Lead – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

About Us: The Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology (CCMB) at Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC is a premier research institution known for groundbreaking discoveries in craniofacial development. Our interdisciplinary team of world-class researchers focuses on the molecular mechanisms and regulatory issues that govern the development of craniofacial structures. The Chai Lab, a leading research group within CCMB, is recognized for its pioneering work on cranial neural crest cells and the development of innovative models for studying craniofacial malformations and tissue regeneration.

Position Overview: We are seeking a seasoned and experienced scientific leader to join the Chai Lab as a full-time Research Scientist, Team Lead. This position will oversee the lab’s scientific operations, contributing to high-impact research projects and leading a team of dedicated scientists. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in molecular and developmental biology, with a focus on craniofacial development.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Research Leadership: Serve as a key research scientist, recognized nationally for expertise in specialized fields. Plan, design, and conduct highly specialized, complex research projects independently.
  • Data Analysis and Evaluation: Identify, research, compile, and evaluate data sources and technology related to the area of specialization. Utilize advanced computer skills for data analysis and provide expert interpretations.
  • Innovative Problem Solving: Develop creative and innovative solutions to complex research problems. Modify and create new methods and techniques to achieve research objectives.
  • Scholarly Contribution: Develop research documentation for publication and prepare technical reports, papers, and records that demonstrate independent thinking and leadership in scholarly writing.
  • Presentations and Workshops: Make presentations at academic and practitioner conferences. Participate in workshops to share research findings.
  • Laboratory Management: Operate and maintain sophisticated laboratory equipment. Provide leadership, direction, and guidance to staff and student workers regarding procedures, techniques, and equipment use.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in molecular and developmental biology.
  • Extensive experience in research related to craniofacial development.
  • Proven track record of independent research and publication in high-impact journals.
  • Strong leadership and team management skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities and innovative thinking.
  • Effective communication skills for presentations and collaborative projects.


  • Opportunity to work in a vibrant, collaborative research environment on USC’s Health Sciences Campus.
  • Participation in weekly seminars and cross-training opportunities in bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, and translational medicine.
  • Collaboration with national and international experts in developmental biology and stem cell research.

The annual base salary range for this position is $98,836.15 – $101,000. 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.

Discover the power of your USC employment with our comprehensive benefits and perks package! At USC, we prioritize the well-being of our faculty and staff, offering a diverse range of benefits designed to protect your health, wealth, and future. From robust healthcare coverage to retirement planning resources, our benefits are an essential part of your total rewards package. Explore the full spectrum of benefits and perks available to you at USC Benefits and Perks and unlock the true value of your USC employment today!

Apply now and be part of the Trojan Family!


Minimum Education: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Minimum Experience: 5 years
Minimum Skills: Directly related education and experience in research specialization with highly advanced knowledge of equipment, procedures, analysis methods, principles, theories and concepts. Demonstrated leadership in developing new ideas and ability to publish in appropriate academic and practitioner outlets. Demonstrated independent thinking and leadership in scholarly writing according established criteria (e.g., first-authored publications, conceptual leadership in the development of publications generated alone or with others, writing of first drafts of publications and/or single-authored publications).

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