A Day in the Life of a CDoT Research Associate

Allison, CDoT Research Associate in Compound Management

“I work in Compound Management where the demand for our work can be unpredictable so we have to be very flexible. I really enjoy working with the scientists and learning about the exciting projects in CDoT and throughout the Broad. The compounds we provide them are often the first step in their experiments, so what I prepare has to be correct and requires a lot of attention to detail. I also work with automated equipment, which requires problem solving and troubleshooting when things don’t go as expected.

In my first year here I have been given many opportunities to learn new things. I attended the SLAS conference, the Hamilton liquid handler course and frequently attend the talks and seminars that the Broad offers. I also had the opportunity to work in our COVID-19 testing facility and learned to handle clinical samples and do high throughput viral extractions using automation.

My manager has been a great mentor - we even go to yoga together every week! But I also like being on a team that is bigger than Compound Management. Through our CDoT social events, I get to know the scientists who rely on my work. I feel like my work is respected and valued. I also believe in the mission of the Broad and I am proud to contribute to the work happening here.”

 

 

Michelle, CDoT Research Associate in Translational Pharmacology

“As a CDOT RA in the Translational Pharmacology group, the majority of my time is spent in the lab running cell-based assays.  I enjoy the challenge of helping develop and optimize assays to be used in drug screening, target validation and SAR in collaboration with project leads and medicinal chemists.  As an RA, there is always data to be delivered, and I like that I have ownership of my data here and get to work on my data analysis and presentation skills.  I have really expanded my technical expertise in the short time that I’ve been here with a variety of assay types and instrumentation.  I also have the opportunity to train more junior RAs in running assays and analyzing data.  From my experience, while supported by supervisors and project team members, RAs in CDOT get to work quite independently, which has helped me learn and grow professionally and gain confidence in my scientific abilities and decision-making.  

As members of CDOT we all work hard at multi-tasking with several therapeutics projects on our plates at any given time, so it is important to feel that my input and contributions are appreciated here.  Beyond all of that, there is the unique experience of working within the larger community of the Broad Institute.  It is truly motivating to come to work at a place where you are surrounded by amazing science on a daily basis.  

The scientific exposure alone is worth being here for, but the Broad is also very committed to the overall well-being of its researchers with all kinds of benefits ranging from yoga and meditation to a variety of affinity groups, like the Broad RATS.  As a working mother, I especially appreciate the flexibility of the workday here and feel that I have a good work-life balance with the ability to get things done in a way that makes sense for me personally.”