Research Assistant II - Microbiology and Fermentation

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

ID: 7081737
Posted: July 30, 2021
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary

About us:

The mission of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University is to transform human healthcare and the environment by emulating the way nature builds. Developed as an alliance between Harvard and other premier academic and clinical partner institutions, Institute faculty and staff collaborate in high-risk, fundamental research and science-driven technology development. A major focus of the Institute is to translate the technologies developed by its faculty and staff into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators and establishment of corporate alliances. For more information, visit:

About you:

You are a collaborative, impact-focused problem solver who wants to be part of a dynamic team dedicated to creating and commercializing novel approaches to global challenges in sustainability. You want the freedom to explore, to push the boundaries of what is possible, and to use your ambition to tackle challenging projects in a fast-paced, industry-focused environment without a lot of administrative hurdles. You enjoy working with and learning from diverse groups of people and leveraging your expertise to create innovations that can change the world.

About the role:

We are looking for an enthusiastic Research Assistant II to join our team to work in the Synthetic Biology and the Living Cellular Devices platforms at the Wyss Institute. Reporting to and learning from a Senior Staff Scientist, you will work within a multidisciplinary team, supporting the discovery of lipids as food ingredients. The project uses the chemolithotroph Cupriavidus necator and sugar as well as C1 fermentation. You will assist in fermentation, strain engineering, microbiology experiments and lipid extraction and analysis. For more information, visit: tailored-fats-for-food-applications/

Job-Specific Responsibilities

What you'll do:

With training from senior staff, assist in designing, preparing, and conducting fermentation runs and flask experiments
Under the supervision of senior staff, perform offline analyses of metabolite consumption, and extract, purify and analyze products using lyophilization, solvent extraction, TLC, GC-MS, HPLC
Under supervision of senior staff engineer and characterize TAG producing Cupriavidus necator strains
Accurately and thoroughly document experimental observations, write/update standard operating procedures and under supervision of staff analyze, interpret and present experimental data
Maintain the lab and manage inventory of supplies
Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through actions, interactions, and communications with others.
Other related duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

What you'll need:

College background in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering or related fields
At least one year of lab research experience is required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Desirable Skills:

Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science such as Biochemistry or Molecular Biology or equivalent professional experience preferred
Proficiency with personal computers and Microsoft software packages is essential
Strong organizational and communication skills to aid in interaction with multidisciplinary groups of biologists, engineers and technology innovators.
Able to work in chemical and biological laboratory environments
Experience with Cupriavidus necator and bench-scale fermentation is advantageous but not required

Working Conditions

This position will be based on our campus in Boston, MA and will require on-campus presence. Subject to business needs, the Wyss Institute generally supports flexible work arrangements.

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

Additional Information

This is a one year term position with the possibility of renewal.

Harvard is unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Why you’ll like working with us:

At the Wyss Institute, you’re a member of a supportive, dynamic community that is united by its shared goal of changing the world through groundbreaking technology development and commercialization. We encourage your professional growth and development through mentorship and tuition reimbursement to support continued learning, and more. We also support your physical, financial, and mental well-being through generous time off benefits, gym reimbursements, and other programs offered through Harvard. We value an inclusive and diverse workforce, and believe that our differences enrich the work environment for all.

Our outstanding benefits package includes:

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 contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings 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 complimentary health services.
Facilities access and Discounts: Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

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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