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Assistant Project Scientist

University of California, Davis - Department of Physiology & Membrane Biology
Davis, California
Closing date
Jan 6, 2023

The Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, seeks to hire one, full time, Assistant Project Scientist in Dr. James Trimmer’s laboratory.  The Assistant Project Scientist will perform research functions aimed at deciphering the molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms of coupling of calcium signaling to intracellular responses at ion channel-organized signaling complexes in brain neurons in health and disease.

The Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in his/her academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, and/or upgrade competency. Appointees within the Project Scientist series may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program (i.e., Professor, Professional Researcher, etc.), they are not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. The Project Scientist will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.

The incumbent will work under the supervision of Dr. Trimmer and work cooperatively and collegially in a diverse environment.



Research activity (65%)

This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development of an active research program investigating topics relevant to the research area of ion channel-organized signaling complexes and their role in neuronal function.  


The appointee will  be involved in examining the contributions of the signaling complexes at endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane (ER-PM) junctions organized by the Kv2.1 potassium channel to the function of brain neurons.  You will assist in determining research goals in consultation with the Principal Investigator. Duties will include project design, research, optimizing data acquisition and processing, data handling and analysis, and manuscript preparation related to the following studies: 1) Investigating the contribution of signaling complexes at Kv2.1-associated ER-PM junctions contribute to calcium and PKA signaling in brain neurons; 2) Understanding how mutations in Kv2.1 including those associated with neurodevelopmental disorders impact this signaling; 3) Determining how changes in neuronal activity impacts this signaling


In some cases, the appointee may supervise students and other laboratory staff regarding the technical aspects of the research, including methods development, trouble-shooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up experiments. The appointee will collaborate with scientific colleagues in multi-disciplinary projects that include components falling within the appointee’s area of expertise.

Publication (10%)

The appointee will publish research in peer-reviewed journals either independently or in collaboration with the PI or other members of the research team.

Grant Acquisition (10%)

The appointee will assist in writing proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The appointee will prepare and assist in the preparation of reports as required by granting agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed.


The appointee will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to their specific field of physiology and neuroscience, and will serve as a reviewer of research proposals, and scientific publications as appropriate.

The appointee will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups. When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at seminars, laboratory meetings or educational functions.

*This recruitment is conducted at the assistant rank. The resulting hire will  be at the assistant  rank, regardless of the proposed appointee's qualifications.


  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree in physiology, neurobiology, cell biology, or related field
  • At least 5 years of experience in evaluating ion channel signaling complexes in brain neurons post terminal degree.
  • Experience in evaluating ion channel signaling complexes in brain neurons using live cell Ca2+ and PKA activity reporter imaging, electrophysiology, proximity ligation assay, and biochemical approaches, and in development and evaluation of novel monoclonal antibodies.
  • Evidence of substantive academic accomplishment in having at least five first author refereed journal papers and two invited conference presentations including at least two of each on the topic of ion channel signaling complexes in brain neurons.



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