The Sculpting Evolution Group seeks a research scientist to supervise and assist research projects focusing on advancing biotechnology safely. Ideal candidates will be committed to glimpsing the best possibilities of the future and making them real.
On a practical level, we’re looking for people who:
Broader views are also important. Particularly strong candidates might be those who:
The group’s overt research interests have shifted over the past few years. We retain a focus on understanding and controlling evolution, including but not limited to our PRANCE system for high-throughput robotic directed evolution, and adding machine learning and in silico directed evolution to our repertoire. However, we now focus more on engineering mammalian systems, not just in developing novel genome editing approaches relevant to ecological engineering, but also with relevance to biosecurity and mitigating catastrophic risks, for some of the reasons outlined here. Example ongoing projects in this area include SecureDNA and the Nucleic Acid Observatory; we also work on receptor decoys and other broad-spectrum or rapidly scalable defenses against exponentially spreading agents. As these projects span an impressively large number of fields, we seek generalists with expertise covering several of them.
On a day-to-day level, the position will involve designing and performing experiments, supervising diverse research projects in the group, training and mentoring new arrivals, helping manage key collaborations, writing publications and grant proposals, and optionally engaging in science communication to general audiences or to policymakers. Given the breadth of research methods that we employ, willingness to learn new skills and techniques is a must.
Reports to Prof. Kevin Esvelt
Examples of valuable skill sets include but are not limited to:
- Genome, cell, and organism editing – applied to biosecurity, ecological engineering, and animal well-being
- Cell culture, virus propagation, genome editing, flow cytometry, animal husbandry
- Technology development – catalytic tools for beneficial applications in diverse settings
- Microbiology, chemical biology, evolutionary biology, robotics, bioinformatics, machine learning.
- Library construction, NGS sample preparation, sequencing, and data analysis
- Mammalian cell culture and engineering
- Experience with computational biology algorithms, including bioinformatics, computational structural biology, statistical machine learning, and deep learning
- Experience with high-performance and cloud computing, especially AWS, as well as with Github and Docker
- Basic familiarity with circuits, hardware, 3D printing, and/or robotics, or willingness to learn the basics
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Enthusiastic about mentorship and helping others learn.
To apply, go to https://hr.mit.edu/careers and search for job ID#19842.
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