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Visiting Graduate Researcher (Master’s Degree Intern) – Brain Shuttle Discovery in the Brain Targeting Program

Starting: Flexible

Duration: 6 months to 1 year

About the Wyss:

The Wyss Institute’s mission is to transform healthcare and the environment by emulating the way nature builds. We harness the imagination of academia and the focus of industry to translate ground-breaking technologies into commercial products that solve big problems. 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, discover our technologiescatch up on our recent news, or watch our latest videos.

Role Description:

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University invites applications for Visiting Graduate Researcher position on the Brain Shuttle Discovery team of the Brain Targeting Program (BTP). This position will focus on brain shuttle compound discovery and brain-targeted therapeutics discovery.

The Wyss Institute’s BTP, co-led by James Gorman, M.D., Ph.D. and Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., is pursuing multiple projects directed to improved methods of transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the brain, with the aim of improving treatments for diverse diseases of the central nervous system. The brain shuttle discovery team focuses on two main areas. The first is discovery and validation of novel antibody (Ab) shuttle compounds that can greatly enhance the transport of therapeutics across the BBB to the brain. The second is optimization of our brain shuttles for specific payloads and diseases. By combining the BTP’s brain shuttles with therapeutics, we aim to develop novel, efficient brain-targeted drugs that significantly improve therapeutic efficacy for brain diseases. The Wyss team collaborates with academic collaborators and industry sponsors and partners to advance the development of novel brain targeting therapeutics.

Applicants should have knowledge of the brain, understand basic cell biology, and have laboratory training. The applicant is expected to perform tissue culture, rodent tissue lysate preparation, ELISAs, western blotting and others with training and guidance. The candidate will have one primary mentor, receive rigorous training, exposure to multiple disciplines, and gain in-depth knowledge about the BBB and brain shuttle discovery, preparing them to pursue academic or biopharmaceutical careers.

In This Role You Will:

  • Learn the cutting-edge technologies and research in the field of brain shuttles and brain-targeted therapeutics from our state-of the-art literature collections.
  • Participate in the entire process of in vivo animal pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) studies to evaluate the uptake and biodistribution of brain shuttles.
  • Design and execute in vitro experiments to validate the affinity of brain shuttle Abs and to perform the initial screening of Ab panels.
  • Summarize, present, and share key findings with an interdisciplinary scientific team in a compelling, organized manner.
  • Collaborate with other researchers to address and solve new challenges and unanticipated problems as they arise.
  • Work as independently as possible, in a detail-oriented, self-driven manner.

What you’ll need

  • Applicants must hold a MSc degree in the field of Biology, Neuroscience, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutic science, or a closely related discipline. PhD holders are not eligible for this position.
  • Scientific, Practical, and Interpersonal Skills:
    • Soft Skills: communication, adaptability, independent thinking, efficiency, self-drive
    • Computer Skills: Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), Prism, etc.
    • Scientific Skills: gather/analyze data and generate presentable results, knowledge of basic BBB biology and neurodegenerative disorders/brain cancers/etc., knowledge of PKPD analyses, etc.


  • Experience with basic immunoassays: ELISA, Western Blot, IHC, etc.
  • Experience with mouse studies and mouse tissue handling.
  • Experience with tissue histology: tissue fixation, cryosection, etc.
  • Experience with cell culturing and cell analysis: flow cytometry, etc.

Please Note:  This position is unpaid. The applicant must be enrolled in a degree program for the duration of their visit and must receive academic credit for this experience.  They must also be able to fund their own travel and living expenses or have secured an external source of fellowship support.

Where You Can Apply:

Applications, assembled as a single PDF file, should contain a complete resume and a cover letter describing research interests, goals, and why you would be a good fit for this program. Applications should be sent to using the subject line “Compound Discovery Visiting Graduate Researcher I”.

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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