Job DescriptionJob-Specific Responsibilities
A new project in our laboratory at Harvard Medical School focuses on studying the biology of mammalian torpor and hibernation. Our lab has an exceptional track record of training young scientists. This position is ideal for highly organized, motivated, and hard-working individuals seeking to launch their careers in academia or medicine. Torpor and hibernation are some of the most fascinating natural adaptations of warm-blooded animals. How birds and mammals initiate, regulate, and survive these extraordinary hypometabolic and hypothermic states remains a fundamental question of homeotherm biology, the understanding of which could have profound medical applications. Investigating the mechanisms that adaptively regulate metabolism could provide new approaches to modulate human energy balance and treat metabolic diseases. The mechanisms that, despite immobility, maintain muscle tone during seasonal hibernation could prevent muscle atrophy in bed-ridden cancer patients. The protective mechanisms enabling cells and organs in torpor and hibernation to survive hypoxic and hypothermic stress might also be harnessed to facilitate neuronal survival during ischemia or even neurodegeneration. Our goal is to study the fundamental biology of torpor and hibernation as a means to ultimately harness the potential of these ancient adaptations to advance medicine and enhance the quality of life. We work at the interface of neuroscience, cell biology, and physiology, and take a three-pronged approach to study mammalian torpor and hibernation. First, building on our discovery of a population of neurons in the mouse brain that regulate torpor (Nature 2020), we are working to elucidate the neuronal and molecular basis of entry and arousal from this hypometabolic state. Second, we are starting to investigate how cells adapt to torpor and hypothermia. Third, we will develop a mouse model with controllable core body temperature to investigate the effect of temperature on mammalian physiology, aging, and disease processes.
We are looking for a research assistant to join our team. This position offers a unique opportunity to work on an exciting new area of biology at the interface of cell biology and neuroscience. In this position, you will have the opportunity to learn cutting-edge molecular biology techniques, imaging modalities, mouse-work, stereotactic brain surgery, cell culture, induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation, and CRISPR screens.
College background or equivalent work experience in a related discipline.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
Experience with working with mice preferred. Preference will be given to candidates that can commit for two years. Prior research experience is desirable, though not essential. At least one year of related work experience (relevant course work may count towards experience).
Demonstrated abilities in basic laboratory techniques helpful, but not required. Exposure to applicable computer technologies, including specific software applications, may be required. Appropriate communications skills required. May be required to lift, move and transport related laboratory equipment. May be required to work with a variety of hazardous materials. While prior laboratory experience is helpful, most important is a candidate with curiosity, work ethic, organization, the ability to learn new techniques, and an excellent track record in college. We expect to teach the biochemical, molecular biology, and neuroscience approaches that will be used. This is an ideal position for a recent college graduate interested in preparing for graduate or medical school.
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.
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
Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:
Time Off: 3 - 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School, and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
Wellness options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complementary health services.
Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events, and many discounts throughout metro Boston.
The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.
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.