Molecular Engineering

Bio-Inspired Molecular Engineering
Summer/Fall 2012
Options: Volunteer Basis, Potential for Academic Credit

Project Title: Bio-inspired Engineering of Novel Molecules for Futuristic Technological Applications

Department: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

Faculty Supervisor: Professor George M. Church

Project Description: We are looking for a student with significant wet-lab experience and outstanding hands-on skills in protein biochemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, and/or molecular biology. Previous experience using protease enzymes (e.g. endopeptidases like trypsin) for digesting proteins towards biophysical characterization of the resultant digested peptides is desirable. Prior experience with cross-linking chemicals (e.g. formaldehyde) and bioanalytical instrumentation (e.g. Mass spectrometry) will be viewed favorably. This UROP student will be joining a small research team within the Harvard Molecular Technology Group ( and the Biomaterials Evolution Platform of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering ( The goal of this research project is to develop new methods for synthesizing and engineering novel molecules that will have significant applications to biology, medicine, material sciences, an! d the environment. The short-term benefits include co-authorship of high-impact journal papers, solid support for career advancement (both graduate studies and industrial opportunities), and prospective co-ownership of patent applications (and IP) resulting from this research work. There are also entrepreneurial opportunities in the horizon for the truly exceptional UROP students.

Where: Harvard Medical School, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

Requirements: The ideal UROP student for this project will possess substantial prior laboratory experience in protein biochemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, enzymology, bioanalytical sciences, and/or molecular biology. Other desirable skills include being a self-starter, adhering to meticulous lab notebook practices, and having prior experience collaborating with computational biologists. Some knowledge of molecular structural biology and bioinformatics will be viewed favorably. The UROP student should thrive on intellectual independence, have a can-do attitude towards research, be fearless in questioning current dogma, and enjoy taking on a challenging research problem in a virgin scientific territory. It is preferred that the selected UROP student will begin research on this project as early as May/June 2012 (but the start date can be negotiated for a mutually convenient time).

Contact: Please submit resume/CV to with the subject line: “UROP: Bio-inspired Molecular Engineering.”