Specialized Lab Technician

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Job Title: Specialized Laboratory Technician

Reports to :Supervisor

Job Summary:

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family," which is comprised of the faculty, students and stage that make the university what it is.

The Kuhn-Hicks Laboratory at the Convergent Science Institute in Cancer (CSI-Cancer) at University of Southern California is studying circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of cancer patients as an approach to manage cancer care. Our single cell biology approach allows us to look at the morphology, proteome and genome of these CTCs. Collectively, this information permits an understanding of the disease in hopes of enabling personalized medicine in oncology.

Our effort is led by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and physicians across the nation. We have multiple ongoing clinical studies to explore the utility of CTCs in different carcinomas. We are currently searching for an energetic, passionate, dedicated and experienced assay developer to optimize cell characterization using immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, the qualified candidate will play a vital role in processing our research samples (mostly blood and bone marrow aspirates), along with carrying out other essential duties in the lab. The candidate will undertake a variety of laboratory procedures of technical nature, both independently and as a reliable team member.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Design and perform assays for product development, immunofluorescence image data analysis, technical and clinical validation,  and establishment of quality control procedures.
  • Extensive immunofluorescence troubleshooting experience procedures.
  • Must present and update the lab members on progress, timeline, and deadlines of the project during weekly meetings.
  • Work closely and report concerns and issues to supervisor; may offer input regarding the next steps in the design of experiments .
  • Demonstrates a general mastery of research/lab processes including, cell culture, sample processing.
  • Daily communication with the various couriers and the clinical sites to ensure biological sample arrival is received on time to process within 24hr of patient draw point.
  • Performs a variety of routine and non-routine laboratory tasks including but not limited to ordering, restocking inventory, lab safety, routine cleaning of work areas, equipment maintenance along with shipping and receiving. The University reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.
  • Follow standard operating procedures, accurately record and document experimental methods and results in laboratory notebooks.
  • Operate sensitive machinery promptly to allow for consecutive shifts to occur.
  • Data entry: Accurately match and record all samples in our database system
  • Ability to prioritize, organize, and handle high volume/tasks workload efficiently while meeting strict deadlines.
  • Experience providing direct feedback and training to team members; ability to coach and mentor more junior colleagues
  • Anticipate problems to minimize issues and work to resolve any issues to reduce impact success of projects.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook).

***Interested individuals should provide their CV and a 1-2 page cover letter describing their professional goals and how their research experience can advance these research goals***

Desired Qualifications:

  • The ideal candidate must have significant experience designing and executing immunofluorescence assay development while having demonstrated knowledge and competency in various critical functional areas. Possess excellent interpersonal communication skills with a high emphasis on collaboration, meticulous attention to detail, competent at working independently, and the ability to quickly adapt to a broad scope of projects.
  • Background in hematology is considered a plus.

Minimum Requirements:

  • A solid understanding of the fundamental principles of immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence assays, fluorescence microscopy and image analysis.
  • Fully competent and proficient in the operation of sophisticated scientific equipment and independently able to perform complex procedures and techniques with accuracy
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or related Biological Science area.
  • Must be a highly motivated individual with acute attention to detail, and able to work with minimal oversight to complete deadlines
  • Must be able to work under pressure and restrictive timelines effectively and efficiently.
  • At least 3 years of experience working in wet lab laboratory setting is required
  • Minimum 2 years experience in assay development

Note: A brief test will be administered to cover applicant’s knowledge of solution preparation.

Working Conditions:

  • Will be working with liquid biopsies (blood, bone marrow aspirate, etc), tissue, and cell lines.
  • Must have a reliable means of transportation to retrieve packages containing biological substances at a local courier facility.
  • Adhere to our Environmental Health and Safety to monitor safe storage and disposal of chemicals.
  • Must comply with General Lab Safety, Blood Borne Pathogens.
  • Work schedule includes Saturdays.


Physical Requirements:

  • On site location (no remote work)
  • Must be able to stand and/or sit for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to carry and lift 10-20 pounds regularly.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly throughout the day.

Required Documents and Additional Information:

  • Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

  • Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.

  • USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six months of employment; tuition benefits for staff and their family; free Professional Development classes; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer that Values Diversity.


Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree Minimum Experience: 4 years Minimum Field of Expertise: Degree in directly related specialized scientific field. Previous specialized laboratory experience, knowledgeable in use of specialized laboratory equipment. Working knowledge of lab procedures, techniques and testing related to specialized scientific field. Computer literacy.
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