Research Technician – Rodent Surgery

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 a highly skilled Research Technician who will specialize in rodent surgery to support the lab of Dr. Zachary Knight at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in San Francisco, California. The Knight lab’s research investigates fundamental questions related to the nature of physiological homeostasis, addressing the basic biology of hunger, thirst, and thermoregulation. To answer these questions, we rely on a combination of chemogenetics, optogenetics, and calcium imaging to study in real-time the patterns of neural activation associated with feeding and thermoregulatory behavior. For more information about our work, visit

The Research Technician – Rodent Surgery role will be involved in working collaboratively with students and postdoctoral associates to execute parts of the lab’s research program that involve peripheral surgery in mice. Some experience working with rodents is required, but the lab will provide extensive surgical training for the right candidate, both internally and through formal coursework. This is a flexible role that will also have some time reserved for contributing to other aspects of these projects and learning new skills along with the opportunity to participate in cutting edge science in a collaborative environment and contribute as an author on high-impact publications.

Essential Responsibilities
• Perform and develop survival surgeries in mice, including but not limited to intragastric and intravenous catheterizations and vagotomies.
• Develop new surgical procedures.
• Train graduate students and postdocs to perform surgical procedures.
• Oversight of basic sterile surgery technique and maintenance of surgical training records for new lab members.
• Other duties as assigned.

• A bachelor’s degree in biological science is required. Academic focus in neuroscience is preferred.

• At least two years of hands-on research experience in an academic lab is required.
• At least two years of experience working with rodents is required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Strong interest in learning new surgical techniques
• Strong recordkeeping skills with exceptional accuracy and attention to detail
• Demonstrated skill and comfort with handling live rodents
• Ability and willingness to be trained and, in turn, to train others on techniques
• Ability and willingness to make long-term time commitment to complete surgical training and utilize acquired skills for the benefit of the lab’s research

Application Instructions
Please attach the following information in a single PDF document as part of your application:
• Résumé or CV emphasizing prior research experience
• Cover letter that touches briefly on your background, your interest in this position, and why you think you’d be an ideal fit
• Contact information for three professional references

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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