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Surface Chemist



San Carlos, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Elegen is blazing a path towards a biology-based economy with a highly innovative approach to DNA synthesis that delivers an industry leading length of 7kb in 7 business days with a 99.999% per base accuracy. Our multidisciplinary team of best-in-class biologists, chemists, hardware, and software engineers apply cutting-edge technologies and methods to solve critical bottlenecks in synthetic biology workflows to help our customers in pharma, biotech, agbio, and biomanufacturing streamline their work and realize the full potential of programmable biology.

We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced Surface Chemist to join our team. The Surface Chemist will be responsible for developing solid-phase supports for DNA synthesis on our proprietary hardware. This role requires expertise in surface chemistry, solid-phase synthesis, and analytical techniques. The successful candidate will work independently in a laboratory environment and collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams. Additionally, the Surface Chemist will contribute to brainstorming discussions within the R&D department.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Develop solid supports for our proprietary oligonucleotide synthesis hardware:
    • Source and synthesize custom solid supports to meet the system’s requirements such as surface functionalization, porosity, size distribution, sphericity, purity, and mobility.
    • Optimize the functionalization chemistry of solid supports to improve the yield and efficiency of synthesized oligonucleotides.
    • Develop bulk cleaning and sieving protocols for solid supports.
    • Specify and implement standard operating procedures and quality control (QC) procedures for manufacturing.
  2. Optimize cleave and deprotect workflows:
    • Devise and characterize an efficient and reproducible workflow for cleaving and deprotecting protected oligos from solid supports, ensuring compatibility with downstream applications.
  3. Develop a set of analytical methods to characterize synthesized solid supports:
    • Establish surface chemistry characterization methods to measure functional loading and mobility.
    • Establish support characterization techniques such as particle analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and surface area analysis.
    • Implement statistical analysis to ensure reliable and reproducible data interpretation.

Essential Qualifications and Experience:

  • PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, surface chemistry or equivalent experience.
  • In-depth knowledge of general chemistry principles, solid-phase synthesis, and instrumental analysis techniques (e.g., HPLC, LCMS, sequencing, spectrophotometry).
  • Strong background in polymer bead surface chemistry and functionalization.
  • Familiarity with surface analysis software and data interpretation.
  • Proficiency in designing and executing hypothesis-driven experiments.
  • Proficiency in data aggregation and analysis using rigorous statistical methods.
  • Strong communication skills to effectively collaborate with interdisciplinary teams and present research findings.

Preferred Qualifications and Experience:

  • Extensive experience in solid-phase oligonucleotide synthesis.
  • Experience with microfluidics is a plus.
  • Proficiency in programming is a plus.

Note: This job description outlines the primary duties and requirements of the position but is not exhaustive. Other tasks and responsibilities may be assigned as needed.

Salary and Benefits:

The annual base salary compensation for this role, if based in California is: $113,000 - $170,000. Compensation may be different in other locations. Final compensation also includes bonus, equity and benefits. Specific offer packages are determined by multiple factors, including candidate skill, experience, expertise, and location.

✓ Healthcare ✓ Dental ✓ Vision ✓ Learning Allowance

✓ 401K ✓ Flexible PTO ✓ Short Term Disability ✓ Fitness Allowance

About The Company:

Founded and led by Dr. Matthew Hill and located in San Carlos, CA, Elegen is well-capitalized by top life science investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, and KdT. The company is advised and staffed by leading biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs, including Dr. Marc Unger, inventor of the Nanoflex™ valve, and former CSO of Fluidigm. Dr. Hill has a PhD from Stanford and a proven track record of advancing innovative technologies from invention to commercial success. Over eight years in his previous role as VP of R&D at a leading molecular diagnostics company, he co-invented and launched five precision molecular diagnostic products, including a best-in-class noninvasive prenatal test used by millions. These products earn more than $350 million per year in revenue and enabled an IPO.

Elegen is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Elegen provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic characteristics, or any other category protected by law. All applicants have rights under the following Federal Employement Laws: