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Junior Research Specialist - Nayak Lab

Junior Research Specialist
Microbiome of Rheumatic Diseases

The Nayak Lab ( has an opening for a junior research specialist who is interested in advancing our knowledge of the gut microbiome and its impact on rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. We use multiple state-of-the-art technologies, including bacterial genomics, metabolomics, anaerobic microbiology, bacterial genetics, gnotobiotic animal models, and studies of patient cohorts to elucidate the mechanisms by which gut microbiota impact patient response to treatment of rheumatic disease. A major driving force of the lab is the advancement of precision medicine for patients with rheumatic disease.

The candidate will contribute to new and ongoing projects in the lab. The candidate will use or learn a variety of techniques in anaerobic microbiology, microbial genomics, analytical chemistry, molecular biology, cell culture, mouse work, computational analysis, and immunology. Additionally, the specialist will be expected to assist with managing day-to-day lab operations, perform general lab duties, and be a positive lab citizen. Candidates will be expected to work independently and be active contributors to the collaborative multidisciplinary team of microbiologists, immunologists, and computational biologists. The successful candidate will report directly to Dr. Renuka Nayak, MD, PhD but will work closely with collaborators within and outside of the group. An exceptional candidate will lead their own independent project, develop new ideas, be familiar with the literature, and participate in procurement of funds, where appropriate. Candidates interested in pursuing MD, PhD, or MD/PhD. training will benefit most from this laboratory experience.

Required Qualifications:
• Excellent organizational and interpersonal communication skills (verbal and written).
• Willingness and ability to learn new methods and skills for changing research priorities.
• Ability to work independently and as a member of a research team.
• Ability to prioritize tasks, coordinate work tasks with others, and meet multiple deadlines.
• Familiarity with standard wet lab techniques (e.g. preparation of reagents/chemicals, basic microbiology, tissue culture, PCR, western blot, DNA/RNA purification) and/or computational analysis of large datasets.
• Must have (or be in process of obtaining) a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent degree) or four years of research experience.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Prior experience with handling pathogenic microbes, aseptic techniques
• Prior experience in high throughput sequencing and analysis
• Prior experience in mass spectrometry or other analytical chemistry approaches
• Prior experience in flow cytometry or other immune profiling methods
• Prior experience in the design and assembly of DNA constructs
• Prior experience in bacterial genome manipulation
• Prior experience working with mice

We are seeking at least a 2-year commitment. Depending on performance and workload, opportunities for independent research, mentorship of other trainees, and scientific writing will be available. Applicants must meet requirements by the time of appointment.

The Nayak Lab is located at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, perched atop Land’s End and overlooking the San Francisco Bay. We are a part of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine (BCMM), enabling engagement with a rich community of investigators and access to cutting-edge resources for promoting microbiome research.

Candidates interested in this position should formally apply via AP Recruit at Applicants’ materials must list current and/or pending qualifications upon submission.