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Research Staff Assistant

Zuckerman Institute

Research Staff Assistant

  • 533112
  • Manhattanville
  • Zuckerman Institute
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Jan 6 2023
  • Grade R5
  • Job Type: Support Staff - Non-Union
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35.00
  • Salary Range: $42,600 - $51,000
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute (Zuckerman Institute) supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scientists and scholars across the university and promises to be the most comprehensive institute for brain science. Located in a state-of-the-art facility, world-class researchers are brought together to transform our understanding of the brain and mind.

The laboratory of Dr. Richard Axel at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute has an open full-time position for a Research Staff Assistant. The Axel lab recently expanded its research program to investigate how cuttlefish (a cephalopod similar to octopus) camouflage to the environment. Cuttlefish camouflage within milliseconds to their surroundings by altering the color, pattern, and texture of their skin, which is controlled by the brain. The Axel lab wishes to understand how cuttlefish create an internal representation of the visual world in the brain and then transform this representation into an approximation of the visual world on the skin. The group is developing molecular tools, conducting behavioral experiments, and performing advanced neural imaging.

The Research Staff Assistant will work closely with the Postdoctoral Research Fellow leading this project and will have the opportunity to participate in the vibrant intellectual community of the Axel laboratory. We seek highly motivated, skilled, and dynamic individuals who are enthusiastic about a career in science. This is a full-time position.


  • Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Under the direction of the PI and Postdoctoral Research Scientist, perform the following biological techniques: microinjection of cuttlefish embryos and molecular cloning and genotyping 
    • Under the direction of the PI and Postdoctoral Research Scientist, assist in performing survival and non-survival surgeries, including surgical preparation 
    • Under the direction of the PI and Postdoctoral Research Scientist, conduct animal behavioral experiments 
    • Participation in laboratory meetings and planning sessions 
    • Assisting with administrative and documentation tasks related to experiments 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline is required or an experience equivalent required.

    2 years of experience and/or its equivalent is required.


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