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Laboratory Manager - Looger Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
San Diego, CA
Closing date
Dec 31, 2021
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Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is an independent, ever-evolving philanthropy that supports basic biomedical scientists and educators with the potential for transformative impact. We make long-term investments in people, not just projects, because we believe in the power of individuals to make breakthroughs over time. HHMI scientists have radically advanced the understanding of cells, the brain, the immune system, the development of organs, and how to treat many diseases.  Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and employs more than 2,500 people across the U.S.

At HHMI, you are not just an employee – you are a part of a creative and talented team with colleagues whose expertise ranges from biomedical research to investment management, from information technology to law. We encourage collaborative and results-driven working styles and offer an adaptable environment where employees can do their best work. As HHMI scientists continue to push boundaries in laboratories and classrooms, you can be sure that your contributions while working at HHMI are making a difference.

We are currently seeking an experienced, self-motivated Lab Manager to manage the day-to-day operations of Dr. Loren Looger’s lab on-site at University of California, San Diego. The Looger lab uses protein engineering to create tools for studying and manipulating the brain and other biological samples. Dr. Looger’s team combines computational and evolutionary methods to create new reagents for use in characterizing and manipulating the assembly and function of neural circuits. The team designs and tests these reagents and other tools in collaboration with other scientists. More information about Dr. Looger’s research can be found by visiting and


This Lab Manager role will be a key contributor – serving as a liaison between different departments and entities and keeping a small tight-knit collaborative lab running efficiently and effectively. Ideal candidates will be incredibly organized, have a genuine interest in science administration, and have a strong desire to support the Looger lab’s goals. This role’s focus will be more on research/benchwork than administrative operations on a day-to-day basis, but has elements of both areas.


Principal Responsibilities:




  • Preparing common buffers, media, and stock solutions.


  • Preparing competent cells.


  • Maintaining cell lines and testing for contamination.


  • Expression and purification of commonly used proteins.


  • Autoclaving and helping with dishwashing and lab cleanliness.


  • Designing sequencing primers and vectors and interpreting Sanger sequencing data.


  • Managing independent research project(s).


Operations/Administrative Management


  • Working collaboratively with Looger lab group members, students, HHMI staff, and various UCSD offices to solve problems and handle a wide variety of operational tasks.


  • Overseeing equipment maintenance including coordinating with vendors for repairs as needed.


  • Ordering supplies and managing inventory and reagent stocks.


  • Assisting with shipping and receiving.


  • Overseeing the lab’s ongoing compliance with necessary regulations, protocols, policies, licenses, safety inspections, and certifications as required.




Education and Experience


  • Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, preferably the biological sciences, is required.


  • Demonstrated hands-on experience working in a laboratory environment is required.


  • Previous lab management experience is preferred.


  • Proficiency with making solutions and media, operating and calibrating a pH meter, production of competent cells, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and protein gels (SDS-PAGE).


  • Proficiency with common molecular biology software such as SnapGene, LaserGene, or Geneious, etc.


  • Experience working with fluorescent proteins is preferred.


  • Familiarity with chemical safety precautions such as ensuring that reagents are stored and handled properly.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, etc.) is required.


  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to plan effectively.


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.


  • Strong problem-solving skills with ability to analyze, think critically, and make strategic decisions.


  • Strong record keeping skills and inventory management skills.


  • Positive attitude with a congenial, patient mindset.


  • Ability to work well with a wide variety of people at all levels and from all backgrounds.


  • Ability to train staff on lab safety, conduct, policies, standards, and practices.


  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.


  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and operate with tact, poise, and professionalism.


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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