Research Assistant at Harvard University

Posted in Research 10 days ago.

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Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Job Description:

Harvard University

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Research Assistant
Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Job Summary

The Balskus lab is searching for a technician to provide experimental support for an on-going, industry-sponsored project aimed at developing small molecule therapeutics that inhibit metabolic activities of bacterial strains in the human gut microbiota. Working closely with senior lab members, the technician will primarily be responsible for assisting in the design, execution and analysis of assays that assess the impact of different small molecule inhibitors on microbial metabolite production and microbial enzyme activity. The technician will also provide analytical chemistry support for in vivo experiments conducted with collaborators. Additionally, the employee will assist with other tasks that support the operation of the overall lab, as described in more detail below. The research assistant may work on an independent project, but within specific guidelines. Strong organizational and communication skills are critical. Final candidates may be asked to demonstrate their technical ability through an in-lab demonstration.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Under supervision of a senior lab member, assist in the design and execution of assays to assess the activity of small molecule inhibitors, including assays that examine anaerobic bacterial growth and activity of anaerobic bacterial enzymes.
  • Assist in the maintenance of equipment and instrumentation for these analyses.
  • Inoculation and maintenance of microbial cultures from freezer stocks in preparation for experiments and assays.
  • Preparation and sterilization of growth media.
  • Purification of enzymes (under aerobic and anaerobic conditions).
  • Analysis of protein samples using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR).
  • Preparation and analysis of samples through using various analytical methods, in particular small molecule liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), quantitative PCR (qPCR), RNA-Seq, and spectrophotometric enzyme assays.
  • Working with a senior lab member, develop workflows for processing and analyzing the resulting data. Report results using a variety of scientific, word processing, and presentation platforms.
  • Maintenance and cleaning of additional laboratory equipment and glassware.
  • May instruct other lab members in certain techniques or procedures.
  • Ordering lab supplies and processing invoices, and other administrative duties as needed.
  • Assist with the preparation and coordination of shipping or transfer of samples between collaborators' labs.
  • Thorough documentation of all research activities in electronic lab notebook.
  • The successful candidate may be invited to attend lab group meetings as appropriate.

Basic Qualifications
A minimum 1-year experience working in a biological or chemistry laboratory setting, with specific experience in performing assays involving small molecules. College level course work required.

Additional Qualifications
Degree in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, chemical biology or a related discipline strongly preferred. Additionally, the successful candidate will demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills, a desire to learn new techniques, good organizational skills, and the ability to work with a diverse team of scientists.