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We are currently seeking a dynamic, interested, and curious Research Technician within the lab of Dr. Rachel Wilson at the Harvard Medical School.  The Wilson Lab studies how neural circuits extract information about sensory stimuli and translate these signals into actions.  Their lab uses the fruit fly Drosophila to study multi-sensory integration, sensori-motor integration, and navigation.  More information on the lab can be found on their website:

As a member of the research staff, you will be assisting postdoctoral fellows and graduate students with their research and experiments focused on understanding neural circuitry.  We are ideally looking for candidates that are energetic and highly organized – who can multitask effectively and are solution-oriented.  Depending on abilities, there is the opportunity for this person to be engaged on some bioinformatics and programming focused projects.  Ideal candidates will be self-driven, creative, and willing to tackle novel challenges while continually work towards process improvement.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Drosophila genetic crosses
  • Dissections of the Drosophila central nervous system and immunohistochemistry procedures to label specific cell types or antigens
  • Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy
  • Image processing and analysis using ImageJ
  • Visually screening large image databases for transgenic lines to target specific cell types
  • Participating in laboratory meetings and read literature applicable to the research area
  • Helping with lab organization and other support duties relating to lab operations, as required

Depending on the candidate’s skills and interests, additional duties could also include:

  • Using R to register volumetric confocal images
  • Using R to register confocal microscopy and electron microscopy data
  • assisting with software integration (R/Python/Matlab) supporting image analysis and processing
  • Using R to search a large database of whole-brain-scale single-cell connectivity data
  • Assisting in the design and interpretation of connectomics analyses 

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Science, Engineering, Math, Computer Science, or a related discipline
  • Prior hands-on laboratory experience in the context of work or an academic course, ideally including some full-time work in a research laboratory
  • Knowledge and understanding of basic immunohistochemistry and microscopy techniques
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member
  • Able to learn complex tasks with general instruction, and to use experience to perform a variety of new techniques
  • Actively seeks opportunities to increase skills and expertise

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior programming experience (R, Matlab and Python)
  • Exposure to and understanding of image processing
  • coursework or work experience in biology and chemistry

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.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more.