Research Technician – Sabatini Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Boston, Massachusetts
Salary based on experience
Closing date
Oct 23, 2021

We are seeking a highly motivated and responsible full-time Research Technician in the laboratory of Dr. Bernardo Sabatini at Harvard Medical School. Broadly, the Sabatini Lab studies the neural processes by which animals pick their next action.  They focus on the circuitry of the cortex and basal ganglia, brain structures that are fundamental to motor action and selection, and seek to understand how the regulation of synapses in these structures modify animal behavior.  More information on the lab can be found on their website:


We are targeting curious, self-driven candidates who are passionate about the world of biology and have a strong eye for detail. This role is an opportunity to partner with a world class lab and learn from scientists who are fundamentally changing how we think about human behavior.


The role will work closely with a postdoctoral fellow and another technician investigating the mechanisms of environmentally induced plasticity of specific cell types and circuits in the brain. We are interested in mapping how this plasticity leads to altered adaptive behaviors, and how these processes go awry in human disease. The candidate will assist with stereotaxic surgeries, awake-behavior in mice, molecular biology, and histology. The best candidates will be comfortable handling live mice, work effectively in a team setting and independently, and have an organized, methodical approach to their work.  We are ideally targeting candidates looking to stay within the lab for 2 years before moving on.


To be considered for this role, please apply here – do not reach out to the lab directly.   


Principal Responsibilities:


  • Work efficiently and cooperatively to assist a postdoc with experiments:


    • Performing molecular biology experiments including qPCRs, (single-cell) RNA-seq, and ELISAs


    • Executing and imaging fluorescence in-situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry experiments on brain tissue


    • Handle and train mice on decision making tasks


    • Stereotaxic surgeries for precise delivery of viral vectors into the brain


  • Conduct experiments with mice in a variety of behavioral paradigms


  • Histology


  • Immunohistochemistry, histology, and microscopy on fixed brain tissue


  • Dissection of neural tissue in mice


  • Assist in the maintenance of a complex mouse colony that involves breeding, culling, and genotyping animals and maintaining a database


  • Interact effectively with lab members and veterinary staff to ensure a high standard of care and organization


  • Participate in laboratory meetings and read literature applicable to the research area


  • Help with lab organization, including accurate documentation and recording/maintenance of large data files


  • Assist with other support duties relating to lab management and operations as required, such as ordering supplies and maintaining stocks


  • Keep detailed records




  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry or related discipline


  • Previous hands-on research laboratory experience required. Lab experience obtained during undergraduate studies is acceptable and will be considered.


    • Prior experience with animal husbandry, PCR, and knowledge of basic genetics


    • Prior experience with stereotaxic surgeries and animal behavior a plus


  • Experience with data analysis and programming in MATLAB and/or Python a plus


  • Self-motivated and able to perform complex tasks effectively and independently with general instruction


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills


  • Exemplary organizational skills and attention to detail


  • Ability to follow instruction with an eagerness to learn, grow professionally, and be


Physical Requirements


Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances.


Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.


Please Note:


This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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