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At Freenome, you will help develop the assay technology analyzing patient samples to contribute to our mission of early detection and intervention in human disease. As a Staff Scientist, you will be the internal subject matter expert in DNA/RNA assay technology for the development of both existing and new or complementary techniques. You will work closely with Computational Biologists to rapidly iterate on improvements to the core analytical method and to evaluate new technologies that can drive improvements in our end-to-end test performance.

Responsibilities

  • Apply expert knowledge of molecular biology and biochemistry to refine existing and develop new next-generation sequencing-based assay protocols.
  • Optimize protocols and workflow upstream of sequencing, including sample collection, extraction, and quantitation.
  • Collaborate with Computational Biologists to evaluate the cost/benefit of integrating new molecular technologies into our analytical workflow.
  • Collaborate with clinical laboratory members to transition development protocols into clinical production, including design of validation experiments and collaboration on SOP development.
What We’re Looking For
    • PhD or equivalent research and development experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry, or a related field.
    • 5+ years post-PhD experience in NGS-based DNA or RNA assay development.
    • Expert-level knowledge of next-generation sequencing assay development, including both general nucleic acid biochemistry as well as specifics of optimization for different applications, platforms, and analytes.
    • Proven track record of building robust assays for large-scale use by third parties: you don’t just use the kit, you designed the kit.
    • Ability to perform basic data analysis for experimental iteration independent of external support.
    • Understanding of the biology of nucleic acids in humans, especially cell-free nucleic acid (cfDNA, cfRNA) biology.
    • Experience managing scientific teams and mentoring junior scientists.
    • Clear communications skills and ability to work with team members in the same and adjacent disciplines.
Nice to Haves
  • Experience implementing and optimizing methods beyond germline DNA-seq of organisms with clean reference genomes: RNA-seq, epigenetics, single-cell sequencing, sequencing of ancient/archaic DNA, metagenomics, de novo genome sequencing.
  • Ability to design for automated implementation: you’ve optimized for plate-based, low-volume formats and/or microfluidics and have used automated liquid handlers.
  • Understanding of bioinformatics tools in NGS and ability to independently perform advanced analyses of sequencing data.
  • Computing skills: expertise in Linux and a general-purpose or scientific programming language: Python, R, Java, C, C++.
  • Hands-on proficiency in managing technology transfer requirements, including guard-banding and stability studies, in-process quality control, etc.
  • Experience working in a regulated laboratory environment (CLIA, GLP/GCLP, IVD development).