Principal/Senior Scientist, Long Read Sequencing Lead at Volta Labs, Inc. (W19)
Unlocking the utility of genomics for the world
Remote
Full-time
About Volta Labs, Inc.

Volta Labs is a group of antidisciplinary scientists and builders working at the intersection of engineering and biology. We are building a sequencing technology agnostic platform that spans from the raw biological sample to sequenceable molecules. We are doing this by reinventing the full stack — hardware, software, chemistry, and biology — to create simple, flexible, and powerful solutions for sample preparation and beyond.

About the role

You will be joining the Applications Development team at Volta Labs and responsible for leading the technical feasibility and product development of Long-Read Sequencing (LRS) Library Preparation workflows on the Volta Labs platform. You are expected to build and lead a team of junior scientists and engineers as well as be hands-on in the lab. This role will interact across many functions within Volta Labs, as well as external partners in academia and industry.

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Volta Labs, Inc. (https://www.voltalabs.com/) is an MIT spin-off that has unlocked powerful new capabilities with our proprietary fluidic technology. Working at the intersection of engineering and biology, we are developing the future of automation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in life sciences. We are at an exciting inflection point as we emerge out of stealth mode and scale up. Alongside our collaborators, we have demonstrated powerful and unique competencies that are now being developed into robust products for the decentralization of Next Generation Sequencing. This beachhead application is on the bleeding edge of innovation and adoption, and we intend to shape the future with our paradigm shifting platform. 

Working at Volta Labs means having big ambitions for solving the world’s most challenging problems. We take pride in having a wealth of internal knowledge and experiences across all aspects of technology, and we hope that you can add fresh perspectives to that! We strive to build a community of collaborative, disruptive, and respectful team members who feel empowered to be themselves every day.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Short term (< 3 months)

  • You will own and take full responsibility for taking LRS library prep workflows from feasibility to seeing it through commercialization on Volta’s platform. 

  • Get a good hold of the Volta Labs automation system and its capabilities. This will involve day-to-day experimental work on the current prototype platform. 

  • Generate technical requirements for implementation of LRS library prep workflows. 

  • Implement proof-of-concept for LRS library prep workflows on the Volta Labs platform and generate data on application performance.

  • Independently define and plan project goals, design experiments and achieve them with the help of the team.

  • Use expertise and systematic problem-solving methods to troubleshoot and solve complex development issues.

  • Participate in interviewing and hiring to expand the application development team, as a way to influence team growth and how our values inform our culture.

  • Medium term (3 - 12 months)

  • You will be responsible for building the team that champions LRS library prep workflows. This would mean you will be building this team from the ground up, that would include a team of researchers including one or more RAs.

  • Guide team members to the planning, prioritization, execution and analysis of experiments, and help them analyze and interpret results, troubleshoot problems and generate reports.

  • Responsible for the management and professional development of a small team of researchers.

  • Implement LRS library prep workflows on the Alpha and Beta instruments and share feedback with the engineering team on the prototype performance.

  • Planning and execution of verification and validation experiments of LRS library prep workflows.

  • Collaborate with engineering, software, consumables teams and functional leads to define priorities, deliverables, and timelines for development projects.

  • One of Volta’s core values is continuous learning. It is expected that you maintain scientific and technical expertise through familiarity with scientific literature, attending conferences, and keeping up to date with latest technology developments. The team might lean heavily on you as a resource and a technical expert.

  • Long term (> 12 months)

  • Support commercialization activities such as technical support for deployment of LRS library prep workflows at lighthouse customers.

  • Define priorities for new feature development in collaboration with the engineering team.

  • Explore other potential applications and estimate related technical scope and development time.

  • Work closely with leadership across technical and commercial teams to define the long-term application roadmap and product vision at Volta Labs.

  • Continuously contribute to the company's intellectual property portfolio.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Strong technical proficiency with a background in molecular biology, bioengineering, biochemistry, or related field.
  • Highly collaborative and able to work well within multidisciplinary teams.
  • Innovative in overcoming technical challenges.
  • Self-motivated and strong problem-solving ability.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Detail-oriented in training research assistants.
  • Capability of guiding team through the complete product development phases.
  • Knowledge and experience in experimental design and in verification / validation of experimental design, statistical data analysis and interpretation.
  • Familiar with NGS data analysis, Bioinformatics knowledge and skills are preferred.
  • Ability to collaborate in a fast-paced team environment with rapidly changing priorities: proactive team player who thinks ahead, plans, and suggests solutions.
  • You are a continuous learner who embraces a growth mindset.

Education and Experience

  • PhD in Bioengineering, cellular and/or molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry or a related discipline.
  • 3+ years industry experience for Senior Scientist or 6+ years’ for Principal Scientist, preferably in product development with emphasis on Oxford Nanopore or PacBio library prep workflows.
  • Extensive experience in nucleic acid process and manipulation, NGS assays, library prep workflows, and sequencing platforms, etc.
  • Demonstrated experience leading a technical team/project, or serving on a cross-functional development team.

Volta Labs offers both competitive cash and equity compensation, as well as health, dental, and vision coverage, and unlimited paid time off. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status, and actively seek out and value diverse perspectives. Women, people of color, people who are differently abled, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to apply. Even if you don't check every box, but see yourself contributing, please apply. Help us build an inclusive community that will change the face of bio-automation!

Technology

We are in the midst of a genomic revolution. What the entire world could not do two decades ago — sequence a human genome — today a scientist can do on a bench. The adoption of sequencing technologies is only increasing exponentially.

Despite these advancements, preparing samples for sequencing remains a bottleneck. Today’s scientists are held back by existing solutions for sample preparation. We believe that disruptive innovations are needed in sample prep technologies to unlock the true utility of genomics.

Volta is building a sequencing technology agnostic platform that spans from the raw biological sample to sequenceable molecules. We are reinventing the full stack — hardware, software, chemistry, and biology — to create simple, flexible, and powerful solutions for sample preparation and beyond.

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