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Visiting Graduate Student (Student Intern) – Synthetic Biology

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:

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University invites applications for a Visiting Graduate Student (student intern) position to work in a fast-paced synthetic biology-oriented project in the laboratory of the Institute Director, Donald Ingber, M.D., PhD. The project will be co-led by Vaskar Gnyawali, Ph.D. and Sukanya Punthambaker, Ph.D. as a collaboration with the laboratory of George Church, Ph.D. Theposition will focus on the development of new technologies for a sustainability-driven mission using syntheticbiology tools.

Applicants should have basic understanding of molecular biology and related techniques including microbial handling (experience working with bacteria), protein engineering methods and DNA/RNA extractions. The candidate can expect rigorous training, exposure to multiple disciplines and in-depth learning about syntheticbiology.

In this role you will:

  • Investigate and interpret scientific literature
  • Summarize, present, and share key findings with an interdisciplinary, scientific team in a cogent, organized manner
  • Design and execute new experiments, metrics, and methodologies
  • Collaborate with other researchers to address and solve new challenges and unanticipated problems as they arise
  • Work independently, in a detail-oriented, self-driven manner

What you’ll Need:

  • Must hold and/or be enrolled in a M.S. degree in the field of biology, microbiology, bioengineering, or a closely related discipline
  • Scientific, Practical, and Interpersonal Skills:
    • Soft Skills: communication, adaptability, independent thinking, efficiency, self-drive
    • Computer Skills: Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel),
    • Scientific Skills: design and implementation of scientific protocols, analysis of scientific literature and datasets, knowledge of proteins / genes


  • Experience with molecular biology and biochemistry
  • Interest and basic understanding of synthetic biology

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 “Visiting Graduate Student Synthetic Biology”. Ph.D. holders are not eligible for this position. The position is unpaid. The applicant must either receive academic credit for the internship or have secured an external source of fellowship support. The position with be for aminimum of 6 months, that could likely extend for up to a year.

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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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