Senior / Assay Scientist - Biochemistry

San Diego, California, United States Protein Engineering Full-time
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Element Biosciences is a multi-disciplinary startup focused on innovating genetic analysis tools for the research and clinical markets. The Company's technology will broaden the end user experience through improved data quality and simplified workflows to benefit discoveries and diagnosis in healthcare.

A Senior Scientist/Scientist contributor opportunity is available in the Biochemistry / Bioengineering R&D group. The Scientist will work with cross-functional departments to understand enzyme requirements and build assays and characterization tools to determine if enzymes meet specifications. The Scientist will develop advanced methods/techniques for testing and evaluation and will also be expected to provide project leadership, technical consultation, work direction, and training to junior personnel. The Scientist will work without appreciable direction on assigned projects/programs and participate in determining objectives of assignments.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Work independently and in combination with a small team to deliver understanding and mitigations to enzyme performance and stability
  • Utilize characterization methods that will employ both solution-based and surface interaction-based studies
  • Design and execute experiments to characterize the kinetic properties of polymerases and DNA modifying enzymes
  • Independently develop methods to characterize stability and biochemical behaviors of enzymes used in NGS based applications
  • Design novel high-throughput assays to identify candidate enzymes with desired functionalities
  • Develop quality control methods and documentation practices to qualify enzymes for commercial release
  • Collaborate with other teams and cross-function departments to support enzymology needs prior to and through commercialization of technology
  • Present research summaries and develop research plans
  • Lead root-cause identification of enzyme performance and implement mitigations
  • Using technical expertise and drive, work independently and in combination with a small team to deliver understanding and mitigations to enzyme performance and stability  
  • Utilize characterization methods that will employ both solution-based and surface interaction-based studies

Education and Experience

  • Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, bioengineering or a related discipline
  • 5+ years industry related experience and/or training
  • Experience in the following technical areas: Biophysical protein characterization of polymerases, Next-generation sequencing, Kinetics and enzymology and Reagent development
  • Experience with bioanalytical and biophysical protein methods to measure protein stability and properties

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Technical expertise in enzyme performance and stability
  • Capability to independently develop and qualify assays for characterizing polymerase activity, DNA-binding, interactions with nucleotides
  • Thorough understanding of protein folding, enzymatic function, and rational design protein engineering
  • Ability to independently drive scientific progress and deliver on corporate goals and timelines
  • Leadership and management skills: Success in this position requires frequent communication with peers and management and relationships built on respect, integrity, cooperation, teamwork and professionalism
  • Driven and able to work on a collaborative team
  • Excellent problem solving and project management skills
  • Excellent communication skills 

We are passionate about our mission to develop high performing products to study genomics in an unprecedented flexibility and to understand biology for the improvement of healthcare. We have built a highly efficient product-driven organization where employees can learn, grow and thrive in a challenging but encouraging environment.  We are committed to scientific integrity, collegiality, honesty, objectivity, and openness.   We offer excellent benefits, which include a 401K plan, competitive health benefits, flexible vacation, and equity incentives. 

We foster an environment such that all people are afforded the freedom to pursue their passions without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status or any other characteristics protected by law.