Laboratories that accepted students in previous years:



  • Sloan Devlin Laboratory - The Devlin lab at Harvard Medical School uses strategies from chemical biology to study the human microbiome. Our goal is to control the chemistry of human-associated bacteria in order to understand how the microbiome affects human health and disease. The lab leverages expertise from different fields, including synthetic organic chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, analytical chemistry, and bioinformatics.


Gene Regulation:


  • Don Coen Laboratory - molecular approaches to gene regulation and protein function during herpesvirus replication and latency.

  • Richard Gregory Laboratory - Our research is focused on identifying and characterizing new mechanisms of RNA regulation in the dynamic control of gene expression. We apply this knowledge to explore how RNA regulatory pathways impact stem cell pluripotency, mammalian development, growth, cancer, and neurological diseases. Ultimately we aim to exploit this understanding for the development of new therapeutic approaches for cancer and degenerative disease.

  • Stephen Buratowski Laboratory - the mechanism of gene expression in eukaryotes.

  • Joe Loparo Laboratory  - Our laboratory is interested in developing and applying single-molecule methods to better understand the molecular dynamics of multi-protein complexes that carry out duplication, maintenance and transmission of the genome. Traditional ensemble or bulk biochemistry has provided remarkable insight into the various activities of individual proteins and their collective action in these complexes. However, probing the dynamics of protein-protein interactions is extremely difficult in bulk experiments as the stochastic appearance and disappearance of transient intermediates tends to obscure any observable when averaged over the ensemble. Single-molecule methods are a powerful new way to overcome this problem by observing the individual trajectories of proteins as they function. Publications .

  • Johannes Walter HHMI Laboratory - The Walter laboratory is a welcoming and highly interactive environment. Post-doctoral fellows and graduate students share reagents, expertise, and ideas to reach their common goal of understanding how cells replicate and repair DNA and how these processes go awry in human disease. Publications .

  • Karen Adelman - Cell-type and condition-specific patterns of gene expression are established through a sophisticated network of interactions between protein-coding gene promoters and distal cis-regulatory sequences such as enhancers. The Adelman lab is actively engaged in probing how these interactions are established and how they control transcription profiles during development and in response to external signals. Gaining this information is critical to develop treatments for the many diseases where transcription becomes dysregulated.

  • Phil Cole - Our research involves the chemical biology of protein post-translational
    modifcations (PTMs) in the context of signaling, epigenetics, and cancer. We develop and apply chemical approaches including protein semisynthesis and small molecule probes to the study of protein phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, and other PTMs in enzymes and cellular networks. We are currently investigating the functions, regulation, and mechanisms of PTEN lipid phosphatase, Akt protein kinase, NEDD4 ubiquitin ligases, LSD1 histone demethylase, HDAC1 deacetylase, the CoREST complex, and p300/CBP acetyltransferase. We strive to translate our findings in signaling and epigenetics to identify novel therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Publications .

Structural Biology (including our recently launched cryo-EM center)


  • Eric Fischer at DFCI- The Fischer lab combines structural biology, cell biology, and high throughput biology approaches to understand the mechanistic principles that govern signaling through the ubiquitin proteasome system. They leverage these insights to propose and test new avenues of therapeutic intervention, such as targeted protein degradation or SPLiNTs. The group has contributed to the now widespread application of targeted protein degradation in drug development and as a powerful tool to study biology. Publications

  • James Chou Laboratory - the molecular mechanism of membrane channels, receptors, and transporters. Publications .

  • Stephen Blacklow Laboratory - Our current efforts are directed toward answering a number of unresolved questions about how other proteins genetically implicated in the Notch pathway modulate signaling in normal and cancer contexts. Priorities include understanding the molecular mechanism of normal and pathogenic activation by ADAM-family metalloproteases, elucidating how Notch cooperates with other factors to control target gene transcription and understanding how negative feedback regulators fine-tune signaling. 

  • Andrew Kruse Laboratory - G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and non-canonical signal transduction pathways. 

  • Mike Eck Laboratory at DFCI - 

  • Hao Wu Laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital - The Wu laboratory of structural immunology focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism of signal transduction by immune receptors, especially innate immune receptors.

  • Tim Springer Laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital - We study receptor-ligand interactions and transmembrane signal transmission that are relevant to immunology, hemostasis, and human disease using structural, cell biological, and single molecule techniques. A unifying theme is how force interacts with protein conformational change to activate integrins, von Willebrand factor, transforming growth factor-beta family proteins, and adhesins on malaria sporozoites. Publications.

  • Haribabu Arthanari Laboratory at DFCI - Hari's work on novel pulse sequences, pulse designs, labeling strategies, and sampling schemes let his group push the boundaries of NMR as a technique, allowing him to tackle larger systems by NMR.


Medicinal Chemistry:

  • Sara Buhrlage Laboratory at DFCI - a collaborative team of synthetic chemists, biochemists, cell biologists and structural biologists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Computational Biology:


Other groups with potential openings:

  • Kevin Struhl, Gerhard Wagner, Sun Hur, and other BCMP faculty

  • Drosophila [not just] RNAi screening core.

  • Genomics - The Cohort Study project at Boston Children's Hospital has multiple openings for students that are interested in working with investigators on sequencing and data analysis projects in a variety of disease areas including neurological, endocrine, psychiatric, gastric and more.

Graduate Programs affiliated with Harvard Medical School: