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Research / Senior Research Associate - Discovery



Evanston, IL, USA · Evanston, IL, USA · Illinois, USA · United States
Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Syenex is a synthetic biology technology company applying next-gen DNA synthesis, sequencing, and machine guided modeling to engineer novel genetic elements for cell and gene therapy drug developers. Our goal is to make it easier for cell engineers and drug developers to create new transformative medicines for patients in need.

Launched in 2022 with IP from Josh Leonard's lab at Northwestern, Syenex has teams in Chicago, IL and Boston, MA and is backed by three top-tier, long-term, institutional venture investors: AlleyCorp, IA Ventures, and KdT Ventures.

We offer a technology-driven environment with access to the nexus of synthetic biology and cell & gene therapy as well as a culture of courageous innovation, trust, inclusive collaboration, and empowerment.

Position Description

We are looking for a motivated Research/Senior Research Associate to join the Discovery Team and support the optimization and screening of novel delivery vectors for cell and gene therapy. Characterization and evaluation of delivery vehicles and in vitro assay development will be key elements of the position, along with primary cell and cell line maintenance and culturing. This individual will join a dynamic, rapidly growing, and highly collaborative team that combines significant biologic discovery experience with pioneering discoveries driving multiple delivery platforms.

Summary of Key Responsibilities

  • Maintain mammalian cell culture.
  • Produce and test novel constructs for mammalian cell delivery via flow cytometry and imaging techniques.
  • Characterize gene and protein expression in mammalian cells using flow cytometry, microscopy, qPCR, ELISA, etc.
  • Participate in experimental design and optimization.
  • Follow Standard Operating Procedures and develop new protocols when necessary.
  • Work collaboratively to generate and screen novel delivery vehicles.
  • Maintain accurate records of experimental samples through database curation and electronic tracking.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Bachelor's plus 1-2 years laboratory experience in an academic or industry setting or MS in scientific related field (Biology, Biochemistry, Engineering)
  • Familiarity with basic laboratory procedures
  • Experience maintaining various cells in culture using standard techniques
  • Experience with mammalian cell transfection
  • Understanding of mammalian molecular biology and cell biology
  • Familiarity with viral vectors and/or nanoparticles
  • Experience with flow cytometry
  • Experience with protein characterization (e.g., ELISA, western-blots, BLI)
  • Highly motivated with strong desire to learn and contribute to team science
  • Strong work ethic with attention to detail and data quality
  • Demonstrated ability in working in a fast-paced, collaborative, and technical environment