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Research Tech - Senior

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Job Description

Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Research Laboratory

Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
Onsite:Up to 1 day remote/wk


The Aguirre lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a basic and translational oncology laboratory with a focus on gastrointestinal cancers, such as pancreatic cancer. We utilize a variety of genomic, functional genetic and molecular biology approaches to identify novel therapeutic strategies in pancreatic cancer and to test these strategies in patient-derived models or genetically engineered mouse models of the disease. We actively collaborate with clinical oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, geneticists and computational biologists to perform multi-disciplinary translational research.

We are in search of a highly motivated and capable Senior Research Technician to join the Aguirre lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to work with both animal models and organoid of pancreatic cancer and to test new therapeutic strategies in these models. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in cancer biology and therapeutics and will function as part of a multidisciplinary basic science and translational team. The candidate will work closely with team scientists to perform preclinical therapeutic studies in animal models of pancreatic cancer. The role will also involve generating organoid models from mouse models and biopsy specimens derived from patients undergoing therapy at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Additional responsibilities will include testing therapeutic sensitivity on these organoid models, as well as integrating genomic and transcriptomic data with functional profiling data. The successful candidate will be involved in all aspects of the research from initial processing of the biopsy specimen to organoid culture and drug sensitivity analysis.

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.


  • Set up, adjust, calibrate, clean, maintain and troubleshoot equipment.
  • Conduct standardized biological, microbiological or biochemical tests and laboratory analyses, including the collection of information and samples from organic substances, such as blood, drugs, and animals.
  • Isolate, identify and prepare specimens for examination.
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings, including grant preparation and presentations, and look for opportunities to co-author publications.  Will be expected to participate in formal and information presentations of results to staff.
  • Participate in grant application process and manuscript preparation as required.
  • Maintains detailed notebook of all work-related activities.
  • Monitors laboratory work to ensure compliance with Environmental Health and Safety information as well as the standard operation procedures specific to each laboratory.
  • Expected to provide intellectual and interactive commitment to position by keeping up with appropriate literature and research publications.
  • May be responsible for the development, modification and improvement of standard operating procedures.
  • Uses computers, computer-interfaced equipment, robotics or high-technology applications to perform work duties.
  • May be responsible for monitoring laboratory budgets.
  • Working jointly investigating and implementing new technologies based on scientific needs
  • Maintaining cell lines and isolating primary cells for use in cell based assays.
  • Lentiviral transduction techniques for ORF-overexpression experiments or RNAi and CRISPR-Cas9 knockdown/knockout experiments.
  • Performing a variety of basic cancer biology assays, including in vitro proliferation or apoptosis assays, drug sensitivity assays, soft agar assays,
  • Ability to effectively work in a supervised team to accomplish common goals.
  • Troubleshooting and solving scientific problems jointly with supervision.
  • Effectively Organizing, reporting and communicating study outcome in cross-functional project teams and working across various platforms and programs to achieve results


No direct supervisory responsibilities required but the candidate will be asked to help train additional laboratory members when applicable and will be offered leadership opportunities when appropriate.  Candidate will receive general instructions on routine work, detailed instructions on new projects or assignments.


Bachelor’s Degree or Masters degree required with a major in biology or chemistry preferred. 2-4 years related work experience. More experienced applicants who have worked for several years as a professional scientist or research technician are also encouraged to apply and would be considered at an appropriate level of compensation and benefits. Developing technical expertise, applies Institute policies and procedures to resolve a variety of issues.  Works on problems of moderate scope where analysis of situations or data requires a review of a variety of factors.  Exercises judgment within defined procedures and practices to determine appropriate action.  Builds productive internal/external working relationships.

  • Knowledge of information and techniques related to either biology, chemistry, or medicine is preferred.
  • Must have excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and be able to work with a wide variety of faculty and staff.
  • Ability to analyze information and use logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Must have attention to detail and be thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Ability to work within a team environment.
  • A proven record of successful interactions within multidisciplinary teams
  • Significant experience in cell culture techniques including use of established cancer cell lines and primary human cells. Organoid culture experience is desirable but not required.
  • Molecular and cell biology experience is required with emphasis on techniques such as tissue culture approaches, cloning, real-time PCR, western blotting, FACS.
  • Cancer biology experience is desired with special emphasis on cell-based assays for cancer cell therapeutic sensitivity testing.
  • Ability to operate and maintain equipment and perform laboratory work with independence
  • Ability to critically read, interpret, and adapt scientific literature and significantly contribute to scientific publications and presentations.
  • A strong scientific curiosity and a “can-do” attitude is required to be successful for this position.
  • The successful candidate will be a results-focused, team-oriented, creative, bench scientist, able to excel in a fast-track environment. He or she must be self-motivated, detail-oriented and exhibit strong problem solving skills. In addition, the successful candidate should be a clear and effective communicator, demonstrating strong interpersonal skills to enable collaboration with project teams, peers, and management in identifying and achieving research goals.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.

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