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Group Leader, Molecular Sciences: AbSci, Vancouver, WA

AbSci is a growth stage synthetic biology company located in a new, state-of-the art laboratory in downtown Vancouver, WA, just across the river from Portland, OR.  AbSci is a global leader and innovator of revolutionary biomanufacturing technologies, designing and programming cells for next-generation biopharmaceuticals. Our Protein Printing™ technology results in dramatic reductions in the cost of producing biologics, acceleration of drug discovery timelines, and enables the production of previously difficult or impossible-to-produce molecules.

Job Summary:

The Group Leader, under the general direction of the Vice President of Research, will lead the Molecular Sciences team in further developing the capabilities of AbSci’s proprietary E. coli SoluPro® expression platform and high-throughput strain optimization workflow.    The ideal candidate is a visionary synthetic biologist who will leverage the modern E. coli genetic toolbox, bioinformatics and machine learning, assay development, and high-throughput screening technologies to push the boundaries of AbSci’s Protein Printing™ technology.  The ideal candidate is highly motivated and self directed, extremely organized, has excellent collaboration skills, a creative approach to problem-solving, exhibits superior people and program management skills, and can execute nimbly and efficiently in a dynamic startup environment.  Following a player-coach model, the Group Leader will both lead the team as well as participate directly in the work at the lab bench.


· Work with the Vice President of Research to set the scientific direction and objectives for the Molecular Sciences team.

· Lead, motivate, and empower a high-performing team of scientists in successfully executing on project milestones under aggressive timelines.

· Effectively split time between leadership activities and hands-on time at the bench.

· Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Molecular Sciences team, including DNA library construction, strain engineering, assay development, and high-throughput screening.

· Provide technical leadership and project management to advance internal company priorities and deliver on partnered programs.

· Collaborate with AbSci’s scientific leadership team to ensure success of external partnerships and build a company culture that reflects AbSci’s core values.


· Candidates will hold a Ph.D. in the life sciences, with a focus in synthetic biology, biochemistry, microbiology or molecular biology.

· Minimum of 5 years in industry with experience managing teams of 6+ scientists and research associates.

· Broad background in recombinant protein expression in prokaryotic production hosts.

· Extensive practical experience with cutting-edge DNA assembly and cloning techniques, including the design, construction, and screening of high-diversity DNA libraries.

· Hands-on experience with modern strain engineering technologies and approaches.

· Proficient in using software packages such as Geneious to design DNA constructs and to analyze DNA sequencing data (Sanger and NGS).

· Familiarity with NGS platforms – the hardware, raw data, and common bioinformatic analysis approaches for genomics and transcriptomics experiments.

· Extensive experience with high-throughput workflows, laboratory automation, and complex data sets.

· Experience with FACS and flow cytometry is a plus.

· Familiarity with LIMS systems.

· Track record of strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills applied in a biological engineering context.

· Demonstrated interpersonal communication and leadership skills, including conflict management and trust building.

· Passion for building a gritty and creative company culture that is collaborative, multidisciplinary, and determined to make a transformative impact to our industry.

AbSci offers highly competitive salaries and benefits, including medical and dental insurance, paid time off, and 401(k) with a generous company match.


Vancouver, Washington


Molecular Sciences

Employment Type



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