Graduate Students

Visiting Graduate Student

The Harris Orthopedic Laboratory (HOL) at MGH specializes in translational research for orthopedic biomaterials and implants. HOL is looking to train MD/PhD and PhD students in polymeric material development and translational research in orthopaedics. The laboratory is a focal point in the orthopedic research community for development of new materials, designs and clinically relevant testing methodology for total joint replacements, which are implanted in over 1 million patients in the US alone each year. This is a great opportunity for science and engineering students looking for hands-on experience in biomedical applications.

We are interested in a variety of topics pertaining to orthopaedics such as improving the performance of materials, designs and developing methodologies to help bridge the gap between in vitro testing and in vivo performance of implantable devices. We are interested in treating orthopaedic conditions such as post-traumatic arthritis, peri-prosthetic osteolysis, peri-prosthetic and post-traumatic infection, and pain management.

We are open to collaborations where graduate students already enrolled in a PhD program in science or engineering with the pertinent experience can incorporate 1-2 years of laboratory training at the HOL into their thesis work.

Contact Person: Ebru Oral, PhD (eoral@mgh.harvard.edu)


Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Post-doctoral Research Fellow Position in Translational Research

General Overview
The pioneering efforts of the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory have positively impacted the quality of life of millions of patients through innovation and evidence-based medicine since its inception in 1969. The mission of the laboratory is to improve patient outcomes through materials science and clinical research with an emphasis on orthopaedic applications.

Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory is focused on the development of polymeric and hybrid materials for applications in orthopaedics. We are looking to hire a fulltime post-doctoral research fellow for a 2-3 year appointment. The laboratory is a focal point in the orthopedic research community for development of new materials and test methods for total joint replacements, which are implanted in over 1 million patients in the US alone each year. This is a great opportunity for scientists looking to apply their basic knowledge in translational research.

The development of controlled release devices is a current focus for addressing problems such as peri-surgical pain management and infection in joint replacement and fracture fixation. The laboratory is involved in the conception of materials, development of application processes, characterization for the appropriate clinical indication and the safety and efficacy testing in pre-clinical disease and surgery models.

The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for:

  • Designing formulations of thermoplastics and hydrogels for controlled release of drugs including analgesics and antibiotics.
  • Evaluating and tailoring polymeric structure property relationships.
  • Analyzing elution drug delivery characteristics.
  • Helping to design application devices.
  • Working with other team members supporting the preclinical studies for safety and efficacy.

Skills/Abilities/Qualifications
We are interested in interviewing candidates with a strong polymer science and materials science background. Experience with general polymer characterization methods, and familiarity with analytical chemistry, imaging, rheology and thermal/mechanical analysis methods is preferred. Experience with bacterial culture or testing antibacterial properties is also preferred.

Degree Requirements:
Ph.D. in Materials Science, Polymer Science, Chemical Engineering, Polymer Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering or equivalent experience with polymers is required.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to Slav Lerner by February 28, 2021. We will review applications as we receive them. Anticipated start date: July - October 2021.


Material Engineering & Preclinical Research

Biomedical Engineering Position in Translational Research (Entry Level)

General Overview
The Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory is focused on the development of polymeric and hybrid materials for applications in orthopaedics. We are seeking a highly motivated individual for an entry-level research position to support our translational research program in implantable biomaterial development, starting in June 2021 or earlier. The projects this position focuses on are in the later stages of development, so this position is ideal for new engineering graduates interested in the kind of research required to bring a medical device to market. It is a great opportunity for those who want to gain some experience before moving into industry or continuing their education in graduate studies.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following activities:
Specific technical functions:

  • Laboratory formulation including preparation of polymer blends, polymeric consolidation
  • Modification of polymers including outside services such as radiation processing
  • Characterization of polymers on-site and off-site at available facilities in Boston including mechanical and fatigue testing, wear testing, thermal and structural characterization
  • May include bacterial culture studies on processed UHMWPE materials using various assays
  • May include support for pre-clinical testing including preparing tissue specimens for post-surgical analysis and characterization of retrieved implants

General laboratory functions:

  • Assembly, operation, maintaining operation protocols, scheduling management and some maintenance of assigned equipment
  • Ordering supplies and keeping track of related inventory
  • Maintaining clean equipment, glassware and laboratory space
  • Working alongside other research technicians, MD students, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows

Administrative/reporting functions:

