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Postdoctoral Fellow – Tissue and Organ Regeneration

About the Wyss:

  • 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, discover our technologiescatch up on our recent news, or watch our latest videos.

Role Description:

  • We are building an interdisciplinary team to solve tissue and organ regeneration challenges – specifically in the liver, kidney, and vascular lineages. In addition to hiring an intellectual ‘bridge’ senior Staff Scientist who will bring both bench expertise and industry / startup experience to the table, we seek tissue engineering-focused Postdoctoral Fellow to the team, to help drive basic science findings from your future colleagues at Harvard, MIT, and Boston University into pre-clinical animal models, and eventually to patients. The successful applicants will join an internationally-renowned, multi-disciplinary team of experts in a recently established 3D Organ Engineering Focus Area at the Wyss Institute, located at the Longwood Medical Area in Boston. The Wyss Institute-based team members will serve as a physical hub focused on the translation of groundbreaking work developed by the labs of Prof. Jennifer Lewis (Initiative Co-Lead), Prof. Christopher Chen (Initiative Co-Lead), Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Don Ingber, and Prof. David Mooney. The Postdoctoral Fellow will work with the Staff Scientist to evaluate early-stage technologies for their potential therapeutic applications, and to implement relevant de-risking strategies needed to move the technology towards clinical applications within tissue fabrication, and organ regeneration.
  • This postdoctoral trainee will participate in ongoing whole organ bioengineering initiatives at the Wyss Institute. Technically, these studies entail primary and stem cell culture, tissue and organ manufacturing, maintenance, and characterization of tissues during maturation, and, ultimately, in vivo implantation. This position will require a relatively independent researcher, as the direct faculty co-supervisors (Drs. Bhatia and Chen) are based off-site. Day-to-day supervision will be provided by the Staff Scientist, and regular meetings with both the PIs and other MIT- and BU-based postdoctoral and graduate trainee colleagues will be provided to ensure opportunities for formal and informal mentorship throughout the postdoctoral training period. This arrangement will yield a unique, multi-armed training environment, but also one that will select for independently-driven trainees. Finally, while candidates on an academic career track are encouraged to apply, the translational focus of this position might be better suited to trainees pursuing commercial- or application-centric professional paths.
  • In the short-term, we aim to integrate several recently developed technologies to address clinical applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Specifically, 3D bioprinting and microfabrication will be used to create organ-specific tissues, including the kidney, liver, and heart. Several examples of foundational work on which this effort builds can be found at the following links:

Miller et al Nat. Mat. (2012)
Baranski et al PNAS (2013)
Stevens et al Nat. Comm. (2013)
Kolesky et al Adv. Mat. (2014)
Kolesky et al PNAS (2016)
Homan et al Sci. Rep. (2016)
Stevens et al Sci.Trans. Med. (2017)

In This Role You Will:

  • Participate in the development of large-scale organ-specific tissues, while working with a multi-disciplinary team that includes technical, clinical, and development collaborators
  • Design, engineer, and iterate organ-specific constructs based on insights gleaned from collaborating team members who are focused on identifying cell-cell, cell-matrix, and soluble/circulating factors that influence tissue growth and function, with the aim of producing translationally-relevant model systems that enable pre-clinical testing
  • Contribute to the isolation and/or maintenance of primary and/or stem cell-derived cell populations. Candidate must have experience with mammalian cell culture and aseptic technique
  • Design and conduct implantation experiments in appropriate animal models
  • Monitor and analyze organ-specific tissues during in vitro and in vivo expansion, including preparation and handling, collection and analysis of pre- and post-expanded cell populations/tissues, and functional assessment of tissue output
  • Implement ‪quantitative in vitro assays for evaluating tissue functionality, stability, and safety
  • Develop and standardize organ-specific tissue manufacturing and surgical protocols for in vivo studies in small and large animals
  • Participate in writing research proposals, reports, patent applications, presentations, and publications, providing critical data, figures or information for grant and patent submissions

What You’ll Need:

  • PhD in a biological science, bioengineering, or related discipline, with a strong understanding of cell biology, physiology, and/or tissue engineering
  • Experience in an industrial / translational setting preferred but not required. Relevant post-doctoral training can be counted towards industrial experience
  • Must demonstrate broad theoretical and practical knowledge within the fields of biofabrication, tissue engineering, and cell biology
  • Strong scientific track record demonstrating well-organized design and execution of studies
  • Extensive experience with in vivo and in vitro tissue engineering, characterization, and implantation
  • Demonstrated success in leading and working in cross-functional teams
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced translational environment and able to adjust workload based upon changing priorities
  • Flexible and cooperative spirit with strong commitment to team efforts
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, with a habit of paying significant attention to detail.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical, dental, & vision plans. All coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Time Off: 20 days of vacation per year
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, classes 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, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services.

 Where You Can Apply:

  • Applications, assembled as single PDF files, should contain a complete resume, cover letter describing research interests and goals, full list of publications, copies of up to three relevant scientific papers, as well as the names and contact information of three references (expected to provide letters of recommendation). Applications should be sent to faculty_postdocs@wyss.harvard.edu using the subject line “TISSUE AND ORGAN REGENERATION.”

Not Ready To Apply Yet?

Harvard University is 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. Demonstrates a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through actions, interactions, and communications with others.

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