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2015 August 28

New Stem Cell Assistant Professor position

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:07
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UCSC has just announced a new Assistant Professor position in Stem Cell Genomics in the Biomolecular Engineering Department.  The job description and application is at, and the key line is probably

The successful candidate will be expected to establish a wet lab operation focused on stem cell genomics research, to develop a vigorous, externally funded research program, contribute significantly to undergraduate and graduate education, and perform university and professional service.

We are defining stem-cell genomics fairly broadly, particularly the “genomics” part—the stem-cell part is an absolute requirement, as the available lab space is dedicated to stem-cell research.  The “genomics” is there because that is where the department has critical mass—it will be easier to integrate a genomics person into the department than someone who is further afield.  That said, we always look for the best available candidate using a broad definition of what the position calls for.

Personally, I am hoping that we get someone in stem-cell engineering, as we are an engineering department, not an extension of the Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology department.  I’m not on the search committee, though, and I don’t know whether they share my view of the importance of strengthening the engineering and design components of our curriculum and teaching—they may not even distinguish between science and engineering.

I’m not in stem cells myself, so I’m not up-to-date on what is going on in the labs.  As I understand it, current research is mainly with mice (particularly hematopoietic stem cells), but there are a number of new induced pluripotent stem cell lines being established for various primates.  (A couple of the senior theses that I read several times as part of senior thesis writing courses dealt with establishing iPSC lines from orangutan fibroblasts.)

This faculty slot is the last wet-lab person the department will be able to hire for some time (until the campus rationalizes their currently dysfunctional way of allocating space—we are desperately short of wet-lab space while other departments are trying to figure out what to do with all their unused wet-lab space), so we want to get someone good who’ll stay with us for a long time.

It is an assistant-professor-only slot (tenure-track, but arriving with tenure)—the department has wasted way too much time on failed senior recruitments (generally forced on us by higher administrators—the School of Engineering has done much better growing our own faculty from promising assistant professor candidates).


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