Principal Scientist, Genomics Core

South San Francisco, CA, United States
Jun 13, 2021
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Genomics is a key technology for advancing our gene & cell therapies at Sana. The Genomics Core provides NGS capabilities across Sana using both internal and external resourcing and sequencing technologies (Illumina, PacBio, Oxford nanopore). This role is accountable for establishing workflows and standards to coordinate and execute sequencing runs on a timely and continuous basis and managing Genomics Core personnel across sites. This includes establishing guidelines and overseeing QC and sequencing of library preparations from teams across Sana, and developing efficient and cost-effective processes for standard workflows (e.g. WES/WGS, bulk RNA-seq) from nucleic acids extraction through library preparation and sequencing. For commonly utilized NGS workflows, the role will include partnering with the Computational Engineering team to develop and run automated analysis pipelines and user interfaces/dashboards.

The ideal candidate should have significant hands-on experience with nucleic acid extraction methods and NGS workflows. The candidate should also have experience in managing a sequencing core and CROs, building out processes, and strong project management and operational skills with the ability to manage simultaneous projects and efficiently utilize internal and external resources to meet business objectives. The ability to deliver on multiple projects in a fast-paced environment while demonstrating outstanding interpersonal and communication skills along with the flexibility in changing directions will be critical to successfully advance gene and cell therapies at Sana.

  • Oversee operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of sequencers
  • Provide rapid turnaround of sequencing services
  • Continually develop, test, implement and evaluate new and creative approaches to increase operational efficiency and meet goals of Genomics Core
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate services, programs, protocols, policies & procedures, and performance standards within the Genomics Core
  • Proactively manage collaborator requests and sequencing queues; set clear priorities and adjust to real-time needs and changes
  • Partner with Informatics (Research Computing, Lab Computing, Data Infrastructure and Computational Engineering) and lab automation to increase efficiency and scale up sequencing capabilities while appropriately managing data within the Sana infrastructure
  • Manage internal and external resources via CROs including technical due diligence, audits and management of projects to ensure quality and deliverables are met
  • Develop & optimize lab workflows to maximize NGS agility and throughput
  • Execute molecular biology protocols including NGS-based library preparations and genomics characterization
  • Conduct troubleshooting investigations and related experiments to address acute or systematic issues with workflows as appropriate
  • Manage technical staff across sites to support Genomics Core operations; build out team at multiple sites as appropriate
  • Develop appropriate project & lab reporting metrics to provide visibility into results and progress
  • Be highly committed to deliver results in a fast-paced and rapidly growing organization
  • Present results regularly at various group and cross-disciplinary meetings, and communicate effectively with a broad audience with a range of technical, analytical, and biological expertise
  • Demonstrate Sana's core values and the attributes that support these core values (Lead from every seat, Thrive as a team, Make it happen)


Basic Qualifications
  • PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics or a related scientific discipline with 8+ yrs experience in academic research and/or industry or BS/MS with 10+ yrs experience in academic research and/or industry
  • Prior experience in NGS assay and reagent development, testing, troubleshooting and optimization with hands-on laboratory experience and in-depth knowledge of nucleic acid extraction, standard molecular biology methods, QC, library preparation and Illumina sequencing
  • Ability to deliver results consistently and effectively, and quickly adapt to changing business conditions; has a demonstrated track record of delivering results
  • Demonstrated ability to be adaptable and simplify studies to meet business objectives and resource limitations
  • An agile mindset to make quick decisions, troubleshoot and be able to quickly shift focus to handle potential changes in workload and project type
  • Experience working with vendors and site operations to bring in new technologies and maintain ordering, inventory, and shipment schedules for reagents and supplies
  • A strong desire to serve as a leader/mentor for sequencing team colleagues with the ability to communicate well at all levels of scientific experience
  • Experience leading a small team and/or managing a genomics core
  • Strong project management skills
  • Direct experience auditing external genomics CROs and managing multiple studies simultaneously including drafting SOWs, contracts, MTAs, CDAs, etc.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong analytical and decision-making skills, and detail oriented
  • Engage in crucial conversations by providing and receiving feedback supporting the growth and development of team members
  • Demonstrate ability to engage and effectively influence team members across multidisciplinary teams while prioritizing multiple projects and meeting deadlines
  • Drive curiosity, scientific rigor and excellent problem-solving skills across a fast-paced performance driven environment
  • Innate ability to assess talent that will help grow the organization and add to Sana's culture
  • Working safely in person on a predictable and regular in-person basis is an essential job function for this position and the Company requires that all individuals working in-person, subject to certain exceptions, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Preferred Qualifications
  • Direct experience with reducing turnaround time and costs for nucleic acids extraction and library preparations, and identification & resolution of efficiency gaps
  • Experience with lab automation/robotic platforms and integration with lab data systems (e.g. Benchling, LIMS)
  • Direct experience with library preparations for long read sequencing technologies (PacBio, Oxford nanopore)
  • 3+ years of sequencing core experience in a medium to large organization
  • Experience in an operational role in commercial enterprises

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The job description listed above is representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

At Sana, we believe that a diverse workforce strengthens us as a company and helps us to achieve our mission to meaningfully change the outcome of many human diseases. This belief is a pillar of our business and is critical to our success. Our goal is that Sana is the place for talented people to bring their authentic selves to work, to have a great career and to deeply, positively impact patients.

The Company is committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental or sensory disability (including the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability), genetic information, actual or perceived HIV or Hepatitis C infection, medical condition (cancer or a record or history of cancer and genetic characteristics), marital status, sexual orientation, sexual preference, pregnancy (including childbirth and related medical conditions), disability, veteran status, political ideology, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Core to our values, we believe there is nothing more important than the health and wellness of you and your family. We cover 100% of the cost for employee health coverage and offer generous time-off, parental leave, short and long term disability, financial wellness programs, a 401(k) Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, commuter subsidy and a variety of wellness offerings to support each person individually.