Technical Associate II, Sculpting Evolution

by Jessica Sisavath

Sept. 9, 2020

Job Description

The Sculpting Evolution research group at the MIT Media Lab harnesses the power of evolution and automation to create new tools useful for science and humanity and invents new ways of engineering self-replicating systems, including but not limited to gene drive elements capable of altering wild populations. By ensuring that candidate gene drives are developed transparently and responsively from project inception, we hope to catalyze a shift towards community-guided research that will change the relationship between science, society, and the natural world.

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to serve as lab manager in a fast-moving research laboratory of approximately 10 graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and research scientists working on new technologies for understanding and engineering with evolution.

This is a one year with possibility of extension based on course of research and funding.


Work closely with the lab administrator, head research scientist, and PI to ensure all lab members are fully trained, and the lab (distributed in multiple buildings) is Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) compliant; assign lab jobs to full time researchers, assign lab and office space, and manage lab check-in and check-out process. Will develop and manage protocols for the lab and equipment within the lab, and train lab members on procedures and protocols.

Will lead research on at least one project, and will be expected to maintain and transfect/lentifect tissue culture cells for diverse projects.

Manage interaction with EHS and work to ensure compliance; work with EHS representatives in safety training of all laboratory personnel; arrange lab clean ups; schedule general cleaning of shared lab spaces; conduct weekly safety inspections and prepare the laboratory for biannual inspections.

Manage interactions with the Division of Comparative Medicine and Committee on Animal Care and work to ensure compliance; provide training of all necessary lab personnel; order drugs and monitoring usage.

Order and maintain lab inventory of molecular biology, chemical, and general supplies, order and oversee installation of lab equipment, perform basic maintenance, and act as point of contact for service and maintenance of equipment. Assess when to deactivate and remove old (or unused/unneeded) equipment.

Supervision Received:

Reports to Prof. Kevin Esvelt and Research Scientist, Stephen Von Stetina

Supervision Exercised:




·      A bachelor's degree in bioengineering or a related field;

·      At least four years of experience as a lab manager or research technical assistant in a biology or biotechnology lab;

·      Experience with tissue culture;

·      Excellent interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills;

·      Strong organizational and managerial skills;

·      Ability to work both independently and collaboratively;

·      Good problem-solving skills;

·      Strong computer skills including Excel, Word, and Google drive documents.


·      Master’s degree;

·      Proficient in Python and/or R;

Experience with deep sequencing techniques and/or analysis.

To apply, go to and search for job ID#18940. 

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