Research Assistant III - Regenerative Cellular Engineering

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

Boston, MA

Job posting number: #7086200

Posted: September 27, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

About us:

The Wyss Institute’s mission is to transform healthcare and the environment by emulating the way nature builds. We harness the freedom of academia and the focus of industry in order to translate revolutionary technologies into commercial products and solutions. We support research that universities, companies, and venture capital firms don’t fund because they view it as too risky. We prefer to use the word “challenging,” and we love challenges. For more information, visit:

About you:

You are a passionate, impact-motivated scientist and problem solver who relishes the opportunity to participate in fast-paced, dynamic research. You are focused on delivering impact through translational science and hope to one day join or found an early-stage biotech startup. You enjoy working with diverse groups of people and leveraging your expertise to create innovations that can change the world.

About the role:

We are looking for a research assistant to join our rapidly growing team within the Church lab at the Wyss Institute focused on engineering complex cellular therapies to address unmet medical needs across a variety of spaces. We have developed a pipeline leveraging DNA barcoding & next-generation-sequencing to perform in-vivo pooled discovery for complex cellular behaviors such as migration & trafficking. The Church lab has a history of effectively translating novel technology concepts into high-powered biotech startups focused on increasing innovation & productivity within the industry & addressing unmet needs for patients living with debilitating diseases. Reporting to the project leads, you will be responsible for the execution of key research studies involving in-vivo pooled functional genomics of iPSC-based satellite muscle cell therapies for applications in regenerative medicine.

What you’ll do:

Maintain long-term mammalian cell cultures of immortalized cell lines, perform transfections, generate, titer, and annotate lentiviral/retroviral stocks
Obtain, culture, and differentiate iPSCs into satellite muscle cells. In collaboration with other lab members, develop and optimize in-house protocols for transduction of satellite muscle cells with retroviral/lentiviral stocks, as well as protocols for freezing/thawing/shipping of modified satellite muscle cells
Conduct preparative level transductions of satellite muscle cells with viral stocks and culture until point of murine injection
Aid in murine work including animal sacrifice, dissection, & large scale gDNA isolation from murine organs
Execute on library preparation, sequencing, and analysis workflows in collaboration with project leads
Perform standard sub-cloning activities as needed to modify viral vectors or include additional genes for study
Order supplies and perform support activities and lab maintenance
Accurately and thoroughly document experimental observations and protocols and help maintain a high level of organizational efficiency within the lab
Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness in the workplace through actions & communications with others

What you’ll need:

Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Bioengineering, Biochemistry, or related field is required.
At least 2 years of experience performing long-term mammalian cell culture and standard molecular biology techniques is required. Advanced education may count towards years of experience.

Desirable skills:

Long-term mammalian cell culture of immortalized and primary cell lines is strongly preferred
Prior experience with human iPSC isolation, differentiation, and culture is advantageous, but not required
Familiarity with standard cloning techniques including gateway, gibson, and golden gate assembly is strongly preferred
Experience with mammalian cell transfection & lentiviral or retroviral production is preferred
Flow cytometry is strongly preferred
Familiarity with library preparation, NGS workflows & data analysis is preferred
Familiarity with python, R or similar programming language is preferred
Highly effective organizational and communication skills are essential

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:

Offer contingent on successful completion of pre-placement medical evaluation.

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.

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