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Head of DNA



Boston, MA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2024
We are seeking a Head of DNA to drive successful production and accelerated delivery of custom plasmid DNA, including complex and large assemblies, to address the diverse needs of synthetic biology research and therapeutic systems development at Asimov. This leadership position entails managing and guiding a group of skilled scientists and engineers responsible for molecular biology production workflows, which include high-throughput custom plasmid assembly, plasmid production scale-up, and QC through our internal next-generation sequencing (NGS) pipeline to support our R&D and customer-facing activities.
The Head of DNA will oversee the strategic direction of the DNA and Strain Construction (DNASC) team, focusing on increasing efficiency, expanding expertise, and on-boarding new capabilities. This position involves close collaboration with Asimov’s Commercial, Cell Line Development, Synthetic Biology and Software teams. This role offers a unique opportunity to work at a nimble, forward-thinking synthetic biology startup to help build the future of biological engineering.

About the Role:

  • Establish a fast, reliable, and efficient resource for plasmid DNA assembly and QC release for customer and internal projects, imbuing the team with a sense of urgency and a commitment to quality.
  • Manage a team of scientists, research associates, and project managers to deliver DNA, improve process efficiency and throughout, and expand capabilities to address Asimov’s needs.
  • Maintain, deploy, and direct continuous development of robust high-throughput and automation-based DNA production workflows, complete with data integration, process controls, QA/QC, and strategic integration of new techniques and technologies as they come available.
  • Provide technical leadership and mentorship to the DNASC team, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement.
  • Work with our internal lab software development team, BiOS, to steer the development of software supporting DNASC workflows from request submission through delivery.
  • Partner with the Commercial team, the Cell Line Development team, and other functional teams regarding priority projects and capacity planning.
  • Ensure adherence to standards, industry best practices, as well as preparation of necessary quality packages.
  • Stay current with advancements in molecular biology techniques and industry trends, and implement new methodologies as appropriate to enhance process efficiency and quality.
  • This is an on-site role, requiring you to be on-site 4-5 days a week. Our team works from our new lab and office in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, MA.

About You:

  • Demonstrated thorough understanding of leading a hybrid production/R&D group with a customer-centric mindset to ensure delivery, quality, timeliness and prioritization across a portfolio of complex projects. Experience with GLP/GMP-compatible processes is a plus.
  • You have a strong background in molecular biology, including experience and deep understanding of techniques, tools, and services, ideally associated with DNA manufacturing, cloning, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) of complex vectors for biologics and viral vector platforms.
  • You have a Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Biotechnology, or a related field, 5+ years of people management and 10+ years of DNA assembly or related molecular biology experience at a biopharma company or CDMO.
  • You are an exceptional people manager who has proven experience in recruiting, developing, cultivating, and leading high-performing teams with a focus on continuous learning and growth.
  • You have excellent problem-solving skills, with the ability to troubleshoot complex problems and resolve technical issues in DNA assembly and cloning.
  • You have experience with team-level financial management, tracking, and planning.
  • You have excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to effectively communicate across all levels of the organization, as well as build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Having a proven track record of vendor relationship management, evaluation and negotiation, is a plus.
  • Being detail-oriented isn’t just a sound bite for you, it’s part of your DNA. Keeping track of many moving parts is easy for you because you’re highly organized.
We're fueled by a vision to transform biological engineering into a fully-fledged engineering discipline. Should you join our team, you will grow with a constantly evolving organization and push the frontiers of synthetic biology. Company culture is key to Asimov, and ours is a culture of recombination; we believe that our mission can only be achieved by bringing together a diverse team with a mixture of backgrounds and perspectives.