MOLECULAR DEVELOPMENT SCIENTIST
Conservation X Labs seeks a passionate and creative innovator to accelerate our molecular research and product development. The Molecular Development Scientist will be working with a fast-paced, interdisciplinary team of biologists and engineers to translate new and existing genetic assays into field-ready test kits for use directly on-site where biodiversity, and the greatest threats to biodiversity, are encountered. We are looking for someone who is comfortable working collaboratively across disciplines and with external partners to achieve joint goals in protecting the planet and its inhabitants with the power of genetics. For this role, successful applicants will be excited to apply both hands-on laboratory skills and management acumen to collaboratively help partners succeed.
This position will be essential to expanding our molecular team’s capacity for translating and producing assays for our custom diagnostic platform, the Nucleic Acid Barcode Identification Tool (NABIT). The NABIT is a handheld, field-ready, battery-powered diagnostic platform to vastly expand the availability of genetic tests for species, pathogens, and pests in agriculture, wildlife, humans, and the environment. To expand these available tests, the Molecular Development Scientist will particularly support the adoption, application, and user base of Conservation X Labs’ Molecular Development Kit community (MDK; a tool to empower researchers around the world to translate lab-based assays into field-ready and shelf-stable test kits). Conservation X Labs is transforming the entire field of conservation & sustainability and we need an amazing, eager to learn, creative, detail-oriented, and hard-working new team member to accelerate our current work and grow our impact.
WHO WE ARE
Conservation X Labs (CXL) is a technology and innovation company that creates and incentivizes solutions to end the Sixth Mass Extinction. We create new products in our labs, lead open innovation competitions to harness planetary genius, and empower talented innovators across disciplines to collaborate and revolutionize the future of conservation. We are an optimistic, passionate, entrepreneurial, fun, and mission-oriented team working to radically improve the way we find and support solutions for conservation’s most demanding challenges. CXL is comprised of an interdisciplinary team that includes conservation scientists, molecular scientists, social scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, communications professionals, and policy experts.
One of our signature products is the NABIT, a transformative platform for putting molecular diagnostics into the hands of anyone who needs it, and the MDK, a platform that empowers a huge range of scientists and developers to help create an accurate, field-ready test for any pathogen, pest, or species that needs one. The Molecular Development Scientist will be a critical part of the team that supports these products.
ARE WE LOOKING FOR YOU?
● Do you love to understand the needs of other scientists and partners to support their work?
● Do you live for a well-organized project plan and task tracking?
● Do you excel at engaging people to effectively understand ad communicate scientific concepts, even across disciplinary or language barriers?
● Are you interested in using both your lab skills and interpersonal engagement skills towards conservation and One Health markets?
● Do you love working at the bench to produce stellar results?
● Are you great at molecular assay development, testing, and quality control?
● Do you love the challenges of new sample types and target organisms?
● Are you great at working with a team to address the core tasks a molecular lab needs?
● Do you always pick up the work that needs doing?
● Do you enjoy finding solutions to novel problems?
● Are you forward-thinking, creative, innovative?
● Are you avidly curious and always eager to learn new things?
If yes, read on..
This role thrusts you into the middle of one of the world’s most innovative technology companies driven by a bold mission to prevent the sixth mass extinction. You will be at the forefront of making our products – and those of our partners from universities, government, and industry – accessible to anyone, anywhere. Key to this goal is having the technical capacity to help partners translate new applications into high-quality molecular assays and products that allow for rapid response to critical questions in the conservation and One Health space. As such, possessing knowledge of molecular genetics and diagnostic problems as well as conservation or zoonotic disease is a plus.
The Molecular Development Scientist will be responsible for diagnostic development as part of our molecular team in our Seattle molecular laboratory as well as interfacing with and supporting partners in the Molecular Development Community. The successful candidate must learn the bespoke molecular processes that support the use of new samples and assays on our custom diagnostic platform – the NABIT – and assist external development teams in translating new applications into commercialized products.
This position will focus on 1) supporting the translation of partner applications onto the NABIT platform; 2) contributing to the development of guides, tools, and project management processes for MDK developers in collaboration with the senior scientist; 3) designing and conducting critical experiments for genetic assay production, quality control, and evaluation; and 4) guiding, planning, tracking and reporting of projects to development and leadership teams for ongoing product improvement and partnership success. This position is also expected to assist in the development of best practices for internal and external teams, generating feedback from partners and curating the framework that allows external users to launch new diagnostics with increasing success and accessibility.
This position will report to the Senior Molecular Scientist at our laboratory in Seattle, Washington, located in the heart of Fremont. Occasional travel to CXL headquarters in Washington, D.C. and other locations to support MDK partners and deployment, including in BSL-3/4 laboratories, will be expected.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
● Perform experiments that cover the development, optimization and translation of sample workflows and isothermal chemistries for internal and MDK applications, both on the bench and the NABIT platform according to an experiment plan.
● Support molecular development partners with guidance, resources, and data analysis tools.
● Provide project management and administrative support (e.g. communications, need identification, quoting, resource tracking, etc.) for both external partners and internal projects.
● Create reports and presentations for internal or external audiences detailing project status and next steps.
● Troubleshoot nucleic acid extraction and amplification chemistries with application to field work and non-technical users.
● Curate results, data analyses and other information for project reports and presentations.
● Occasional travel to partner sites to support experimental and validation testing, including BSL-3/4 containment facilities when developing diagnostic assays for high consequence pathogens.
● Track and report time and costs incurred on projects.
● Assist in managing a functioning lab in a shared BSL-2 facility, including inventory maintenance, identifying materials/supply needs, chemical safety, and routine cleaning.
● Operate and maintain laboratory equipment such as pipettes, centrifuges, incubators, biosafety cabinets, nitrogen dry boxes, pH meters, thermocyclers, and DNA quantification instruments.
● Assist in the integration, utilization, and maintenance of both an inventory management system and quality management system (QMS).
● Maintain detailed documentation of all laboratory activities in an electronic notebook and task log.
● Follow, improve, and develop laboratory SOPs.
● Perform literature searches and summaries for a variety of research topics including biochemistry, conservation technology and emerging diagnostic markets.
● Support the NABIT team and other Conservation X Labs projects and colleagues as needed.
● Strong background in molecular biology, biochemistry, or similar field with a minimum bachelor's degree plus post-graduate training and certification or equivalent experience.
● At least 4 years of laboratory experience with a nucleic acid focus.
● At least 1 year of people management experience with direct reports or external partners
● Demonstrated experience with project management and juggling parallel processes and priorities.
● Demonstrated experience in molecular assays and process development including: DNA/RNA extraction and purification from various sources, extraction chemistry, sequence alignment, PCR and/or isothermal amplification, fluorescent visualization (e.g. qPCR or gel electrophoresis) and data analysis.
● Experience with laboratory inventory management and a QMS (or an equivalent).
● Excellent sterile technique, pipetting skills, and awareness of contamination risks.
● High degree of attention to detail for methods and processes, materials and reagents, and documentation with a willingness to draw attention to errors and inefficiencies.
● Aptitude for working with others to translate technical needs and jargon into experimental plans and product outcomes.
● Ability to work across scientific and non-technical disciplines, in small teams with enthusiastic co-workers.
● Friendly, curious, open-minded, and passionate attitude towards teamwork and mission-driven product development.
● Kind, empathetic, and caring of other perspectives.
● Certified in project management (e.g. CAPM, PMP, Lean Six Sigma, etc.)
● Post-graduate degree, training, or certification in molecular and laboratory sciences
● Experience in sales or customer service.
● Experience in scientific writing for a non-technical audience.
● Experience with primer design and optimization of assay chemistries.
● Familiarity with the biochemistry of nucleic acid extraction, troubleshooting and optimization, especially with unusual sample types and unpurified products.
SALARY RANGE & BENEFITS
The Molecular Development Scientist will be a full-time position starting as soon as possible. Responsibilities are expected to be performed out of our office and laboratory space in Seattle, WA. Salary is competitive for the expected duties and will be based on industry practice, experience, location, and salary history. For this position CXL anticipates providing a base salary in the range of $83,000 to $106,000 per year. Benefits include retirement, health, dental, liberal vacation and telework policies, and tons of fun.
Please send a cover letter that explains why you fit what we are looking for, and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Molecular Development Scientist – [Your Last Name]” in the Subject Line of the email. Relevant examples from your work history are very welcome.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until 5 PM EST, Dec 1 and the position may be filled before that date for an exceptional candidate. Start date is as soon as possible.
ABOUT CONSERVATION X LABS AND OUR CULTURE
Conservation X Labs applies technology, entrepreneurship, and open innovation to source, develop, and scale critical solutions to the underlying drivers of human-induced extinction, whether in conservation or other fields. Conservation X Labs takes an approach to conservation that is technology- and innovation-focused, market- and scale-driven, and interdisciplinary. We believe this approach – one that addresses the underlying drivers of extinction rather than its symptoms, and one that takes a revolutionary over evolutionary approach – is the future of conservation, what we call Conservation 3.0. We source, develop, and scale new solutions through open innovation, directed engineering and technology development, product acceleration, and building the diverse community of solvers that will transform the field. Conservation X Labs operates as both a 501c3 non-profit organization and related B-corporation.
We are seeking to build an organization of problem solvers, who are personable and highly motivated, hungry and enthusiastic, and are passionate about conservation and our mission. We want people who want to disrupt conservation in order to radically improve it. We are looking for those who have dared mighty things by trying a path that others have not chosen. We are looking for those who have failed but have learned from failure and risk, and whose faces are marred by dust, sweat, and blood. We are looking for those who like to experiment, to make things, to hack things, to test things, and to break things (particularly dogmatic approaches to conservation or technology). Finally, we are looking for kind, hardworking people who will enthusiastically devote their intellectual and creative energy to advance our mission, enjoy working on a team, are deeply entrepreneurial and self-motivated, and are driven by their passion.
CXL is committed to creating and cultivating a diverse workforce and inclusive environment where every employee and contractor has the right to work in surroundings that are free from all forms of unlawful or intentional discrimination. It is our policy to hire, promote, transfer, terminate, and make all employment related decisions without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.
To learn more about our programs and mission, please visit our website: www.conservationxlabs.com.