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Director, Milk Analytics Core - 123368

University of California - San Diego Medical Centers
United States, California, San Diego
March 17, 2024

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 6/08/2023. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

This position may work a hybrid schedule which includes a combination of working both onsite at the La Jolla campus and remotely.


The Milk Analytics Core (MAC) is part of the Human Milk Institute (HMI), UC San Diego's central hub to advance human milk from molecular discoveries to local and global public health impact.

At HMI, we bring organizations at the forefront of human milk research, clinical care, milk banking, education, and public and global health together to expand our understanding of human milk so we can apply that knowledge and improve lifelong health worldwide.

Our mission is to transform the approach to lifelong health for all people through human milk. We will pursue our mission through close collaboration with our partners and holding fast to our core values. We envision a future where human milk is the first and critical foundation for human life and equitable access to better health for the global community. We are laying the foundation for achieving this vision by establishing a world-class institute and creating a sustainable model for ongoing research into human milk.

One of HMI's core pillars is its Milk Analytics Core (MAC). Human milk is dynamic, complex, and unique. Analyzing its composition is not trivial, and many of the current tools fail to provide the data researchers need. MAC is the source for human milk-specific protocols, assay development, and assay validation from the world's leading experts. MAC fills the gap in human milk innovation, empowering our internal and external partners to transform human milk research and care.

Human milk is a complex tissue that requires specific collection protocols and analytical tools to characterize its composition accurately. Therefore, analytical platforms used to measure analytes in blood, plasma, or urine must be re-evaluated and validated to apply to human milk. Our goal is to offer assays that utilize already-established analytical platforms calibrated and validated for the unique nature of human milk.

We are designing a workflow that streamlines initiating and completing projects with ready-to-ship sample collection kits and collection protocols. On campus, we currently partner with the UC San Diego Microbiome Core for milk microbiome analysis and collaborate with the Pharmacometric and Analytical Chemistry Core to measure drugs and metabolites in milk.

Our goal is for MAC to become a comprehensive human milk analytics resource, offering knowledge, skills, and technologies for the global research community, including UC San Diego collaborators, other academic institutions as well as commercial organizations.

The Core Director will be responsible for the overall planning, function, and long-term support of the Milk Analytics Core (MAC), which is part of UC San Diego's new Human Milk Institute (HMI). Key responsibilities involve interacting with collaborators at UC San Diego and other academic institutions as well as foundation and industry partners; management of MAC staff dedicated to collaboration or assay development and validation; reporting to HMI Executive Director and faculty leadership and advisory boards; establishing the Core's business model and leading outreach and fundraising efforts. The Core Director will report to the HMI Executive Director (TBN) with guidance from the HMI Director, Dr. Lars Bode. Under the leadership of the Core Director, MAC will be staffed by research personnel that specialize in analytical techniques who will carry out the key functions of the core.

Independently oversees a moderately sized academic or research program and represents the program to outside organizations. Oversees all administrative operations, finance, human resources, and facilities for program. Designs and develops major program components and administers the full range of the program's operational requirements. Works with faculty on formulating short-term planning and procedures. Develops and organizes conferences and other public forums. Works under direction of HMI Executive Director and HMI Director to establish center agenda, funding, objectives.

  • Advanced or terminal degree in a related field (PhD, JD, MD, etc.) and five or more years of relevant experience with biospecimen processing and analyses, assay development and validation, lab and team management, grant writing and financial management.

  • Academic background and experience in selected area of research.

  • Advanced knowledge of administrative, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices.

  • Advanced ability to think creatively and independently on concepts requiring advanced analytical skills.

  • Advanced interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse groups to achieve results.

  • Advanced ability to work collaboratively with internal and external peers and managers.

  • Highly skilled fundraising experience.

  • Extensive knowledge and experience with sample processing and analysis.

  • Extensive knowledge and experience with analysis of human milk.

  • Ability to think strategically and creatively, to anticipate technology, and to transfer that thinking into cogent plans for large and complex multidisciplinary, multi-year projects.

  • Advanced knowledge of contract and grant rules and regulations, and of effective resource management to support research infrastructure acquisition and maintenance. Proven capacity to identify sources of support for such research infrastructure resources through either state, federal, public or private sector grants and fundraising.

  • Demonstrated cutting-edge research capabilities. Possess cutting-edge knowledge in a broad range of biological and analytical technologies.

  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.

  • Occasional evenings and weekends may be required.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $101,200 - $192,200 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $48.47 - $92.05

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).