Research Assistant I

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

Job posting number: #7208880 (Ref:hh-64722BR)

Posted: January 20, 2024

Job Description

Position Description
 We are seeking a highly motivated and independent individual for a full-time research assistant position in Dr. Bernardo Sabatini’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School. The research assistant will work primarily with Dr. Allison Girasole, a postdoctoral fellow, to investigate neural mechanisms underlying the regulation of motivated behavior.

We use mice as a model to study motivated behaviors such as goal-directed choice behavior, suppression of unwanted behaviors, and motor exploration. We use a wide range of techniques including optogenetics, pharmacology, electrophysiology (in vivo and in vitro), calcium-imaging, viral tracing, and head-fixed and freely-moving behavior, to study how motivated behavior is modulated under different states and contexts.

The research assistant’s responsibilities include performing behavioral training, fiber photometry calcium imaging, optogenetics, stereotaxic surgery, perfusion, dissection and slicing, immunohistochemistry, mouse colony management, imaging acquisition, and data analysis.

The research assistant will participate in weekly lab meetings and fulfill lab responsibilities. The research assistant will learn and perform experiments with Dr. Girasole and other current research assistants in the lab. The research assistant will meet with Dr. Girasole weekly to discuss experimental planning and data interpretation.

Prior laboratory experience is required, as well as strong organizational skills and an eagerness to learn. Successful candidates will be independent, enthusiastic, flexible, self-motivated, and able to assimilate new information and execute quickly and with initiative. Expertise in engineering and/or data science (particularly Python) is desired and is strongly preferred. The research assistant will have the opportunity to participate directly in the direction of the research project while taking advantage of the diverse, welcoming, and inspiring team of researchers in the Sabatini lab.

More information on the lab can be found at: https://sabatini.hms.harvard.edu/
Basic Qualifications
  • One-year related lab experience. Advanced education may count towards experience.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Bachelor's or Master’s degree with prior experience in a wet lab environment. A major in Neuroscience, computer science, engineering or a biology-related subject is preferred.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills are required.
  • One-year related lab experience. Advanced education may count towards experience.
  • Experience in one or more of the following techniques would be preferred: mouse stereotaxic surgery, behavior, histological preparations, and mouse colony management.
  • Experience or willingness to work with mice as well as performing survival and non- survival procedures as necessary.
  • Analytical skills to resolve problems that require the use of basic scientific, mathematical, or technical principles.
  • Experience with computer programming, using MATLAB and/or Python is preferred.
  • Experience with Python is huge plus and preference.
  • Candidates should be communicative with excellent interpersonal skills, attentive to detail, organized, and thoughtful about the protocols and techniques being executed.
  • Creativity, flexibility, and perseverance to troubleshoot and overcome inevitable experimental difficulties and changing experimental goals in light of new results.
  • Must be a team player able to interact effectively with a large group and work independently.
Additional Information
This is a 12-month term appointment with the possibility of renewal contingent on funding.

Offer contingent upon successful completion of a pre-placement medical evaluation.

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

https://hms.harvard.edu/about-hms/campus-culture/mission-community-values-diversity-statement
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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