Scientist / Sr. Scientist (Synthetic Biology, Protein Engineering)

A-Alpha Bio Summary

A-Alpha Bio is an early stage and rapidly growing drug discovery company headquartered in Seattle, WA. We are enabling the next generation of high-impact therapeutics with synthetic biology and machine learning. We partner with leading pharma and biotech companies to enable the discovery of antibodies, molecular glues, and other protein interaction-related drugs.

Role Description

We are seeking a skilled and experienced Synthetic Biologist or Protein Engineer to join our R&D team. The Senior Scientist will be responsible for leading, managing, and executing complex R&D initiatives involving synthetic biology, protein engineering, antibody engineering, and machine learning. From a technical perspective, the role will largely involve designing and building yeast surface display libraries, performing, and monitoring experimental assays, analyzing next-generation sequencing data, and presenting results internally and externally. The ideal candidate will have impeccable communication and organizational skills, allowing them to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously. To be successful in this role, candidates must be ambitious, detail-oriented, and comfortable in a rapidly growing and highly dynamic biotech start up environment.

Responsibilities

  • Lead, design, manage, and execute R&D programs aimed at discovering and optimizing therapeutics
  • Lead and participate in discussions to determine R&D strategy and define project specifications with external partners and collaborators
  • Collaborate closely with the Computational Biology Team to analyze massive protein-protein interaction datasets while addressing key research questions
  • Independently author detailed, accurate, and accessible documentation of experiments and data
  • Present scientific findings to the A-Alpha Bio team and to external partners
  • Transfer developed and optimized processes to the Production Team, assist with trouble shooting, and write and revise process documentation
  • Mentor, train, and manage junior members of the R&D and Production Teams
  • Stay current with scientific literature and present to the team on relevant topics

Requirements

  • Ph.D. in Life/Chemical/Physical/Engineering Sciences
  • Impressive technical track record at top-tier academic institutions or companies
  • Strong molecular biology skills (e.g. PCR, DNA assembly, plasmid design)
  • Experience with DNA library assays (e.g. surface display, yeast-two-hybrid, directed evolution) and next-generation sequencing (e.g. Illumina, ONT, PacBio)
  • Basic statistics and data science skills in Python (e.g. Pandas, Matplotlib, SciPy) or other relevant coding language.
  • Self-motivation, intellectually curiosity, and excitement to carry out interdisciplinary research involving complex experimental and bioinformatics pipelines
  • Strong communication and organizational skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in the role of scientific lead or PI on complex research projects
  • 2+ years of industry experience
  • Experience with synthetic biology, protein engineering, antibody engineering, and drug discovery
  • Strong statistics and data science skills in Python (e.g. Pandas, Matplotlib, SciPy) or other relevant software or coding language.
  • Experience with surface display (e.g. yeast surface display, phage display)
  • Technical proficiency with at least 1 macromolecular modeling suite, preferably Rosetta

We offer competitive compensation including a pay package, benefits, and equity in a fast-growing start-up. Job title will be set based on experience and track record, so we encourage applicants with a wide range of backgrounds to apply.  

About A-Alpha Bio

A-Alpha Bio is an early-stage biotechnology company combining synthetic biology and machine learning to dramatically improve the discovery of high-impact therapeutics. We believe that abundant high-quality data is critical for understanding biology and curing disease – and synthetic biology is our catalyst. Our proprietary AlphaSeq platform uses genetically engineered cells to quantitatively measure millions of protein interactions – from which we generate high-resolution models of biology.

In 2018, we spun out of the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design and Center for Synthetic Biology – both fantastic communities of brilliant and highly entrepreneurial scientist. Initial financial support came from the National Science Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a seed round in September 2019 led by OS Fund. Since the company’s inception, we have focused on partnering with pharmaceutical companies to discover and optimize drugs for therapeutic areas ranging from infectious disease to cancer. We are growing rapidly, and new members of the team should expect a fast-paced and highly dynamic work environment. We are building a diverse, meritocratic, and supportive team that values hard work, creativity, transparency, individual and team growth, flexibility, and kindness.

A-Alpha Bio is headquartered in Seattle at Fluke Hall, a startup incubator operated by the University of Washington (although, we will be moving soon!). While the startup lifestyle occasionally requires grueling hours, we strongly value the need for a work-life balance and time out of the lab/office. We are fortunate to be situated in a region that is renowned for its premier outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, kayaking, and sailing. At A-Alpha, you’ll find many who love the outdoors, but also gamers, bakers, photographers, brewers, jetsetters, animal lovers, and artists. Whatever your passions, you belong at A-Alpha Bio.

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