  • Organizing and accurately maintaining written records of procedures and data
  • Generating and compiling experimental information/results in graphs, charts, and reports
  • Preparing written and/or verbal reports for supervisor and/or senior research personnel
  • Collaborating with supervisor(s) in developing research methodologies and research objectives
  • Collaborating with supervisor(s) in writing and editing material for publication; opportunity for authorship in publications

Skills/Abilities/Qualifications:

  • Must have BS in engineering or chemistry. Non-engineering/chemistry degrees will ONLY be considered with relevant experience.
  • Must have at least one non-course-based laboratory research experience, such as a summer internship or research assistantship.
  • Coursework and/or internship experience in polymeric materials is a plus.
  • Coursework and/or laboratory experience with materials characterization is a plus.
  • Robust written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills are all expected. Independence, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn new skills are also vital for succeeding in this position.
  • Must have solid, practical skills in Microsoft Office applications. Demonstrated proficiency in Matlab is a plus.

This position requires a Bachelor’s degree with strong academic performance (minimum 3.2 GPA is preferred). The ideal candidate will also have had prior research experience.

How To Apply:
Please submit your resume, cover letter, and your unofficial transcript to Slav Lerner by January 31, 2021.


Biomaterials Engineering Position in Translational Research (Entry Level)

General Overview
The Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory is focused on the development of polymeric and hybrid materials for applications in orthopaedics. We are seeking a highly motivated individual for an entry-level research position to support our translational research program in implantable biomaterial development, starting in June 2021 or earlier. The projects this position focuses on are in the later stages of development, so this position is ideal for new engineering graduates interested in the kind of research required to bring a medical device to market. It is a great opportunity for those who want to gain some experience before moving into industry or continuing their education in graduate studies.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following activities:
Specific technical functions:

  • Laboratory formulation including preparation of polymer blends, polymeric consolidation
  • Modification of polymers including outside services such as radiation processing
  • Characterization of polymers on-site and off-site at available facilities in Boston including
  • mechanical and fatigue testing, wear testing, thermal and structural characterization
  • May include bacterial culture studies on processed UHMWPE materials using various assays
  • May include support for pre-clinical testing including preparing tissue specimens for post-surgical analysis and characterization of retrieved implants

General laboratory functions:

  • Assembly, operation, maintaining operation protocols, scheduling management and some maintenance of assigned equipment
  • Ordering supplies and keeping track of related inventory
  • Maintaining clean equipment, glassware and laboratory space
  • Working alongside other research technologists, MD students, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows

Administrative/reporting functions:

  • Organizing and accurately maintaining written records of procedures and data
  • Generating and compiling experimental information/results in graphs, charts, and reports
  • Preparing written and/or verbal reports for supervisor and/or senior research personnel
  • Collaborating with supervisor(s) in developing research methodologies and research objectives
  • Collaborating with supervisor(s) in writing and editing material for publication; opportunity for authorship in publications

Skills/Abilities/Qualifications

  • Must have BS in engineering or chemistry. Non-engineering/chemistry degrees will ONLY be considered with relevant experience
  • Must have at least one non-course-based laboratory research experience, such as a summer internship or research assistantship
  • Coursework and/or internship experience in polymeric materials is a plus
  • Coursework and/or laboratory experience with materials characterization is a plus
  • Robust written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills are all expected. Independence, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn new skills are also vital for succeeding in this position
  • Must have solid, practical skills in Microsoft Office applications. Demonstrated proficiency in Matlab is a plus

This position requires a Bachelor’s degree with strong academic performance (minimum 3.2 GPA is preferred). The ideal candidate will also have had prior research experience.

How To Apply:
Please submit your resume, cover letter, and your unofficial transcript to Slav Lerner by January 31, 2021.


Translational Research in Infection - Technician (Entry Level)

General Overview
Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory is focused on the development of polymeric and hybrid materials for applications in orthopaedics. We are seeking a highly motivated individual for an entry-level research position to support our translational infection research program in implantable biomaterial development, starting immediately or in June 2021. This position is ideal for new graduates interested in the medical application of basic research and is a great opportunity for those who want to gain some experience before continuing their education in graduate or medical school.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following activities:
Specific technical functions:

  • Performing phenotype and genotype bacterial characterization of Gram (+), Gram (-) biofilms and polymicrobial cultures
  • Antibacterial characterization in solution and on material surfaces
  • Bacterial characterization of periprosthetic tissues and retrieved implants
  • Determining the fractional inhibitory concentration of therapeutic compounds
  • Preparation and characterization of bacteria cultures and tissues on-site and local off-site research facilities including susceptibility analysis and RT-PCR
  • May include supporting preclinical in-vivo experiments in rodent orthopaedic models of joint replacement and long-bone fracture

General laboratory functions:

  • Assembly, operation, maintaining operation protocols, scheduling management and some maintenance of assigned equipment
  • Ordering supplies and keeping track of related inventory
  • Maintaining clean equipment, glassware and laboratory space
  • Working under the supervision of a post-doctoral fellow
  • Working alongside other research technicians, MD students, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows

Administrative/reporting functions:

  • Organizing and accurately maintaining written records of procedures and data
  • Generating and compiling experimental information/results in graphs, charts, and reports
  • Preparing written and/or verbal reports for supervisor and/or senior research personnel
  • Collaborating with team members and supervisor(s) in developing research methodologies and research objectives
  • Collaborating with team members and supervisor(s) in writing and editing material for publication; opportunity for authorship in publications

Skills/Abilities/Qualifications

    • Must have BS
    • Must have at least one non-course based laboratory research experience, such as a summer internship or research assistantship
    • Coursework and/or laboratory experience with bacterial culture methods a plus
    • Coursework and/or internship experience in biomaterials a plus
    • Robust written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills are all expected. Independence, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn new skills are also vital for succeeding in this position
    • Must have solid, practical skills in Microsoft Office applications. Demonstrated proficiency in Matlab is a plus

This position requires strong academic performance (minimum 3.2 GPA is preferred). The ideal candidate will also have had prior research experience. Preference will be given to a candidate planning to matriculate at a medical or graduate school in 2023 or later.

How To Apply:
Please submit your resume, cover letter, and your unofficial transcript to Slav Lerner by January 31, 2021. We will start reviewing the applications as we receive them. Earlier applicants will receive priority.


Clinical Fellowships

There are no available openings at this time.


Undergraduate Internships

Translational Research Intern Position at the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory

General Overview
The pioneering efforts of the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory (HOL) www.harrisortholab.org have positively impacted the quality of life of many millions of patients through innovation and evidence-based medicine since its inception in 1969. The mission of the laboratory is to improve patient outcomes through materials science and clinical research in orthopaedics.

A 12-13 week Research Intern position with a stipend is available from June-August 2021. The internship will include an introduction into material formulation and testing of drug delivery devices in orthopaedic applications such as joint arthroplasty, trauma and spine. Interns will have the opportunity to be exposed to the translational research environment through interaction with other members of the Harris Laboratory and gain insight into design of medical devices, pre-clinical testing of safety and efficacy and clinical follow-up research of implanted materials. Upon successful completion of the internship, the intern may be considered for the full-time research technician position that is planned for June 2022.

Depending on the specific project, responsibilities will include some of the following activities:

  • Laboratory formulation including preparation of polymers, blends of polymers, photo and thermal polymerization, polymeric consolidation
  • Characterization of polymers on-site and off-site at available facilities in Boston including elution testing, mechanical, fatigue testing and structural characterization
  • May include support for pre-clinical testing including preparing tissue and blood specimens for post-surgical material analysis and characterization of retrieved implants
  • May include data processing for gait analysis or characterization of structural material properties May include working with bacterial cultures in a BL2 setting

General laboratory functions:

  • Assembly, operation, maintaining operation protocols, and some maintenance of used equipment
  • Maintaining clean equipment, glassware and laboratory space
  • Working alongside research technologists, MD students, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows

Administrative/reporting functions:

  • Organizing and accurately maintaining written records of procedures and data
  • Generating and compiling experimental information/results in graphs, charts, and reports
  • Preparing written and/or verbal reports for supervisor and/or senior research personnel

Skills/Abilities/Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate will be a rising senior on the pre-med track, majoring preferably in Chemical/Biomedical Engineering who has demonstrated strong academic performance (minimum 3.3 GPA is preferred). Preference will be given to a candidate planning to matriculate at medical or graduate school in 2023
  • Coursework and/or internship experience in polymeric materials a plus
  • Robust written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills are all expected. Independence, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn new skills are also vital for succeeding in this position

How to Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and your unofficial transcript to Slav Lerner by February 28, 2021. We will start reviewing the applications as we receive them. Earlier applicants will receive priority.