Staff Scientist-Computational Biology

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

Job posting number: #7089375

Posted: November 17, 2021

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

About us:

The Wyss Institute’s mission is to transform healthcare and the environment by emulating the way nature builds. We harness the freedom of academia and the focus of industry in order to translate revolutionary technologies into commercial products and solutions. At the Wyss Institute, faculty from premier academic and clinical institutions collaborate with staff scientists, postdocs, graduate students, industry experts, business development leaders, and entrepreneurs across disciplines to invent and de-risk new technologies that just don’t succeed at making it to the market – they disrupt it. 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, visit: For more information, visit:

About You:

You are a collaborative, impact-focused problem solver who wants to be part of a dynamic team dedicated to creating and commercializing novel approaches to global challenges in healthcare and sustainability. You are coachable and care deeply about learning, growing and building with your team. You want to join a mission-focused high-performance team, to push the boundaries of what is possible, and to channel your ambition to tackle challenging projects in a fast-paced, translation-focused environment. You enjoy working with diverse groups of people and leveraging your expertise to create innovations that can change the world.

About the Role:

We are looking for an innovative computational biologist with expertise in bioinformatics, omics research and machine learning to join our Brain Targeting Program and Biostasis teams. The Brain Targeting Program is seeking to discover new methods to target therapeutic and diagnostic payloads to the brain. As part of this effort, it is pursuing an ambitious omics project to identify new targets for brain transport. The Biostasis Program is seeking to identify agents that can induce a state of suspended animation for therapeutic purposes. As part of this effort, it is pursuing omics studies across multiple species. Both projects are striving to understand complex biology and to identify new target genes and proteins by extracting knowledge from complex omics datasets.

Reporting to the Principal Investigator on the Brain Targeting Program you will perform as a key member of omics-intensive research projects. You will collaborate closely with other members of the Wyss community of faculty, staff scientists and engineers, post-docs, and students.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

What you'll do:

Help develop and support a suite of analytic applications for internal and external collaborators using R Shiny Framework
Collaborate with project team partners to design and execute transcriptomics and proteomics experiments applying computational biology and machine learning as needed
Develop, benchmark and validate bioinformatics metrics, tools and algorithms using public and in-house data sets
Develop in-house computational pipelines to and apply them to process raw data generated by these experiments
Integrate and analyze these datasets and communicate the findings in cross- functional project team meetings and in written reports
Prepare publication-quality visualizations and document analyses for external audiences
Perform large-scale integrated analyses of public and proprietary omics datasets for biomarker identification and for target identification and validation
Design, write and document high-quality code in multiple languages (R, Python) to drive project objectives
Advance your knowledge and capabilities through networking with other computational biology, bioanalytic, data science, and programming professionals within the Wyss and Harvard
Translate project-specific deliverables into generalizable solutions that are integrated with the developing Wyss Institute bioinformatic cloud ecosystem

Basic Qualifications

​​​​​​What you'll need:
Bachelor's degree required in STEM field, bioinformatics, computational biology or closely related discipline.
A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in computational biology and single cell and bulk RNA-Seq pipelines (STAR, Salmon, DESeq2) Advanced education may count towards years of experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Desirable Skills:

Advanced degree desired, preferably in Biology or related discipline
Scientific understanding of molecular biology, diverse molecular data types and analysis tools required.
Experience designing, writing and documenting high-quality code in at least one and preferably multiple languages (R, Python) to drive project objectives.
Experience in SQL programming and utilization of databases to manage and drive analysis and modeling projects.
Strong interest in contributing to cutting edge biological research
Proficiency using publicly available data such as BLAST, UniProt, GEO, LINCS, Drugbank, PubMed, ClinicalTrials.
Familiarity with Unix-based high-performance computing cluster environments such as SLURM or SGE. Experience with cloud computing such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud a plus.
Subject matter expertise in brain biology, differential gene expression, and omics studies.
Experience with AI and ML and a curiosity to explore how these approaches could advance our projects.
Experience with conventional academic, as well as industry-grade tools including Git, Docker, cloud computing in one of the major vendors such as AWS, Tableau or Looker, RStudio, Desktop and Python IDEs.

Working Conditions

This position may be based on our campus in Boston and also provides flexibility for a full or partial remote workplace location. All remote work must be performed within a state in which Harvard is registered to do business. In addition, subject to business needs, the Wyss generally supports flexible work arrangements. Workplace options and flexible work arrangements will be discussed during the interview process.

Harvard requires COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

Additional Information

Why you’ll like working with us:

At the Wyss Institute, you’re a member of a supportive, dynamic community that is united by its shared goal of changing the world through groundbreaking technology development and commercialization. We encourage your professional growth and development through mentorship and tuition reimbursement to support continued learning, and more. We also support your physical, financial, and mental well-being through generous time off benefits, gym reimbursements, and other programs offered through Harvard. We value an inclusive and diverse workforce, and believe that our differences enrich the work environment for all.

Our outstanding benefits package includes:

Time Off: 3 - 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
Retirement: University-funded retirement plan contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class 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, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
Facilities access and Discounts: Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

Harvard Medical School strives to cultivate an environment that promotes inclusiveness and collaboration among students, faculty and staff and to create new avenues for discussion that will advance our shared mission to improve the health of people throughout the world.

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