Job posting: Junior Specialist, Dinesh-Kumar lab

The Genome Center at the University of California, Davis invites applications from qualified candidates for a Junior Specialist position.

Working for Professor Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar, this position will participate in publishable research to engineer plant viruses and insects to enhance resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. The candidate will specifically participate in the development of novel plant viral vectors to express transgenes and to express Cas9 and related nucleases and guide RNAs (gRNAs) for gene editing in maize to induce resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, the candidate will develop viral vectors to knockdown gene expression by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) approach.

As a member of the research team, work will include cloning that involves amplification of viral sequences using RT-PCR from infected tissues and amplification of DNA from existing viral clones using PCR; confirming these clones by restriction digestion and by Sanger DNA sequencing followed by data analyses. The candidate will optimize infection methods and test the infectivity of cloned viral clones in plants; evaluate the expression of transgenes and Cas9 by immunoblot analyses and expression of gRNAs and VIGS by qRT-PCR. The candidate will evaluate insect transmittability of these viral vectors. The candidate will maintain plants in the tissue culture, green house, and growth chambers; and perform plant transformation and genotyping. Additional duties include general laboratory maintenance such as ordering supplies, preparation of solutions and media, preparing E. coli and Agrobacterium stocks and maintaining frozen stocks of plasmids.

The Junior Specialist is expected to work semi-independently with oversight from the principal investigator. The candidate is expected to participate in the design of the experimental plan and individual experiments and keep a detailed laboratory notebook/digital notebook including experimental methods and results. The candidate will assist in preparing data figures and tables and summary of results for progress reports to the funding agency, and will also participate in writing of research results for publication by writing sections of the manuscript and/or helping to edit the manuscript. The candidate may present research findings in the suitable external scientific meetings on campus or outside depending on the availability of funds. They may also participate in training undergraduate students and present research data in lab meetings and department retreats.

Candidates should have a Bachelor degree in Genetics, Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Plant Biology or related field with experience in working in the biology laboratory settings. The position also requires demonstrated experience and expertise in PCR, bacterial transformation, molecular cloning, plasmid preps, agarose gel electrophoresis/analysis, SDS gels/immunoblotting.

Interested candidates should submit all materials via the web-based online submission system, JPF02704. Required materials include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research, names and contact information for three references, and a statement of contributions to Diversity. The deadline for full consideration is March 15, 2019.

The University of California, Davis, and the UC Davis Genome Center are interested in candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activities, and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity. The University of California, Davis, is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty and staff.

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