Research Associate, Protein Engineering

Job Summary

Sarafan ChEM-H is an interdisciplinary institute focused on connecting Chemistry, Engineering, and Medicine for Human Health. The institute was founded as a joint venture of the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Humanities and Sciences. The proximity of world-class biologists, chemists, engineers, and clinicians at Stanford presents a unique opportunity to study human biology at a molecular level, to translate this knowledge into groundbreaking discoveries that advance our understanding of and ability to improve human health. Sarafan ChEM-H has partnered with Stanford Medicine to launch a bold new translational research initiative – Stanford’s Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA). IMA aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries at Stanford University into new therapeutics that impact human health while improving our understanding of human biology.

Our VPDoR Diversity Journey:

  • We create a hub of innovation through the power of diversity of disciplines and people.
  • We provide equitable access and opportunity to all members of the community in order to do their best work, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • We listen to and value all colleagues who bring diverse perspectives to the advancement and development of a respectful community.
  • We promote a culture of belonging, equity, and safety.
  • We embed these values in excellence of education, research, and operation.

Position Summary:

We are looking for a highly motivated Research Associate for the Sarafan ChEM-H / Stanford IMA  Protein Therapeutic Knowledge Center. Our laboratory focuses on the translation of scientific discoveries into therapeutic drug candidates. We provide support in molecular biology, protein production and purification, protein characterization, and in high-throughput protein optimization using directed evolution techniques.
Your work will contribute to several projects that are focused on developing novel protein prototypes for a variety of therapeutic applications. Are you interested in performing drug discovery research and are able to independently conduct experiments and analyze results? Then help us to forge a new generation of custom-made protein tools and therapeutics!

Core Duties:

  • Support research programs related to discovery and development of protein therapeutics.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary project teams across different faculties or schools.
  • Develop new computational methodologies with specific applications in protein engineering.
  • Maintain the IT infrastructure including databases, laboratory software and hardware.
  • Oversee IT equipment budget under supervision of principal investigator or business manager.
  • Carry out wet lab activities related to protein engineering and drug discovery.
  • Prepare periodic progress reports and written final reports.
  • Work independently toward the project objective.
  • Perform ongoing literature review to remain current with new procedures and technologies regarding protein engineering.
  • Work compliance with health and safety policies and procedures.


Minimum Requirements

Education & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics or related scientific field and two years of relevant work experience; or Master’s degree in bioinformatics or a related scientific field.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Comprehensive understanding of scientific principles.
  • Basic understanding of protein chemistry, molecular biology and immunology.
  • Excellent computer skills and experience in writing short codes in Python.
  • Ability to quickly learn and master computer programs, databases, and scientific applications.
  • Experience in MD simulations and structural modeling.
  • Demonstrated basic laboratory skills in molecular biology.
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent judgment.
  • Ability to maintain detailed records of experiments and outcomes.
  • Excellent team working skills, demonstrated in collaboration with senior scientists and scientific staff
  • Ability to work under deadlines with general guidance is essential.
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to accurately complete detailed work. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with modeling software such as Schrodinger
  • Integrating open source software like Rosetta or AlphaFold
  • Docking and modeling of protein-protein interactions
  • Demonstrated in silico optimization of protein properties such as thermostability, affinity, or solubility
  • Handling of large data sets from deep sequencing and/or protein mass spectrometry data

Physical Requirements:

  • Frequently stand, walk, twist, bend, stoop, squat, grasp lightly, use fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, perform desk-based computer tasks, use telephone, write by hand, lift, carry, push and pull objects weighing over 40 pounds.
  • Occasionally sit, kneel, crawl, reach and work above shoulders, sort and file paperwork or parts.
  • Rarely climb, scrub, sweep, mop, chop and mix or operate hand and foot controls.
  • Must have correctible vision to perform duties of the job.
  • Ability to bend, squat, kneel, stand, reach above shoulder level, and move on hard surfaces for up to eight hours.
  • Ability to lift heavy objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Ability to work in a dusty, dirty, and odorous environment.
  • Position may require repetitive motion.

Working Conditions:

  • May require working in close proximity to blood borne pathogens.
  • May require work in an environment where animals are used for teaching and research.
  • Position may at times require the employee to work with or be in areas where hazardous materials and/or infectious diseases are present.
  • Employee must perform tasks that require the use of personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses and shoes, protective clothing and gloves, and possibly a respirator.
  • May require extended or unusual work hours based on research requirements and business needs.

Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

The expected pay range for this position is $71,000 to $78,000 per annum.

Stanford University provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location and external market pay for comparable jobs.

At Stanford University, base pay represents only one aspect of the comprehensive rewards package. The Cardinal at Work website ( provides detailed information on Stanford’s extensive range of benefits and rewards offered to employees. Specifics about the rewards package for this position may be discussed during the hiring process.

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more!

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact Stanford University Human Resources at For all other inquiries, please submit a contact form.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

May 10, 2024
On Site