Research Technician - Polizzi Lab

Job Details

Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Research Laboratory

Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
Onsite: 4-5 days onsite/week


The Polizzi lab is seeking a Research Technician to contribute to experimental pipelines for the characterization of designed small-molecule binding proteins. This entry-level position is a great opportunity to gain experience working in a cutting-edge protein design laboratory. 

The Lab uses a mix of computational and experimental approaches to design and characterize ligand-binding proteins. We develop structural bioinformatics and machine-learning techniques to compute the structures and sequences of proteins that bind to challenging small-molecule ligands. We then express these proteins in the lab and characterize them with biophysical and structural methods (see, e.g., Polizzi and DeGrado, Science 2020).

We aim not only to unlock the design principles used by proteins for molecular recognition but also to make useful proteins for probing and manipulating biology. By designing de novo small-molecule-binding proteins, we can isolate the essential ingredients for protein molecular recognition events, obtain atomic-level control of the protein/small-molecule interface, and set the stage for the development of proteins that could serve as novel sensors, enzymes, drug delivery vehicles, or pharmaceuticals.

We are seeking enthusiastic individuals who possess strong interpersonal skills, have a growth mindset, are highly organized, and who interact well with others as part of a collaborative team.

The ideal candidate will have laboratory experience in protein biochemistry (protein expression and purification using E. coli, yeast, or mammalian cell systems, as well as basic molecular biology techniques) or a willingness to learn. Some experience in structural methods (X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, or NMR) and/or protein-display methods (e.g., yeast-, phage-, or ribosome-display) would be highly desirable.  While this role is predominantly focused on performing wet-lab experiments, there is also ample opportunity for the candidate to learn some computational protein design skills while on the job.

Candidates with a background that encompasses both dry- and wet-lab experience are also highly encouraged to apply.

Our lab at Dana-Farber’s Longwood Center has access to state-of-the-art facilities, including for cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography, flow cytometry, and high-performance computing. We are part of a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary environment within the Chemical Biology program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.  We collaborate with leading biologists and physician scientists to pursue high impact applications of protein design for understanding and controlling biology. 

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. 


  • Protein expression and purification
  • Cloning and mutagenesis
  • Flow cytometry and yeast protein surface display
  • Assist in structure determination by cryo-EM and/or X-ray crystallography
  • Perform binding studies using SPR, BLI, fluorescence polarization, calorimetry, etc.

The candidate is expected to attend team meetings to share results, as well as document findings in oral and written reports.

We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.


  • A Bachelor's degree is required:  in biology, biophysics, biochemistry, computer science, or related fields strongly preferred. 
  • We are looking for candidates with at least 2 years of availability.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong.  As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff.  Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.

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