Research Associate

Location: On-site at Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, 127 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134

Concerto Biosciences

At Concerto Biosciences, we are obsessed with microbes. We dream of a healthier world where microbial ecology enables advanced medicines and environmentally-conscious agricultural practices. To unlock microbial ecology, Concerto uses a novel screening technology from MIT to construct and observe millions of microbial cocultures in parallel—each its own tiny universe of possibilities. Our technology generates a totally new type of microbiome data that allows us to identify groups of microbes that perform beneficial functions. We call these groups “ensembles”. We are currently in the preclinical stage for our first product, an ensemble to treat eczema—a chronic, irritating, and psychologically stressful skin disease that affects over two hundred million people. Our goal is to discover the first-ever treatment that provides totally safe, sustained relief for eczema patients. Concerto will go on to develop a multitude of ensembles that solve the world’s greatest challenges in human health, food production, and bioremediation.

The Concerto team is our most important ensemble. We believe the best human ensembles, much like microbial ensembles, are diverse—composed of individuals with different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and beliefs. We are committed to building a company where you belong and where your voice is heard.

Role Description

As a Research Associate on our R&D team, you will join Concerto’s effort to discover microbial ensembles. Some characteristic responsibilities include: designing and performing molecular biology and microbiology experiments to support the development and advancement of “hit” microbial ensembles; assisting with high-throughput screening experiments using Concerto’s novel technology (“kChip”: to learn more, see the links to recent publications provided below); and preparing and ordering supplies and reagents to support these efforts. You’ll need to be meticulous with your lab work and documentation, highly communicative, and able to work closely with a team of ≥3 other scientists as well as the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

While lab experience is required, we don’t expect you to have experience performing all of the responsibilities listed below. Indeed, just as you help Concerto grow, we hope to contribute to your intellectual and professional growth as a scientist. You’ll have the opportunity to gain new skills by working with our world-class team and to advance within the company by taking on higher responsibility roles.

  • Perform microbiology experiments, including characterizing microbes in the biobank using techniques such as outgrowth in microtiter plates, fluorescence-based assays, and sequencing
  • Assist with high-throughput screening experiments using kChip
  • Perform basic molecular biology techniques such as plasmid construction, PCR, qPCR, and RNA and DNA extraction
  • Order and maintain stocks of reagents and supplies
  • Prepare and organize reagents (e.g. culture media) and materials (e.g. sterilized glassware)
  • Ship packages and communicate with collaborators
  • Maintain meticulous records: document, compile, and analyze experimental procedures and data
  • Contribute to optimization and documentation of protocols using Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) software
  • Contribute to individual and team success; frequently give and receive feedback to and from the team
  • Consult colleagues and the scientific literature, as needed, to develop professional expertise and support ongoing and future projects
  • Embody Concerto’s core values in your work

Required Qualifications
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, or other related field with a minimum of 1 year of experience in a research lab (can be concurrent with degree)
  • Extensive experience with basic biology lab techniques (e.g. pipetting/liquid handling, safely handling chemicals/reagents, waste management)
  • Experience with microbiology (e.g. growth assays) and/or molecular biology techniques (e.g. PCR, cloning)
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently both independently and on teams independently
  • Demonstrated ability to rigorously problem solve, including forming hypotheses, testing them, troubleshooting, thinking creatively, and communicating about this process
  • Demonstrated ability to closely follow standardized methods and protocols
  • Outstanding oral and written communication, data documentation, and organizational skills
  • Energized by a rapidly changing environment and excited to adapt research plans accordingly
  • Passion for science, desire to positively impact human health, and eagerness to learn

Preferred Qualifications
  • ≥1 year of experience in a fast-paced start-up environment
  • Experience with high-throughput phenotypic screening platform(s)

Relevant Links

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