Open positions

We are seeking several independent and self-motivated scientists for Technical Research Assistant positions funded by several long term grants within the BWH Pathology Department. A successful candidate will work with a multi-disciplinary team, execute protein detection assays, handle biological samples, and perform all other experimental tasks. In most cases, a technical research assistant will work as part of a team or within a research and development department and must be able to carry out pre-outlined experiments in addition to independently designing experiments when needed. All applicants should be excited to take part in the lab’s scientific research and enjoy working at the bench. The successful applicant should be able to present their results through both oral presentations and well-written reports. Below are to summaries of the specific fields in which the lab has openings at the moment:

1 Extracellular Vesicles:

We are currently developing diagnostic tools for the detection of biomarkers associated with neurological diseases. The lab has pioneered the technique, known as Single Molecule Arrays (Simoa), which utilizes a novel digital immunoassay readout method and can be used to detect proteins, post-translational modifications, microRNAs and biologically relevant small molecules. More recently the lab has developed Simoa assays for the quantification of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which can be purified from various biofluids, paving the way to non-invasive diagnostic tests for neurodegenerative diseases. In continuation of this work, we aim to identify biomarkers associated with neuron-derived EVs and other cell types of the brain. Additionally, we are working to develop a digital seed amplification assay for the quantitative detection of pathological protein aggregates present in the biofluids of patients suffering from Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

2. sars-covid-19:

Using the single molecule array (Simoa) technology pioneered in our lab, we developed ultrasensitive assays to enable the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and viral antigens.Early in the pandemic, we began by measuring antibody and antigen concentrations over time in plasma collected from patients hospitalized with COVID-19, showing that high levels of viral antigen correlated with disease severity. Afterwards, we began studying other illnesses linked with SARS-CoV-2 infection, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), where we discovered high levels of circulating spike persist weeks after SARS-CoV-2 exposure, triggering a severe hyperinflammatory response. We hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 antigens leak into the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract due to elevated levels of zonulin, a biomarker of intestinal permeability. Given our findings related to MIS-C patients, we hypothesized that adults suffering from post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), commonly known as long COVID, may also be suffering prolonged symptoms due to persistent viral reservoirs in the gut or elsewhere in the body. Strikingly, we were able to detect spike antigen in the blood of patients diagnosed with PASC up to 12 months after initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. We are currently continuing this work by analyzing blood samples collected from a larger cohort of PASC patients.

For details contact Daniel Portal at dportal@rics.bwh.harvard.edu