Job:Project Scientist, High Throughput Screening
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3.5 years ago
BerkeleyLab ▴ 70

Project Scientist, High Throughput Screening - 90010

Organization: JG-Joint Genome Institute

Berkeley Lab’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI, has an opening for a Senior Research Associate.The position will provide research and production support for complex scientific instrument operation, sample preparation, experimental design and execution, data collection, and data analysis for genomics next generation sequencing (NGS) tasks within a high-throughput sample environment. Research is in support of DOE mission areas of clean energy generation, climate, and environmental sciences. This Senior Research Associate will perform research assignments that require molecular biology and biochemistry knowledge and skills and requires problem-solving abilities. The successful candidate will be responsible to design and conduct experiments aimed at improving quality, troubleshoot failures, and reduce sequencing process costs. The Senior Research Associate will also be responsible for understanding the latest sequencing technology, support new technology development and integrate new protocols onto JGI sequencing platforms.

What You Will Do:

  • Utilize molecular biology and biochemistry concepts, knowledge and techniques to perform complex RNA/DNA sequencing applications, including sample QC & preparation (DNA, RNA, chromatin or cell/nuclei), sequencing library creation, and NGS sequencer operation (Illumina; Pacific Biosciences, Oxford Nanopore).
  • Operate a variety of robotic liquid handlers (Hamilton, Perkin Elmer) and laboratory equipment used in high throughput NGS sample processing and perform quality control and maintenance of equipment and robotics.
  • Design and perform experiments, summarize results, and provide conclusions on R&D projects aimed at improving quality, troubleshooting failures, reducing cost of sequencing processes, and for testing & implementation of new protocols, reagents/consumables, and technologies.
  • Participate in and provide guidance on continuous improvement, process optimization, development, and implementation projects for advancement and scale-up of next generation sequencing technologies.
  • Create, design, develop and maintain standard operating procedures and training documents for lab methods.
  • Conduct preliminary analysis of daily sequencing results using system-analysis software, internal databases & reports, and statistical/spreadsheet software; troubleshoot process issues, generate reports, present findings and provide recommendations on poor performing instruments and samples and/or solutions to process issues.
  • Interact regularly and collaborate with cross-functional groups both internal and external such as Quality Control, Instrumentation and Informatics to troubleshoot and resolve complex technical problems impacting quantity and quality of samples and data.
  • Use databases and various software programs to track and monitor the performance of reagents, instruments, samples, and process steps. Provide regular reports and status updates on throughput metrics and projects.
  • Maintain an accurate and detailed laboratory notebook of daily production operations; observe and document any deviations from established protocols and bring them to supervisor’s attention.
  • Attend and present project progress in group meetings.
  • Maintain a clean and safe laboratory work area and ensure compliance to safety policies; responsible for managing waste streams and coordinating disposal of hazardous waste; perform daily maintenance, clean up, and workspace organization within assigned work areas.

Additional Responsibilities as needed:

  • Present project updates at departmental and genome technology group meetings.
  • Participate in cross-team and cross-group trainings to develop knowledge of the entire workflow.
  • Provide technical guidance and training on laboratory procedures to other technicians and staff.
  • Contribute to data, text in group publications.
  • Research articles and literature to explore new techniques or applications.

What is Required:

  • Relevant Bachelor’s degree preferred and two to five years of lab experience in biology, microbiology, genetics or related fields with increasing responsibility.
  • Demonstrated experience with laboratory and molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acid purification, DNA cloning, PCR, NGS library preparation and sequencing, and utilizing high-throughput automated systems and equipment.
  • Good understanding of how scientific principles apply to problem being studied and ability to draw statistical conclusions from data.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of experimental design, and experience setting up molecular biology, instrumentation, and process optimization experiments.
  • Experience troubleshooting problems, conducting analysis of data and recording experimental data.
  • Good analytical, record-keeping and organizational skills necessary for working in a laboratory environment.
  • Effective communication skills to work in a research team environment with a diverse group of scientific and technical personnel.
  • Must demonstrate efficient time management skills and ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work autonomously as well as part of a diverse team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as a technical resource, troubleshoot laboratory process problems and recommend process improvements.
  • Proficient computer skills and ability to operate various laboratory software and analysis programs.

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Experience in sequence data analysis/ interpretation.
  • Knowledge in gene expression, epigenetic regulations and plant genomics.
  • Experience mentoring research technicians and students.
  • Experience applying modern lean manufacturing and Six-Sigma principles to improve operational efficiencies within a manufacturing or laboratory environment.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.


  • This is a full time career appointment.
  • M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • This position will be hired at a level commensurate with the business needs; and skills, knowledge, and abilities of the successful candidate.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

How To Apply

Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

Learn About Us:

JGI & Berkeley Lab: A View to Fuel Innovative Science in the Public Interest

They say it’s all about location and Berkeley Lab has it all: a view above the San Francisco Bay, cool breezes, and world-class multidisciplinary science within a diverse and respectful research ecosystem of 5,000 people. Nearly 90 years ago, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron, brought physicists, biologists, engineers and mathematicians together in Berkeley above the University of California campus to tackle the most urgent scientific challenges. Today, after garnering 13 Nobel Prizes, Berkeley Lab has sustained and grown that tradition of open, interdisciplinary team science, exemplified by how the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) addresses the most pressing energy and environmental challenges using integrative genome science approaches. JGI takes up residence in the new, state-of-the-art Integrative Genomics Building (IGB) along with the U.S. Department of Energy Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase) to expand the frontiers of energy and environmental science in partnership with the worldwide community of researchers. Will you join us and be a critical part of our next ground-breaking discoveries?

Berkeley Lab (LBNL, addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities. To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- Click Here (

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab 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, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4 ( Click here ( to view the poster: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law".

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.

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