Research Assistant I Lab

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

Job posting number: #7091196

Posted: January 3, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary

This is a research assistant I position in Prof. George Church’s group, where you will be working with a senior postdoc in the field of Genetic code Expansion.

This is a good opportunity if you are interested in synthetic biology & chemical biology projects, with a potential for altering one of the oldest languages (billion year) in the world, the language of the triplet genetic codon that dictates how proteins are made by all living cells. Proteins with facile and augmented chemical properties can be generated by genetic incorporation of non-standard amino acids (nsAA), beyond the lexicon of the 20 standard amino acids. The nsAAs can be used to enhance catalytic activity of enzymes, build augmented materials and therapeutics.
You will have the opportunities to work with senior researchers on several aspects of expanding the genetic code i.e generating Ribosome variants, engineering E.coli strains, developing directed evolution pipelines, and engineering orthogonal enzymes.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities will include in-silico modeling of enzymes using structural approaches (Rosetta) and using rational protein engineering to construct libraries for high-throughput screening. Additionally, tasks will involve streamlining analyses of large NGS datasets from the screens
to discover statistically enriched patterns. Interesting hits from the screens will be pursued for further experimental characterization through a range of plate-reader assays, LC-MS, or other in-vitro bio-assays.
The RA should uphold Good Laboratory Practices and diligently document experiments and data in both physical and electronic laboratory notebooks.

What we offer:
1. You will have the opportunity to work with senior lab members, participate in lab group meetings and network with a number of scientific leaders that could help in career development.
2. Candidates with an entrepreneurial attitude will be viewed positively and you will have the opportunity to potentially get involved in venture creation with the senior researchers during the course of the project.
3. Applications from historically underrepresented groups and minorities will be considered favorably.

Basic Qualifications

At least one year related work experience (relevant course work may count towards experience).

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Bachelor's or Master’s degree preferred.
1. While students with a background in one of the following: Chemical Engineering, Chemical Biology, Bioinformatics, Systems Biology Biochemistry & Molecular Biology will suit the demands of the project, we welcome applications from diverse quantitative training backgrounds (eg; Physics, Engineering, Computer science) who would like to work in an interdisciplinary setting. Students with working experience in any laboratory setting of at least six months will be viewed favorably.
2. Experience in protein library design, genetic or metabolic engineering and next-gen sequencing analysis will be viewed favorably.
3. Experience working in a startup or industry will be an advantage.
4. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
Experience with coding (eg; Python, R) is essential.

Additional Information

This is a one-year term position, fully benefits eligible, with possibility of extension contingent on work performance and continued funding to support the position.

Harvard requires COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/.

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

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, incredibly affordable classes directly 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.

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