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Post-Doctoral Fellow in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Harvard University - Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Commensurate with experience
Closing date
3 Aug 2024

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Biomedicine, Chemistry
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow in Chemistry and Chemical Biology

School: Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department/Area: Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Balskus Lab  


Position Description: We are seeking a highly motivated, interdisciplinary scientist to investigate the host-gut microbiota interactions that are associated with driving early onset colorectal cancer. The candidate will be using state of the art human tissue and organoid systems to evaluate the impacts of known and novel carcinogenic and microbial metabolites. The ideal candidate should have a strong background in immunology (especially tumor immunology), colorectal cancer, and host-microbiota interactions. As we are a chemical biology lab, the ideal candidate will also be interested in understanding the chemical mechanisms that drive these interactions and be open to learning associated skills and background. This project is part of a larger collaborative effort, so the candidate will also be responsible for managing interactions with additional research teams and contribute to project meetings, administration, and reporting. As such, a demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment is integral.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in immunology/cancer biology is preferred but a Ph.D. is required. Applicants trained in a related field (molecular biology, cell biology, or chemical biology) will also be considered if their experimental experience is sufficient. Strong knowledge and experimental expertise of primary human tissue culture work including tissue explants and enteroids. Strong background in cancer immunology and tumor biology preferably for colorectal cancer. Preferably also a strong background in host-gut microbiota interactions in human cancer. Ability to design, execute, analyze, and troubleshoot experiments independently. Ability to communicate transparently and effectively including maintaining a detailed, up-to-date laboratory notebook, managing data, and presenting to a range of scientific audiences. Eagerness to learn new techniques and to stay up to date with the current literature to inform experimental design. Expertise in managing collaborations and working in teams. Strong commitment to laboratory safety

Additional Qualifications: strong candidates will have experience with 1+ of the following areas.

  • Experience with growing various fastidious anaerobic bacteria including working with pathogenic (BSL-2) strains. Experience with immunoassays including flow cytometry, ELISAs, and preferably multiplexing technology like Luminex or MSD. Including analysis and statistics. Experience with designing and executing cell-culture based, host-microbiota interaction studies including attachment-invasion assays, transwell assays, and working with bacterial metabolites/products. Experience with generating and screening bioactive metabolites produced by bacteria that generate specific host phenotypes. Experience with identifying and characterizing bioactive metabolites.


Special Instructions: Please include the following items as part of your application:

  • Updated CV Cover Letter Summary of past research accomplishments Copies of key publications Contact information for three references


Contact Information: Professor Emily Balskus


Contact Email:


Keywords: host-microbiota interactions, cancer, CRC, tumor immunology


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