Research Assistant I Lab

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

ID: 7093082
Posted: January 28, 2022
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job-Specific Responsibilities

The del Mármol lab at Harvard Medical School will open its doors in April 2022 to study the structural and molecular mechanisms underlying the sense of smell, with an emphasis on understanding how mosquitoes detect human odors. We are seeking a full-time Research Assistant to join our research group to conduct structural and functional studies of insect olfactory receptors involved in detecting human odors, with the overall goal of understanding the molecular basis of odor coding and designing pharmacological tools to prevent human host-seeking by insect vectors of disease.
The ideal candidate should be self-motivated, well-organized and possess strong communication skills. As one of the first members to join the lab, the successful candidate will work closely with Dr. del Mármol and will receive extensive training in experimental techniques, data analysis and communication of results. Once trained, the incumbent will be expected to work both independently as well as part of a small team, designing and carrying out experiments across various projects. This position therefore offers exceptional opportunities for growth for those interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical fields. To learn more about the pioneering work the lab is doing, see Dr. del Mármol’s recent publication detailing the first structure of a ligand-bound odorant receptor:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03794-8
Responsibilities will include:
•Design and engineer odorant receptor DNA constructs using routine molecular biology techniques such as DNA extraction/purification, PCR, cloning (restriction enzyme, Gibson assembly), and site-directed mutagenesis.
•Maintain mammalian and insect cell lines, produce baculovirus, viral transduction of mammalian cells, monitor for bacterial and mycoplasma contamination.
•Purify and characterize recombinant olfactory receptors with methods such as affinity tag purification, FSEC, protein electrophoresis (Native, SDS-PAGE and Western blot), cell-based functional assays and cryo-EM.
•Actively contribute to research projects, including design and analysis of experiments, and presentation of data in laboratory meetings.
•Oversee general lab organization including maintaining laboratory stocks, ordering supplies, buffer preparation and compliance with lab safety.
•Stay up-to-date on literature relevant to research areas.

Basic Qualifications

One year of hands-on research experience in a laboratory (relevant course work such as undergraduate thesis or similar may count towards required work experience)

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Bachelor’s degree in any of the life sciences OR 1-2 years of work experience in a biochemistry or structural biology laboratory is strongly preferred.
Basic knowledge of molecular biology, biochemistry and protein chemistry is advantageous.
Experience with a number of the following techniques is highly desirable: recombinant DNA techniques (PCR, cloning, mutagenesis), mammalian cell culture and aseptic techniques, baculovirus production, SDS-PAGE, Western blot, ELISA.

Additional Information

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.