Staff Scientist, Molecular Biology



San Carlos, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Elegen is blazing a path towards a biology-based economy with a highly innovative approach to DNA synthesis that delivers an industry leading length of 7kb in 7 business days with a 99.999% per base accuracy. Our multidisciplinary team of best-in-class biologists, chemists, hardware, and software engineers apply cutting-edge technologies and methods to solve critical bottlenecks in synthetic biology workflows to help our customers in pharma, biotech, agbio, and biomanufacturing streamline their work and realize the full potential of programmable biology.

This is an opportunity to join a rapidly growing company at an early stage and to have an impact on the development of its products, markets, processes, people, and culture.

We are seeking an intensely passionate and creative molecular biologist to partner with engineers in bringing our synthetic, cell-free DNA to the next scale. You will work on integrating our molecular biology protocols with a large-scale manufacturing system to meet needs in mRNA vaccines and cell and gene therapy. This position requires a well-rounded molecular biologist who understands engineering principles and can think critically about how to adapt molecular biology workflows at the small scale to large fluidics systems where it may be more difficult to precisely control every parameter (like in a thermocycler).

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of molecular biology workflows for cell-free DNA synthesis at large scale to meet product requirements
  • Work with fluidics engineers to establish specifications, make recommendations on design, and analyze instrument performance
  • Develop DNA purification methods at scale using chromatography, solid phase extraction, or equivalent
  • Design and execute hypothesis-driven, systematic experimental plans and interpret data using statistical analysis tools.
  • Support the transfer of molecular biology protocols to production.
  • Develop protocols into reproducible standard operating procedures suitable for commercial release and support product documentation.

Essential Candidate Profile:

  • PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology, bioengineering, or a related field and 5+ years of industrial experience.
  • Proficiency in fundamental molecular biology techniques such as PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), gel electrophoresis, cloning, and DNA sequencing.
  • Experience using and/or developing tools for nucleic acid design, i.e. primer or probe design.
  • Experience with DNA characterization methods including NanoDrop, Qubit, Gel electrophoresis and LCMS.
  • Strong understanding of NGS methods, library preparation and data interpretation.
  • Experience developing molecular biology workflows on an integrated fluidics system
  • Ability to critically analyze experimental results, interpret data, and draw meaningful conclusions. This includes statistical analysis and data visualization using R, Excel, Python or similar.
  • Proficiency in managing complex research projects, coordinating experiments, and meeting project deadlines.
  • Experience supervising research assistants and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, able to clearly and concisely present data to wide range of stakeholders with varying levels of domain knowledge.
  • Willingness to learn new techniques, adapt to emerging technologies, and apply innovative approaches to problem-solving in molecular biology.

Preferred Candidate Qualifications:

  • Experience with DNA purification at large scale using chromatography, solid phase extraction, or equivalent.
  • Experience using statistical methods such as DoE to design experiments.
  • Competence in using bioinformatics tools and software for sequence analysis, primer design, and data interpretation. This includes understanding sequence alignments and analysis of next-generation sequencing data.
  • Working knowledge of methods for de novo gene synthesis, starting at oligo synthesis.
  • Previous experience with workflow automation using liquid handling systems.

Salary and Benefits:

The annual base salary compensation for this role, if based in California is: $155,000 - $175,000. Compensation may be different in other locations. Final compensation also includes bonus, equity and benefits. Specific offer packages are determined by multiple factors, including candidate skill, experience, expertise, and location.

✓ Healthcare ✓ Dental ✓ Vision ✓ Learning Allowance

✓ 401K ✓ Flexible PTO ✓ Short Term Disability ✓ Fitness Allowance

About The Company:

Founded and led by Dr. Matthew Hill and located in San Carlos, CA, Elegen is well-capitalized by top life science investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, and KdT. The company is advised and staffed by leading biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs, including Dr. Marc Unger, inventor of the Nanoflex™ valve, and former CSO of Fluidigm. Dr. Hill has a PhD from Stanford and a proven track record of advancing innovative technologies from invention to commercial success. Over eight years in his previous role as VP of R&D at a leading molecular diagnostics company, he co-invented and launched five precision molecular diagnostic products, including a best-in-class noninvasive prenatal test used by millions. These products earn more than $350 million per year in revenue and enabled an IPO.

Elegen is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Elegen provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic characteristics, or any other category protected by law. All applicants have rights under the following Federal Employment Laws: