A Day in the Life of a CDoT Research Associate

Sean, Research Associate in Compound Management


"I am relatively new to the Broad and CDoT, but I have already had the opportunity to grow my skills. My job entails a lot of hands-on work, using many of the skills I already had from working in a chemistry wet lab such as pipetting, weighing dry material, using centrifuges and evaporators. However, I have also learned how to use automation in the lab such as liquid handlers and was able to attend specialized equipment training which provided me with an understanding of the back end of the automated systems and how they work. I’ve also started learning about compound quality control and working with our informatics systems. In addition to technical skills, I have continued to improve my organizational skills and have established a good system to ensure that my work is prioritized.

The Compound Management group works closely with the Bioautomation team, and we are a tight team that gets along well. My supervisor is also very flexible and I am free to come up with my own ways to accomplish a task; she gives me a good balance of direction and autonomy.

CDoT has a relaxed and friendly culture and I’ve gotten to know people quickly, even despite the fact that many people are still working remotely. I like the fact that I get to assist with such a large number of projects. It’s cool to impact the ability of so many different scientists in performing their experiments."


Miguel, Research Associate in Translational Pharmacology and Scientific Outreach


“Within CDoT, we attest to the fact that science is truly the greatest collective endeavor of humanity, and strive in venturing into new scientific interests including genetics, biology, drug discovery, and technology. Working within CDoT as an RA has allowed me to grow and mature as a researcher, providing me with the support and flexibility to explore fields beyond my area of expertise. 

I am currently an RA III, but my role differs drastically from the traditional as I balance my time between Translational Pharmacology (TP) and Scientific Outreach in Discovery Solutions (DS). Although most of my time is spent within the lab, I also play an active role in collaborating with academic, philanthropic, and industry partners, where I’m given the opportunity to proudly discuss and present my research findings. 

Within TP, I work closely with a small and talented team of researchers within the early drug discovery platform. With support from chemists and protein scientists, I design, troubleshoot, and execute standard operating procedures in multiple cell-based assays to advance projects down the therapeutics pipeline. Within DS, I work closely with compound management and automation engineers, supporting academic and philanthropic partners in advancing novel hypotheses onto cell-based assays capable of determining target engagement, pharmacodynamic modulation, and biological effect. I engage with multiple projects spanning many therapeutic areas where I tailor protocols and screens leveraging high content imaging high throughput screening. 

CDoT emboldens us to become pioneers, and we do so by supporting one another in and out of the lab. The level of support I’ve encountered has not only strengthened my love and passion for the sciences, but also motivates me to come to work every day. ”


Cerise, Research Associate in Biochemistry and Biophysics


“I find CDoT to be the perfect blend between academia and industry, creating an unique environment at the Broad Institute. Our collective goal is to advance drug discovery efforts by tackling complex therapeutic targets, like those in cancer or infectious diseases. Every team member plays an active role, contributing their expertise to provide solutions, fostering a collaborative atmosphere.

As an RA II in Discovery Science, my role is to develop, troubleshoot and run biochemical and biophysical assays to identify active small molecules against specific biological targets. Transitioning from a chemistry background to assay development was a significant learning curve, but my team was exceptionally supportive and adaptable. I am able to work side by side with incredibly talented people at the cutting edge of my field, and learn new techniques to expand my lab skills. Everyday is different! Outside of the lab, I am also part of CDoT's Culture and Communication committee to ensure that RAs have a voice in shaping our community and future.

My experience at CDoT has been an incredible opportunity for personal and scientific growth, and I hope to contribute even more to impactful projects at and beyond the bench.”