Platform scientist

San Francisco, CA
May 09, 2022
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Are you ready to dive into fresh off the press single cell methods and in-house inventions, to troubleshoot and optimize them for use in Gordian’s pooled in vivo screening platform? 

The Destination:
Gordian Biotechnology is a therapeutics company focused on diseases of aging, the major unmet medical need of our generation. Age-related diseases have complex causes that include interactions with the aged environment, and traditional ex vivo screening methods have failed to produce effective treatments.

To address this problem, Gordian’s platform delivers and tests hundreds of therapeutics in individual animals. We thus scale in vivo efficacy testing to cover every therapeutic target at the very beginning of the drug discovery process. This lets us choose targets that really impact disease biology, to develop and commercialize therapies for the world’s deadliest diseases, and eventually for the processes of aging itself. 

The Journey:
Our mission is audacious, and the path will be full of both challenges and excitement. Two things characterize the Gordian experience: 1) We work as a team, with ownership in our own roles and trust in each other. 2) We strive for extraordinary outcomes, and in doing so grow our skills and capability.

Team – Relying on each other begins with transparency. We set clear goals, visibly connecting individuals and teams to our company objectives. This empowers each of us to make autonomous decisions about our work, knowing how they will affect the bigger picture. Our communication happens out in the open. We give and receive feedback from a perspective of helping each other grow, share mistakes, and ask for help.
Extraordinary – Every day, we ask ourselves ‘could this process/outcome be even better?’. Knowing our overall mission, we do what we think helps us make the most progress, without asking for permission. We don’t shy away from big challenges or unknown territory, but find a way to excel. Our colleagues are amazing, both at what they do and as people. They inspire us to keep up, to not let them down, and be inspiring in return. 

Like any cutting-edge research environment, Gordian doesn't believe in a standard 9 to 5 day. We set ambitious project goals and support each other to meet them, while maintaining the balance individuals need to thrive and achieve excellence. Our team is geared towards helping each other out and maintaining a culture of intellectual and social fun. We like getting things done and keep standing meetings to a minimum. This year, in accordance with our unlimited vacation policy, each member took an average of 2.5 weeks of (offline) vacation, not including major holidays. We unwind with weekly team lunches, and support each others’ projects both experimentally and by ‘pre-mortem’ meetings to discuss possible failure modes and experimental design. 

If this environment sounds appealing, help us bring it to life. We are at the beginning of a long journey, and want both your ability and your personality along for the ride. Our culture is a source of great pride; it represents both who we are, and who we wish to be. You can dive deeper here:

The Details:
Gordian aims to provide everything you need to thrive. Beyond our community and science, you’ll have enough equity to be a true stakeholder in the company, competitive salary, full health/dental/vision/life insurance, 401k with match, whatever vacation you need to be at your peak, remote work flexibility, and access to world-class mentors and advisors to support your professional growth. Our labs are in the Dogpatch, near UCSF Mission Bay. 
And you:
You have a history of successful execution, both in- and outside of your job description. You want a chance to do your best work, immerse yourself and excel, with people you’ll want to spend most of your time with. 

You truly want to play a key role in an early-stage startup: A fast-paced environment full of both uncertainty and new challenges, demanding relentless resourcefulness.

You have experience managing time-sensitive projects, in collaboration with other specialists. You have deep expertise, and broad curiosity. You are excited to use and develop cutting-edge technology to advance biology and human health. 

Your mission as platform scientist is to improve our core screening platform, by testing and implementing new multiplexing and/or multimodal methods that increase the useful information (per dollar spent) we get from our screens. This involves leading the implementation and validation of single cell methods at Gordian, typically starting from a very early stage (first preprint, or internal idea). You’ll stay abreast of new experimental methods in the single cell/single molecule field, and prioritize these methods for implementation alongside our head of platform and CSO. While doing this, you’ll support the rest of the platform team during peak screening workloads, by helping with molecular cloning and library production, as well as single cell sequencing work.

You’ll need to quickly determine whether each method can be brought to a point where it’s useful to us with an acceptable amount of optimization, or else move on to other projects. To do that well, you’ll need to trust your own understanding and ability, combining optimism about cool technology with pragmatic realism. The methods you develop will eventually become routine within the platform team, and that team will help make your optimization happen. You’ll thus be in constant communication, especially written, to understand and support each other’s work. 

You’ll excel in this role if you’re a relentless and creative troubleshooter with a lot of experience implementing new methods, either bringing new techniques to your lab or ideally leading development of a novel method. You’ve thought about single cell and/or single molecule biology, ideally with multiple readout modalities. You should have a solid grasp of molecular biology, to design DNA constructs as needed in your work. Experience working with tissues and primary cells is a plus, as is expertise in sequencing, cell isolation/sorting, and bioinformatics.

In your first three months at Gordian, you’ll evaluate new literature methods (e.g. ISSAAC-seq, scifi-seq, and spatial technologies) for implementation, including through conversations with authors/experts, and put one method through development to improve our screen efficiency by at least 10%. By six months, you’ll additionally have perfected a new method originated at Gordian. Moving forward, you will continue to prioritize and test ideas for improving in vivo pooled screening and understanding disease.