(Microscope) Research Engineer

San Francisco, California, US
Jul 10, 2019
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

The Gladstone Institutes is an independent, not-for-profit research institution. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of all people through medical research and education in neuroscience, cardiovascular biology, immunology, and stem cell biology. Home to notable leaders in science and biomedicine, Gladstone comprises four institutes as well as various centers and programs. All of its approximately 500 members are aligned in their mission to carry out or support science that overcomes disease. Located in an award-winning building at the Mission Bay Campus, Gladstone offers a competitive salary and benefits program. It provides an ideal environment for those seeking to maximize and fully leverage their potential. Please consider Gladstone and make a difference in human health.


We are looking for a new (Microscope) Research Engineer to join our group. The candidate will be a critical member of a team of biologists to maintain and develop our cutting-edge automated microscopy platform. The ideal candidate would be someone who is passionate about engineering, imaging, machine-learning, biology, helping people, and the scientific pursuit of knowledge.

About our group and the position:

We are an academic lab with over 25 BS-, MS-, and PhD-level neuroscientists and engineers that study neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and Dementia. We use different cellular model systems, including human stem cells that are derived from patients, to answer basic questions in neuroscience as well as discover new therapies for these terrible diseases. At the core of our research is a novel longitudinal imaging system that we have invented to collect images and time-lapse movies of fluorescently-labeled neurons in a high throughput format. We use our microscopy system to extract various types of information about how patient stem cell derived neurons grow, function, degenerate, and respond to candidate drugs. We also take advantage of the terabytes of data that we generate everyday and use machine-learning to invent new methods for analyzing our images. We have collaborations with many industry and academic groups, publish our work in high profile scientific journals, and present our work at national and international conferences. We are funded by the National Institute of Health, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, ALS Association, Michael J Fox Foundation, Cure Huntington's Disease Initiative, Google Inc., Biogen Idec., and Merck, to just name a few. We continue to design and build novel automated microscopy systems and we need your help to do it.

Teamwork is essential for our success. In our group, you would work as part of a team to design, build, and maintain our robotic microscopes as well as help the biologists in the lab utilize these unique microscopes in their research. If you enjoy working with people, learning new exciting science, tinkering with optics and electronics, and want to creatively design and build things, this would be a great fit for you. We take breaks when we need it but our work doesn't stop on weekends or holidays, so some weekend/holiday work will be required.


Education Required:
Minimum: B.S. in Physics or Optical Engineering, Computer Science or related field with 2+ years of relevant research experience

Required Education/Skills:
  • Critical thinking and attention to detail
  • Highly organized with excellent communication skills
  • Highly independent and self-motivated
  • Able to work effectively in small groups
  • Interest in biology, engineering, and getting involved with the customization of microscopes
  • Experience with epifluorescence and/or spinning-disk confocal microscopy
  • Proficient in Java and/or Javascript
  • Able to communicate highly complex concepts to and work with those of different backgrounds
  • Flexibility with work hours

Education/Skills/Experience Preferred:
  • Masters or PhD in Physics or Optical Engineering, or related field
  • Experience with image analysis programs, primarily Fiji and ImageJ, and writing macros in such programs
  • Experience in building microscope systems
  • Experience in maintaining microscope systems (e.g., cleaning, calibration, alignment)
  • Presentation of original research to a large audience
  • Poster presentation of original research at conferences
  • Experience with robotics or automation
  • Experience with MicroManager or other microscope control software
  • Experience with biological image analysis software, such as ImageJ
  • Knowledge of one or more of the following languages: Python, C++, Matlab, Labview
  • Conversant knowledge of imaging hardware (e.g., CMOS/sCMOS cameras, PMTs)
  • Familiarity and interest in neurodegenerative disease
  • Publications of original research in primary scientific literature

Title and salary with be commensurate with education and experience.