Senior Research Associate (Sample Management)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Job Location
Walnut Creek, CA
Job Description

Senior Research Associate (Sample Management) - 80405
Organization:  GN-Genomics

The Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) offers a unique opportunity to work with DNA and RNA samples from plants, fungal, microbial, and environment for downstream applications. The role is responsible for receiving, accessioning, evaluating, and preparing aliquots of DNA/RNA samples.  

Will evaluate the current and newly developed methods to extract DNA/RNA from various organisms and assess the sample quality and quantity and provide logistic recommendations.  Will serve in a technical support role to improve the efficiency and quality of sample management processes.  Will closely interact with the Sequencing Technologies group members, as well as other technical and administrative support staff, and serve as the point of contact for sample issues.  Will report any technical problems that occurred in the sample management process.  May provide technical guidance and training to other team members.  May need to lift up to 25lbs. frequently and work in a cold environment with freezers at temperatures of -80C.  This position reports to the Sample Management group Lead.

• Perform work assignments related to the sample acquisition process including the evaluation of collaborators’ samples, internal sample QC, and aliquot making and tracking.
• Proficiency with DNA/RNA extraction and quality evaluation methods from various organisms.
• Understand next generation sequencing applications and their associated library protocols.
• Participate in continuous improvement, process optimization, development, and implementation projects for advancement and scale-up of sample management process to support next generation sequencing technologies.
• Conduct validation tests of newly developed processes aimed at improving quality, troubleshooting failures, and reducing cost of sample management processes.
• Maintain a complete set of documentations (gel images, Bioanalyzer traces, etc) for all nucleic acid samples.
• Operate robotic and laboratory equipment used in high-throughput sample processing, and perform quality control and maintenance of equipment and robotics.
• Write standard operating procedures and protocols for new methods and cross-train team members on new procedures.
• Maintain a clean and safe laboratory work area and ensure compliance to safety policies; perform daily maintenance, clean up, and workspace organization within assigned work areas.
• Maintain an accurate and detailed laboratory notebook of daily production operations, observe and document any deviations from established protocols and bring them to supervisor’s attention.
• Participate in cross-team and cross-group collaborative projects in Genome Technology Development.
• May maintain a clean and safe working environment.
• May contribute to data, text in group publications.
• May assist group members in performing new molecular biology experiments and protocols.
• May research articles and literature to explore new techniques or applications.


• B.S degree in Biology or related discipline plus two to five years of experience in a research laboratory or an equivalent combination of education and experience
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience with cloning and PCR technology, library construction and sequencing
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience utilizing high-throughput automated systems
• Familiarity with next-generation sequencing technologies and issues related to sequence quality and assembly
• Detail-oriented with proficient organizational, writing and record-keeping skills
• Good analytical skills to effectively evaluate data and make recommendations
• Excellent and effective interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills; ability to interact collaboratively with staff at all levels of the organization
• Efficient time management skills and the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment
• Demonstrated ability to work autonomously as well as part of a diverse team environment
• Competency in the use of computers and related software programs; i.e., PC, Mac, and UNIX operating systems
• Experience working in fast-paced production environment with changing priorities and technologies
• Preferred - M.S. degree in Biology or related field
• Preferred - Good presentation skills

Notes: This is a one-year term appointment that may be extended or converted to a career appointment based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs. This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.  The work schedule may include nights and weekends.  Work will be performed at the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), located in Walnut Creek, CA. A background check is required. Multiple positions may be hired.

About Us
Rapid technological advances in genomics have transformed modern biology. From its inception, the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute has been at the forefront of large-scale sequence-based science. Learn more about JGI happenings ( at and

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Berkeley Lab’s science is a global enterprise. Our scientists work at the frontiers of knowledge to better understand our universe and to address the challenges facing our nation and our planet. Read about our excellent benefits (  

Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

How to Apply

Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

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