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Synthetic Chemist: Elegen – San Carlos, CA

Elegen is developing a suite of innovative technologies to unlock the SynBio revolution. We are seeking an extraordinary chemist to become one of the founding members of the R&D team, developing and optimizing oligonucleotide synthesis and support functionalization chemistry for our novel DNA synthesizer.

We are open to various levels of experience as long as the candidate is willing and able to be hands-on optimizing DNA synthesis on our prototype microfluidic oligosynthesizer. There will be substantial opportunities for career growth and development as the company advances through subsequent stages, including leadership opportunities for suited individuals.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and self-driven scientist to get in near the ground floor of a fast-moving, very high impact start-up and make a substantial contribution to the life sciences. In addition to working on Elegen’s novel and innovative technology, the candidate would help us establish a strong culture of mutual respect, integrity, and collaboration while working alongside some of Silicon Valley’s best scientists and engineers.


  • Develop and troubleshoot support functionalization chemistry
  • Optimize solid-phase DNA synthesis on our proprietary hardware.
  • Develop and optimize a cleave/deprotect system for protected oligos from the solid phase.
  • Develop analytical methods to measure yield and side products on very small quantities of product and impurities.
  • Design and execute hypothesis driven experiments with the goal of troubleshooting and quality optimization.
  • Analyze data efficiently and accurately to measure performance.
  • Work safely and independently in a laboratory environment.
  • Communicate plans and results effectively with team members.
  • Participate in project brainstorming discussions with lead scientists.

Essential Candidate Qualifications:

  • PhD in organic synthetic chemistry, or equivalent experience.
  • Well versed in theory and practice of general chemistry, solid-phase synthesis, and instrumental analysis techniques (e.g. HPLC, LCMS, etc.).
  • Extensive experience in solid-phase oligonucleotide synthesis.
  • Highly proficient with data aggregation and analysis using rigorous statistics.
  • Proficiency in programming is a plus.

About the company:

A decade ago, fast and scalable DNA sequencing (reading) disrupted the life sciences, enabling a wave of new discoveries and high impact diagnostics and therapeutics. At Elegen, we believe the next frontier in the life sciences will be catalyzed by rapid, scalable DNA synthesis (writing). For decades, synthetic DNA has been an essential input into biomedical and biology research; high throughput sequencing and technologies such as CRISPR have further fueled demand for synthetic DNA. However, the technologies for synthesizing DNA have evolved only incrementally.  The ability to generate an essentially unlimited variety of DNA quickly and cheaply will usher in a new era in life and biomedical sciences.  Elegen is developing a suite of ground-breaking technologies, with the promise to synthesize thousands of custom DNA sequences, inexpensively and on-demand, in days instead of weeks.

Founded and led by Dr. Matthew Hill and located in San Carlos, CA, Elegen is a stealth-mode company that is well-capitalized by top life science investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, and KdT (last round closed June 2020). 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 enable an IPO.



Lio Tariman

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