Associate Scientist I/II, DNA-Encoded Libraries - Chemistry

High-Throughput Chemistry · South San Francisco, California
Department High-Throughput Chemistry
Employment Type Full-Time

The Opportunity

An experienced chemist or chemist-in-training is sought. Expertise in chemical synthesis and purification is required. Duties will include acquiring accurate and precise data to build data sets at the intersection of chemistry and biology. Machine learning integrated with chemistry/biology at scale lies at the core of insitro’s approach to rethinking drug discovery and development. As our Associate Scientist you will be a key member of the High-Throughput Chemistry team working on the synthesis of DNA-Encoded chemical Libraries (DELs) and subsequently screening these DELs using the company’s proprietary nDexer platform for drug discovery. You will be a member of cross-functional teams, comprising machine learning engineers, life scientists, automation engineers and data scientists. You will demonstrate world-class research skills and experience in developing and using cutting-edge molecular biology methods. You will hone your interpersonal skills, and build a strong collaborative work ethic, as well as the ability to adapt to changing needs, and the capacity to multitask to meet key goals. Exceptional attention to detail and communication skills are essential to success in this position. 


Specifically, you will:


  • Participate in DNA encoded libraries synthesis as a chemist using an array of chemical and synthetic techniques
  • Design and execute parallel high-throughput DNA encoded chemistry experiments 
  • Develop methods for novel on-DNA chemical transformations 
  • Analyze conjugated oligomers using HPLC, LCMS, electrophoresis, and other methods
  • Contribute to the design of new libraries
  • Participate in the design, development, optimization, validation and integration of automation processes for high-throughput parallel synthesis and analysis
  • Operate and maintain automation systems
  • Design and execute experiments
  • Analyze experimental results
  • Present results to cross-functional teams


You will be joining the founding team of a biotech startup that has long-term stability due to significant funding, but yet is very much in formation. Much can change in this early and exciting phase, providing many opportunities for significant impact. You will work closely with an exceptionally talented team, learn a broad range of skills, and help shape insitro’s culture, strategic direction, and outcomes. Join us, and help make a difference to patients!


About You

  • B.S./ M.S. in medicinal or organic chemistry or a related field with 3 to 5+ years of relevant experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry
  • Hands-on experience in DEL synthesis, or experience in parallel synthesis techniques, or experience in medicinal chemistry
  • Good working knowledge of medicinal and organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Meticulous about documenting experimental and analytical work with remarkable attention to detail in all aspects of the job
  • Experience in HPLC, LCMS and other methods of analytical chemistry
  • Experience in operating and maintaining modern automation systems (liquid handlers, HPLC/LCMS, etc) 
  • Knowledge of modern cheminformatics tools and other scientific software
  • Ability to translate broad directives into action with minimal supervision
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and job functions in a fast-paced, goal-oriented, team environment
  • Passion for making a difference in the world


Nice to Have

  • Experience or knowledge of DNA handling techniques like PCR, restriction digestion, gel electrophoresis, etc
  • A demonstrated expertise in scientific programming (e.g., Python, Java, C++, SVL) with practical application of these skills is a strong plus


Benefits at insitro

  • Excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage
  • Open vacation policy
  • Team lunches (catered daily)
  • Commuter benefits
  • Paid parental leave


About insitro

insitro is a data-driven drug discovery and development company using machine learning and high-throughput biology to transform the way that drugs are discovered and delivered to patients. The company is applying state-of-the-art technologies from bioengineering to create massive data sets that enable the power of modern machine learning methods to be brought to bear on key bottlenecks in pharmaceutical R&D. The resulting predictive models are used to accelerate target selection, to design and develop effective therapeutics, and to inform clinical strategy. insitro was launched in 2018 with a Series A of $100M funded by top investors including a16z, Arch Venture Partners, Foresite Capital, GV, and Third Rock Ventures. In 2019 the company announced a collaboration with Gilead Sciences in the area of NASH, a collaboration with BMS in the area of ALS, and in mid 2020, announced a Series B financing of $143M including current investors and new investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), T. Rowe Price, BlackRock, Casdin Capital and other leading investors. The company is located in South San Francisco, CA. For more information about insitro, please visit the company’s website at www.insitro.com 


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  • Location
    South San Francisco, California
  • Department
    High-Throughput Chemistry
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time