Life Sciences Research Assistant I / II

Life Sciences Research Assistant I / II

Date Posted November 29, 2018
Job Type Regular
Hours Per Week 40
PAVIR Job ID ROW1901.19
Salary Range DOE


The Palo Alto Veterans for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Research Assistant position in the Robinson lab, which is part of the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System and Stanford University, to support wet lab functions under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI) – William Robinson, M.D., Ph.D.

The Research Assistant will join the antibody repertoire sequencing characterization team which investigates autoimmune diseases with a focus on rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases. These investigations will include recombinant generation and expression of antibodies as well as the discoveries of new autoantigens using protein array, peptidome phage display, and other next-generation technologies.  It will also include generation of novel bi-specific antibodies, and characterization of them using cellular assays.

This position offers ample opportunities to be part of scientific publications. The successful candidate will be a highly motivated individual with great attention to detail and great computer skills.

This is a regular, full time (40 hrs/wk), non – exempt (hourly paid) position.

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation 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 before they can commence work.


  • Perform recombinant DNA construction of monoclonal and bi-specific antibodies;
  • Culture cells for recombinant expression of antibodies;
  • Perform recombinant expression and purification of monoclonal and bi-specific antibodies;
  • Write up results of experiments; provide analysis and problem solve results of experiments; develop recommendations for solutions, when experiments indicate unexpected results;
  • Generate figures to present the data;
  • Perform experiments to characterize the expressed monoclonal and bi-specific antibodies using protein arrays, peptidome phage display arrays, ELISA, western blotting, immunoprecipitation and other immunoassays; print and probe protein arrays; maintain detailed records of experiments and outcomes;
  • Perform experiments to characterize antibodies using immunoassays and immunoprecipitation, next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry;
  • Maintain detailed records of experiments and outcomes;
  • Design and execute cutting edge, interdisciplinary research with supervision, including optimization and industrialization of recombinant antibody production and design of bi-specific antibodies;
  • Use of informatics to analyze and design antibody variable regions for recombinant expression;
  • Design protein array, peptidome phage display, and other immunoassay experiments to characterize the expressed recombinant monoclonal and bi-specific antibodies.
  • Assist with ongoing routine lab experiments such as ongoing mouse model studies including dosing and scoring mice on a daily or twice-daily basis, as needed, assist in in-vitro assays, including cell culture and in vitro cellular assays.
  • Assist with lab organization and administrative duties, such as monitoring and reporting safety compliance, laboratory organization and workflow, as well as supplies ordering;
  • Perform other wet lab related duties as required.



  • Required: Bachelor’s degree (or Senior-year Bachelor students with a graduation date scheduled for 2019) in Biological or Chemical Sciences or in a related field (or equivalent combination of education and experience).

Work Experience:

  • Required: 0 – 1 years of related experience;
  • Desired: 2 years of related experience.

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Previous experience with cell biology, immunology techniques, and biochemistry;
  • Previous experience with molecular biology and generation of recombinant DNAs;
  • Previous experience with cell culture and transfection;
  • Previous experience with antibody production;
  • Previous experience with immunoassays, including western blotting and ELISA;
  • Experience with Microsoft Excel is required, and experience with database and statistical analysis is desired;
  • Ability to analyze scientific data and problem solve experiments;
  • Good communication skills (written and verbal);
  • Some knowledge of research procedures and protocols gained through education or experience;
  • Previous experience in a variety of research techniques/methods and follow-up data collection;
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety rules and procedures;
  • Ability to work independently and proactively, with good organizational skills;
  • Ability to work within a team context and collaborate with other lab personnel.

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

Physical: Lifting up to 30lbs occasionally, standing, bending, repetitive movement, sitting/standing for long periods of time.

Environmental: Exposure to web lab environment, research animals, blood borne pathogens, 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 our Human Resources department.


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