GROUP LEADER, HTS OPERATIONS - Emeryville, CA | Biospace
Get Our FREE Industry eNewsletter



Emeryville, CA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Bachelors Degree
Areas of Expertise Desired:
Biology, Chemical Engineering,

Job Description

Zymergen is a technology company combining biology, automation, and software to create novel chemicals, advanced materials, and pharmaceuticals much faster and at lower cost than current approaches.  Along with other projects, the company is partnered with a number of Fortune 1000 companies to improve and optimize microbes and has a multi-year contract with the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to develop 360 new materials for a wide array of applications.  Given this scope, we are rapidly expanding our High-throughput Screening (HTS) Operations.

Zymergen is hiring a Group Leader, HTS Operations, to perform and oversee daily production operations of high-throughput screening at the well-plate scale.  The Group Leader will manage a team of research associates performing experiments across multiple programs using a variety of organisms and model systems.  The group processes tens of thousands of strains per month.

In addition to work in Operations, the Group Leader will identify and implement improvements and train staff.  The Group Leader will partner with support scientists and engineers to monitor and improve success rates, quality of results, equipment performance, and data capture methods.

Specific Responsibilities
•   Direct management of HTS Operations teams performing routine and ad hoc plate-scale fermentation work for multiple programs in a variety of organisms.
•   Manage and execute parallel workflows that have been automated to varying degrees using custom hardware and software tools.
•   Prepare biological samples and chemical standards for analysis.
•   Load and unload shakers and automation decks.
•   Prepare strains and samples for retention and future use.
•   Work with data capture systems to store data and metadata about the experiments.
•   Use data analysis tools to explain process variation to identify microbes with improved performance.
•   Identify possible opportunities to improve efficiency and success rates.
•   Revise training materials and train HTS Operations staff.
•   Participate in the transfer of new HTS processes into Operations
•   Work as an effective team member alongside colleagues from Genome Engineering, Fermentation, Analytical Chemistry, Software Engineering, Data Science, Automation, and Facilities.


Qualified candidates have a background in biology, chemical engineering, or other quantitative disciplines (BS/BA preferred) and with 5-10+ years experience including 2 years experience leading teams.  The ideal candidate will be thoughtful, meticulous, well-organized, energetic, collaborative, and fully engaged in the execution and improvement of workflows.

Qualified candidates have achieved some or all of the following:
•   Managed teams screening large libraries in high throughput, yielding high-quality data.  This may be inside or outside the field of industrial biotechnology.
•   Developed or protocols or validated laboratory automation for new uses.
•   Used lab automation to enable complicated or high-throughput protocols.
•   Managed multiple ongoing multi-day workflows, including scheduling instrumentation, preparing reagents and materials.
•   Written or followed complicated SOPs.
•   Familiarity with statistical concepts and analytical software such as JMP, Spotfire, or Tableau, and manufacturing principles such as Lean, 5S, GLP/GMP.
•   Comfort using Microsoft Excel.
•   Experience working with microbes and the analytical chemistry techniques used to evaluate experiments at this scale.