Open Research Positions

Thank you for your interest in joining our research group!

Graduate students

We are taking on new PhD students each year.

If you are a current or a newly admitted PhD student excited about machine learning and/or applications in genomics, medicine, and health, please email Prof. Zitnik directly. Include your CV and a brief description of your research interests.

We are recruiting PhD students from a number of graduate programs, including Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics, Systems Biology, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Integrated Life Sciences, and other programs at Harvard. We also recruit graduate students from Health Sciences & Technology programs at Harvard and MIT.


Postdoctoral research fellow in AI/ML

We have an opening for a postdoctoral research fellowship in novel methods in the broad area of deep learning for graphs.

This position in available immediately. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.

NOW OPEN: Request For Applications


Postdoctoral research fellow in biomedical AI

We have an opening for a postdoctoral research fellowship in novel methods in the broad area of biomedical AI/ML.

This position in available immediately. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.

NOW OPEN: Request For Applications


Postdoctoral research fellow with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center (EWSC) at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is seeking exceptional postdoctoral fellows to join the newly-launched center. The EWSC seeks to understand the programs of life and how they connect across biological scales–from the genetic to the cellular to the organismal–by creating a strong community at the interface of machine learning (ML) and biology.

NOW OPEN: Request For Applications

In the cover letter, include potential avenues of collaboration and supervision by Prof. Zitnik.


Postdoctoral research fellow with Harvard Data Science Initiative

The Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) postdoctoral fellows are outstanding early-career researchers whose interests lie in a number of different fields. HDSI fellows work independently over a two to three year fellowship with the guidance and partnership of Harvard University faculty.

CLOSED: Request For Applications


Harvard undergraduate & Masters students

On a rolling basis, we are looking for Harvard undergraduate and Masters students. While we take undergraduate and Masters students at all levels, excellent grades and/or prior experience in machine learning/AI is a plus. Generally, we expect:

  • Students to commit to at least 10 hours per week to research.
  • Researchers to commit to at least 6 months of research with the lab (ideally more).
  • Researchers to have some prior experience in AI/ML and data science, which may include online courses. We encourage students to self-study relevant coursework and provide mentoring on the very recent advances in the research field.

If you are a current or admitted Harvard undergraduate or Masters student, please email Prof. Zitnik. Include your CV, current academic status, and any past research experience and non-course AI/ML-related projects.


Visitors, interns, and short-term students

We generally prefer visitors to stay for at least 6 months in order to carry out a high-quality research project.

Because of the large email load that Prof. Zitnik receives, she may not respond to all applicants. Please do not take this personally! We do review all applications!


Harvard is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Latest News

Oct 2021:   Adverse Drug Effects During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped health and medicine in ways both dramatic and subtle. Some of the less obvious shifts can only emerge from analysis of millions of pieces of data—patient records, medical notes, clinical encounter reports. Check out the story in Harvard Medicine News highlighting our research.

Oct 2021:   Graph-Guided Networks for Time Series

New preprint! We introduce Raindrop, a graph-guided network for learning representations of irregularly sampled multivariate time series.

Oct 2021:   Massive Analysis of Differential Adverse Events

Hot off the press in Nature Computational Science! We develop an algorithmic approach for massive analysis of drug adverse events. Our analyses of 10,443,476 adverse event reports have implications for safe medication use and public health policy, and can enable comparison of COVID-19 pandemic to other health emergencies.

Sep 2021:   Leveraging Cell Ontology to Classify Cell Types

Hot off the press in Nature Communications! We developed OnClass, an algorithm and accompanying software for automatically classifying cells into cell types that are part of the controlled vocabulary that forms the Cell Ontology.

Sep 2021:   Major New Release of TDC

We are very excited to announce a major release of Therapeutics Data Commons! In the 0.3.0 release we restructured the codebase, simplified the backend and kept user interfaces the same. We also provide detailed documentation for our TDC package.

Aug 2021:   Trustworthy AI for Healthcare at AAAI

We will be organizing a meeting on Trustworthy AI for Healthcare at AAAI 2022. Stay tuned for details and call for papers.

Aug 2021:   New Paper on Therapeutics Data Commons

Our latest paper on Therapeutics Data Commons: Machine Learning Datasets and Tasks for Drug Discovery and Development will appear at NeurIPS. We are excited to contribute novel datasets and benchmarks in the broad area of therapeutics.

Aug 2021:   AI for Science at NeurIPS

We are organizing the AI for Science workshop at NeurIPS 2021 and have a stellar lineup of invited speakers.

Aug 2021:   Best Poster Award at ICML Comp Biology

Congratulations to Michelle for winning the Best Poster Award for her work on deep contextual learners for protein networks at the ICML Workshop on Computational Biology.

Jul 2021:   Best Paper Award at ICML Interpretable ML

Our short paper on Interactive Visual Explanations for Deep Drug Repurposing received the Best Paper Award at the ICML Interpretable ML in Healthcare Workshop. Stay tuned for more news on this evolving project.

Jul 2021:   Five presentations at ICML 2021

Jun 2021:   Theory and Evaluation for Explanations

We introduce the first axiomatic framework for theoretically analyzing, evaluating, and comparing GNN explanation methods. We formalize key properties that all methods should satisfy to generate reliable explanations: faithfulness, stability, and fairness.

Jun 2021:   Deep Contextual Learners for Protein Networks

New preprint on contextualized protein embeddings aims to characterize genes with disease-specific interactions and elucidate disease manifestation in specific cell types.

May 2021:   New Paper Accepted at UAI

Our unified framework for fair and stable graph representation learning has just been accepted at UAI. We establish a theoretical connection between counterfactual fairness and stability and use it in a framework that can be used with any GNN to learn fair and stable embeddings.

Apr 2021:   Hot Off the Press: COVID-19 Repurposing in PNAS

Hot off the press! We deployed AI/ML and network medicine algorithms to rank 6,340 drugs for their expected efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. We screened in human cells the top-ranked drugs, identifying six drugs that reduced viral infection, four of which could be repurposed to treat COVID-19.

Apr 2021:   Representation Learning for Biomedical Nets

In our survey on representation learning for biomedical networks we discuss how long-standing principles of network biology and medicine provide the conceptual grounding for representation learning, explain its successes, and inform future advances.

Mar 2021:   Receiving Amazon Research Award

We are excited about receiving Amazon Faculty Research Award on Actionable Graph Learning for Finding Cures for Emerging Diseases. Thank you to Amazon Science for supporting our research.

Mar 2021:   Michelle's Graduate Research Fellowship

Michelle M. Li won the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award. Congratulations!

Mar 2021:   Hot Off the Press: Multiscale Interactome

Hot off the press! We develop a multiscale interactome approach to explain disease treatments. The approach can predict drug-disease treatments, identify proteins and biological functions related to treatment, and identify genes that alter treatment’s efficacy and adverse reactions.

Mar 2021:   Graph Networks in Computational Biology

We are excited to share slides from our recent lecture on Graph Neural Networks in Computational Biology, which we gave at Stanford ML for Graphs course.

Zitnik Lab  ·  Harvard  ·  Department of Biomedical Informatics