MOLECULAR LAB TECHNICIAN
Conservation X Labs seeks a passionate and creative innovator to accelerate our molecular research and product development. The Molecular Lab Technician will be working with a fast-paced, interdisciplinary team of biologists and engineers on both early and late-stage product development. We are looking for someone who is comfortable communicating across disciplines and teams, loves tearing apart genetic problems and building solutions to complex molecular challenges.
This position will be essential to expanding our molecular team’s capacity for producing genetic assays and molecular test kits for use on 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 Lab Technician will also support the adoption, application, and user base of Conservation X Labs’ Molecular Development Kit (MDK; a tool to empower researchers around the world to translate lab-based assays into field-ready and shelf-stable test kits) community and will support our internal and partner labs in their molecular diagnostic and sample preparation development needs. 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 Lab Technician will be a critical part of the team that supports these products.
ARE WE LOOKING FOR YOU?
● Do you love to understand how and why a molecular process works?
● Do you live for a clean lab space and a well-documented lab notebook?
● Do you love working at the bench to produce results?
● Are you great at working with a team to address the core tasks a molecular lab needs?
● Are you interested in using both your lab skills and interpersonal engagement skills towards conservation and One Health markets?
● Do you always pick up the work that needs doing?
● Do you enjoy finding solutions to novel problems?
● Are you familiar with molecular assay development, testing and quality control?
● Are you forward-thinking, creative, innovative?
● Do you love the challenges of new sample types, target organisms, and genetic diagnostics?
● 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 molecular diagnostics for a wide variety of species and pathogens accessible to anyone, anywhere. Key to this goal is having the technical capacity to qualify molecular assays and products for the conservation and One Health space. As such, possessing both knowledge of molecular genetics and conservation or zoonotic disease is a plus.
The Molecular Lab Technician will be responsible for supporting and contributing to the molecular team in our Seattle laboratory. The goal of this position is to increase the quality and capacity of the molecular team to unlock new applications for the NABIT.
This position will focus on 1) conducting benchtop experiments for assay and sample processing which include development, optimization, and quality control; 2) conducting product assembly and associated quality control testing on buffers, freeze-dried products, kits, and sub-components; and 3) conducting benchmarking and product release tests on the NABIT device and associated kits. This position is also expected to assist in documentation and protocol development for best practices, quality management systems, and laboratory inventory management.
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 research and development, MDK partners, and test deployment will be expected.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
● Prepare reaction solutions, assay recipes, and materials following established formulas.
● Assist with experimental design and generate processes for standardized QA/QC practices.
● Perform quality control tests on reagents, assay recipes, lyophilized products, and NABIT devices.
● Perform sample extraction, assay optimization tests and characterization tests according to an experiment plan.
● Perform molecular tests on the NABIT device to support device benchmarking and design troubleshooting.
● Conduct assembly of sub-components and assay kits for use on the NABIT device.
● Troubleshoot nucleic acid extraction and amplification chemistries with application to field work and non-technical users.
● Produce experimental results, data analyses and other information for project reports and presentations.
● Assist in maintaining a functioning lab in a shared BSL II 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 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.
● Prepare reagents, products, and other consumables for shipment to domestic and international destinations.
● 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.
● Background in molecular biology, biochemistry, or similar field with a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience.
● At least 2 years of laboratory experience with a nucleic acid focus.
● 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.
● Excellent sterile technique, pipetting skills, and awareness of contamination risks.
● Experience with laboratory inventory management.
● 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.
● 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.
● Experience with lyophilization processes and handling lyophilized materials.
● Experience in conducting quality assurance or quality control experiments and processes.
● Experience with maintaining a quality management system (QMS).
● 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 Lab Technician 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 $70,000 to $86,000 per year. Benefits include retirement, health, dental, liberal vacation, and tons of fun.
Please send a cover letter that explains why you fit what we are looking for, and resume to email@example.com with “Molecular Lab Technician – [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