Berkeley Lab's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Division has an opening for a DNA Synthesis Platform Lead. This position is for a Career Staff Scientist with a strong background in synthetic biology, DNA synthesis-enabled bioengineering, or a related discipline. Under the direction of the JGI Deputy Director for Genomic Technologies, the candidate will serve as the scientific group leader for the DNA Synthesis Platform. You should have demonstrated experience with state-of-the-art design strategies and tools and laboratory methods for synthetic biology technologies and be able to coordinate and communicate with JGI users to accurately define and document design specifications. This candidate will lead the design, organization and implementation of a multitude of gene synthesis experiments in areas related to DOE research in bioenergy, bioremediation and industrial biotechnology and will define collaborative initiatives with the Bioenergy Research Centers, Berkeley Lab researchers and the scientific community. You will direct and supervise a group of scientists, technicians and computational staff focused on the construction of synthesized DNA to advance JGI the scientific impact of projects performed by the JGI's user community. This candidate will provide a leadership and a strategic vision to ensure long-term stability for this program. You will be responsible for executing and overseeing the construction process and documenting all the QC steps in the appropriate LIMS. The candidate will have experience in troubleshooting in the creation of constructs with challenging sequence content or structure, as well as synthetic constructs that do not perform as expected from a functional standpoint. You will interact with stakeholders to jointly develop alternative design strategies as needed. This candidate will also be responsible for analyzing sequencing data for construct design and characterization and for developing and implementing new strategies for host strain engineering. You will actively pursue strategies to integrate the DNA synthesis platform with other platforms at JGI e.g. sequencing, functional genomics, metabolomics, so knowledge in these areas is advantageous. Additionally, this candidate will be responsible for coordinating cell cultivation, and the preparation of samples for proteomics, metabolomics, and other cellular assays. In a diverse research team environment, you will collaborate with peers within and outside of the JGI and prepare research findings for publications.
What You Will Do:
Scientific Goals - 50%
Develop and implement state-of-the-art technologies for high-throughput gene synthesis, biosynthetic gene cluster assembly, combinatorial cloning, and host strain engineering.
Lead efforts to translate JGI users' ideas into synthesized DNA constructs with a high probability of functionality.
Create a vision for linking integrated automation and data tracking to improve workflow productivity and scalability.
Propose and implement scientific projects within the framework of the JGI strategic plan linking sequence to function.
Collaborate closely with the JGI Sequencing Technologies and Metabolomics groups to integrate DNA synthesis to high-throughput functional characterization.
Interact with JGI's Scientific Research Programs, DOE Bioenergy Research Centers, Berkeley Lab researchers and JGI's users community to advance gene-synthesis applications.
Propose and implement projects linking JGI's energy-related sequencing portfolio to functional characterization
Communicate with JGI users to define design specifications and construction strategies.
Enter design specification in appropriate software tools to generate construction workflows.
Optimize design automated workflows for synthesis technologies, including the use of next-generation sequencing technologies, for clone screening and quality control.
Develop and implement new strategies, technologies and workflows for automated host strain engineering of a diversity of hosts, including those traditionally intractable.
Interact with other groups for the seamless transfer of samples for the analysis of strains through various platforms including proteomics, metabolomics and any other relevant phenotyping assay
Provide leadership in publishing in peer review journals.
Attend and present data at outside meetings.
Collaborate and interact with peers within and outside JGI.
Management and Supervision - 40%
Oversee and manage the day-to-day activities of DNA Synthesis Platform which includes ~10 FTEs including postdocs, technicians, and informatics staff.
Interact with the DNA Synthesis Science Program lead and the Project Management Office to set, track, deliver and report on the DNA synthesis and assembly production metrics.
Actively participate in scientific advisory committee meetings, user meeting workshops or any activities that present the DNA synthesis platform to JGI stakeholders.
Summarize and report progress to JGI senior management, participate in strategic planning exercises and support senior management with any documentation required in a timely fashion.
Interact with the Instrumentation support group to develop new methods to support process scale-up.
Attend and present findings in external meetings and conferences as well as meeting with funders and senior management.
Additional Responsibilities - 10%:
Propose new research projects to attract new funding and/or participate in multi-PI grant preparation.
What is Required:
PhD in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, or related field, or equivalent work experience in any of or a combination of these disciplines.
Knowledge and experience in assembling large DNA molecules using different assembly methods.
Proven experience in synthetic biology design principles.
Demonstrated experience with the use of multiple Synthetic Biology design tools.
Demonstrated leadership of independent research and development work, including the ability to lead large interdisciplinary team science programs.
Extensive experience with advanced DNA cloning technologies and genomic research.
Three to five years of experience post-graduation in experimental design and methodologies for DNA synthesis.
Demonstrated understanding of how scientific principles apply to problem being studied.
Demonstrated commitment to interact well with members of a multi-disciplinary research team and have strong written and oral communication skills.
Prior management and supervisory experience in a scientific research setting. Experience in complex protocol development and optimization procedures.
Demonstrated commitment to highest standards of professional integrity and good scientific and managerial practices.
Experience with other functional genomics technologies including CRISPR/Cas9, miRNAs, and TF binding assays.
Experience with automated liquid handling systems.
International recognition in areas related to synthetic biology design principles as judged by publication list, highly cited papers, invited talks at national and international meetings, prizes and awards.
Prior experience leading scientific publications.
Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Effective problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Strong analytical, organizational, and record-keeping skills.
The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.
This is a full time career appointment.
Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
Salary is commensurate with experience.
This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
Work will be primarily performed at DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) — 2800 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, CA.
Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
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Internal Number: 84809
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