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Research Assistant II

ABOUT US: Scripps Research is a nonprofit biomedical institute ranked as one of the most influential in the world for its impact on innovation. We are celebrating our 100-year legacy in 2024. This significant milestone marks a century of seminal discoveries in immunology, infectious diseases (such as COVID-19, flu, HIV), neuroscience, heart disease, cancer, and more. Located in La Jolla, California, the institute houses six research departments, multiple Nobel laureates, a top-ranked graduate school and a leading postdoctoral training program.  We work hand-in-hand with researchers of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Calibr to merge foundational studies in biology, chemistry and computer science with translational science to produce pioneering drugs and advances in digital and precision medicine. Together, we cultivate new scientific leaders and expand the frontiers of knowledge to deliver medical breakthroughs impacting human health around the globe. If you have a passion for making a difference, this could be your opportunity to join our transformative team.

Celebrating a Century:

POSITION TITLE:  Research Assistant II


The Contet laboratory studies the neurobiological mechanisms underlying excessive alcohol drinking and pathological consequences of chronic alcohol exposure using mouse models and genetic approaches for the manipulation and analysis of specific brain cell populations. We are looking for an experienced Research Assistant to conduct in vivo and in vitro experiments, operate and maintain specialized equipment, develop new experimental procedures, and train other lab members. The Research Assistant will contribute to multiple projects and will coordinate their activities with other lab members to optimize experimental progress. Contributions will be credited by authorship on publications as appropriate.  


  • Conduct experiments involving manual recording and computer-assisted quantification of mouse behaviors, alcohol vapor exposure, systemic drug administration, intracerebral injection of viral vectors, intracerebral implantation of optical fibers, blood collection, transcardial perfusion, and brain collection.
  • Carry out mouse brain slicing, punching, immunostaining, and imaging.
  • Assist with mouse husbandry and genotyping.
  • Conduct molecular biology experiments, such as DNA cloning, mRNA and protein extraction, qPCR, immunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting.
  • Operate and maintain alcohol vapor inhalation equipment, train new users and provide oversight.
  • Use and modify programs for live tracking of animals and optogenetic control. Train new users and provide oversight.
  • Implement and validate new methodological approaches with guidance from faculty and staff.
  • Contribute to collaborative projects. Coordinate with and assist other lab members as needed to facilitate training and data collection.
  • Work under minimal supervision. Independently conduct a wide variety of standard laboratory techniques/procedures while using judgement when necessary to adapt standard methods and techniques. Receive instructions on specific assignment objectives, complex features, and possible solutions.
  • Provide interpretation and analyses of results. Troubleshoot and modify procedures. Readily communicate issues and outcomes.


  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience or a related scientific discipline.
  • Requires 3-5 years’ relevant experience in a laboratory setting.
  • The candidate must be comfortable with the use of animals in research and must be sensitive to ethical considerations associated with animal work. They will be required to handle mice on a regular basis.
  • Impeccable work ethics, excellent organizational skills, and high attention to detail are required.
  • Extensive experience with mouse handling, surgery and behavioral testing is required. Experience with brain tissue processing/analysis is required.
  • A solid understanding of brain anatomy, brain function, and behavior is preferred. Knowledge of modern techniques for the quantification and manipulation of gene expression and cellular activity is preferred.


  • This position works in a laboratory and vivarium environment.
  • The candidate needs to be able to handle mice and operate lab equipment with no physical limitations. They will be in physical contact with mice.
  • Details of established essential functions for this position will be addressed/discussed during the interview process.

COMPENSATION: The expected hiring range for this position is $66,560 to $75,000 per year, commensurate with experience. Consideration will be given to experience that exceeds the listed requirements.


  • Eligibility for retirement plans with employer contribution.
  • Full suite of Health and Welfare plans including three medical plan options (including an HSA available option), dental, vision, life insurance, disability, EAP and more.
  • Access to Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical/Dependent Care).
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave policies.
  • Free, on-site Counseling Center which provides confidential counseling services to benefits-eligible employees and their family members.
  • Free, on-site parking. 

The above statements describe the level of work performed and expected in general terms.  The statements are not intended to list all the responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of employees so classified, and the content herein is subject to change due to the business needs of Scripps Research, with or without notice.   Furthermore, nothing in this job description shall be interpreted to be in conflict with or to eliminate or modify in any way the employment-at-will status of Scripps Research staff.  


The Scripps Research Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote diversity of thought, culture and background in the fields of science. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status. Underrepresented individuals are encouraged to apply.