Research Assistant II

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

Job posting number: #7198144 (Ref:hh-64387BR)

Posted: December 3, 2023

Job Description

Position Description
The laboratory of George M. Church at Harvard Medical School ( is engineering fundamental cellular processes to repurpose cells' biosynthetic capabilities to create new repertoires of molecules and functions that subserve human utility. Specifically, we are constructing a radically modified bacterial genome that relies only on 57 genetic codons and will allow viral resistance, escape-free biocontainment, and the production of proteins with new-to-nature building blocks.

Job-Specific Responsibilities:
This is a full-time, hands-on research position working alongside a postdoctoral researcher. The candidate, under supervision, will perform bacterial genome editing and directed evolution experiments, PCR screening, and analyze results. The candidate will prepare samples, perform next-generation sequencing on both Illumina and Nanopore platforms, and analyze results. The candidate will be responsible for the genetic manipulations of E. coli strains, perform cell culture, DNA extraction, and cloning. The position will require the use of standard microbiology techniques and the development of new experimental methods, so understanding the underlying fundamental microbiological and molecular biology principles is required.

This position offers a unique opportunity to play a critical role in developing new bacterial genome engineering, directed evolution, and genome-synthesis tools while working within the laboratory of George M. Church and learning cutting-edge technologies such as bacterial genome assembly, CRISPR, MAGE, DIvERGE, functional metagenomics, and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The position will involve extensive molecular biology, microbiology (phage and bacterial), as well as NGS techniques. This position is ideal for highly organized, motivated, and hard-working individuals seeking to launch their careers as future scientists in academia or industry.
Basic Qualifications
  • College background or equivalent work experience, preferably in a related discipline.
  • One to two+ years of related work experience in in a molecular biology laboratory (relevant coursework may count towards experience).
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • BS degree in biology, biochemistry, biomedical science, or related field preferred; directly related work experience may substitute.
  • Highly independent and result-oriented, able to efficiently execute experiments in a dynamic environment and critically evaluate experimental results.
  • Enthusiasm for learning and developing new skills and expertise.
  • Hard-working, and able to cooperate with a team of researchers.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Organized and able to maintain precise records of work electronically.
  • The candidate must have prior experience in wet-lab microbiology and molecular biology techniques.
  • Essential skills include genetic manipulation of E. coli, such as DNA transformation, plasmid extraction, PCR,and cloning.
  • Candidates having experience with bacteriophages, Next Generation Sequencing(Illumina, Oxford Nanopore), and sequence analysis software (i.e., Breseq, Geneious), as well as familiarity with programming languages (R and Python), will be viewed favorably.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who can commit for two years.
Additional Information
This is a one-year term position from the date of hire, with the possibility of extension, contingent upon work performance and continued funding to support the position. 

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding.

The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

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Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
We are committed to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture of faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations. We appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals. Harvard Medical School Mission and Community Values
EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Harvard Medical School strives to cultivate an environment that promotes inclusiveness and collaboration among students, faculty and staff and to create new avenues for discussion that will advance our shared mission to improve the health of people throughout the world.

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More Info

Job posting number:#7198144 (Ref:hh-64387BR)
Application Deadline:Open Until Filled
Employer Location:Harvard Medical School
United States
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