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Life Sciences Research Assistant I

The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Research Assistant to support on-going research projects in a wet laboratory setting under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI), Ngan Huang, Ph.D. The Research Assistant will perform small animal surgeries and analysis using histology. In addition, the research assistant will be responsible for detailed compliance tracking, as well as safety protocols.

Why Join Our Team?

PAVIR, located on the premises of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, is a mid-size nonprofit foundation, closely connected with the VA and Stanford University. We offer ongoing training, opportunities for growth, generous benefits, great work-life balance, as well as a friendly, close-knit, and supportive environment. We work with more than 160 uniquely talented medical scientists across a broad spectrum of research areas. We recruit talented employees who believe in making a difference in the lives of others through innovative research.

This is a full-time (40 hours/week), non-exempt (hourly-paid) position. Location: Palo Alto, CA. 

Pay rate= $20 per hour.

  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vacation
  • Sick Pay
  • 13 paid Holidays
  • Life Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Long-term and Short-Term Disability Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Wellness Program
  • Commuter Benefits

PAVIR is affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check.

  • Conducts rodent surgeries under the supervision of the PI
  • Sections tissues, performs histology, and immunohistochemistry analysis
  • Orders reagents for the lab and maintains appropriate working environment
  • Maintains compliance with safety regulations (i.e., self-inspections, chemical inventories, etc.)
  • Manages required safety protocols for animals, biohazards, and stem cells under the overall direction of the PI


EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience) in Biology, Veterinary Science, Bioengineering or a health-related field is required.

  • Required: Animal handling experience;
  • Desired: Experience in performing rodent procedures or experience working in a research environment.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:
  • Understanding of basic molecular biology and stem cell biology;
  • Previous experience working with research animals;
  • Ability to perform surgery on rats and mice as needed;
  • Dexterity and hand coordination to perform rodent survival surgeries;
  • Some knowledge of research procedures and protocols gained through education or experience;
  • Ability to develop skills in rodent surgeries (i.e. muscle injury models);
  • Knowledge of scientific research methodology and data analysis skills;
  • Strong reasoning skills in order to troubleshoot experiments;
  • Ability to grasp concepts in scientific papers for key methods or findings to support research;
  • Ability to work in a team;
  • Ability to multi-task several projects at the same time.

Physical Demands: Lifting up to 10 lbs occasionally, standing, bending, repetitive movement, etc.
Environmental Conditions: Exposure to wet lab environment, blood borne pathogens, and toxic/caustic chemical or reagents.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information: 

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact - Human Resources department. 

For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.