At CC Bio we design and build precision therapeutics which manipulate the human microbiome, preventing disease before it starts. By leveraging the combined power of synthetic biology, systems biology and automation we are engineering a new class of efficacious and cost-effective therapeutics which will improve patient outcomes worldwide.
Senior Scientist Role - Synthetic Biology / Biochemistry for Biosensor Development
We are an award-winning synthetic biology focused venture backed by a global pharmaceutical company. We have exciting plans to grow over the next 24 months and further develop our human biotherapeutics. Accordingly, we are seeking a skilled synthetic biologist / molecular biologist to join the CC Bio team and help us realise our mission.
Description of Your Role
We are seeking a highly motivated, curious, and self-driven synthetic / microbiologist to join the CC Bio team in Q1 of 2023. This job role is supported by a successful Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst Grant and is in partnership with synbiCITE.
As the lead of our Athena programme, your primary role will be to discover, design, develop and characterise a range of genetic components for assembly into biosensor circuits capable of sensing microbiome-based diseases. Individual biosensors will be orthogonal and interact with specific disease associated ligands. Characterised circuits will be integrated with one another with increasing complexity to form logic gates with multiple inputs and outputs. The genetic sensors you develop will form central components of our core diagnostic technologies. Your time will be split 80:20 between the wet and dry labs, where you will integrate output from our previously developed software pipelines with high throughput biological assays to reliably produce high-quality experimental data.
In addition to leading our Athena programme, you will have the opportunity to help develop other important elements of our scientific vision whilst working closely with our academic partners. These include development of therapeutic payloads.
What You’ll Do in This Role
- You will discover new peptide and aptamer-based biosensor components capable of detecting metabolic signatures of disease using our proprietary in silico discovery platform, Athena.
- You will use design of experiments to aid analysis, curation, design and development of biosensor gene circuits in silico.
- You will use a range of DNA assembly techniques and an Echo 525 acoustic liquid handler to produce libraries of biosensor circuits for rapid testing.
- You will characterise the properties of each biosensor circuit developed using appropriate plug-and-play reporter systems in a range of appropriate bacterial hosts. This will involve conducting activation and repression assays using plate readers or flow cytometry.
- You will interpret the results of these studies to design novel derivatives of these genetic biosensors with enhanced properties.
- You will integrate single biosensor circuits into more complex logic gates capable of sensing multiple metabolic changes and computing one or more outputs.
- You will automate these methodologies using simple robotics where possible.
- You will actively develop new high-throughput methodologies to enable rapid characterisation of our biosensor diagnostics.
- You will keep excellent experimental/data records for cross-functional teamwork and project learnings.
- You'll organise and manage your time effectively, balancing competing priorities based on business goals and the focus of your wider team, to deliver to commercial timelines.
- As an employee of an early-stage, growing company, you will also have the opportunity to build your experience in certain commercial and operational aspects of the company.
What We’re Looking For
- You have a PhD in synthetic biology, molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry or similar.
- You enjoy generating and implementing new ideas in the wet and dry labs with excellent troubleshooting skills.
- You have a good understanding of synthetic biology techniques, with a particular focus on DNA assembly methods and genome engineering methodologies.
- You have experience with molecular biological procedures including PCR, DNA extraction, plasmid preparation, SDS-PAGE, Western blotting and recombinant protein purification.
- You have routinely cultured and genetically modified Escherichia coli and one other microorganism.
- You have developed biosensor systems for the detection of metabolites of interest.
- You are familiar with using reporter systems e.g. GFP, and in particular, will have previously utilised plate readers to monitor gene expression / microbial growth rates.
- You are able to independently curate literature and design experiments in an autonomous fashion.
Additional, But Not Essential, Skills: “Nice to Haves”
- You are familiar with open-source software and bioinformatics tools in the synthetic and systems biology space.
- You have previous experience developing bioinformatics tools / analysing large datasets using python or R.
- You have experience culturing and genetically manipulating anaerobic microorganisms.
- You have experience building and working with integrated laboratory systems.
- You have previously worked in a commercial biotechnology environment.
How You Enjoy Working
- You enjoy conceiving interesting ideas, discussing them, and then putting them into action yourself.
- You actively seek to collaborate to solve problems, and have no problem working with people who have different viewpoints and backgrounds.
- You don’t take constructive criticism personally and understand that in scientific research, the results of your work do not always represent your efforts.
- You like to work on meaningful projects, and more generally, be part of businesses which are focused on human health research.
- You enjoy working independently but seek out guidance where appropriate.
- You’re not afraid of defending your ideas and approach and are happy to appropriately and constructively challenge viewpoints of your peers.
- You will receive an industry-competitive salary which will be based upon your experience.
- You will be embedded in a state-of-the-art facility at the Imperial Translation and Innovation Hub (iHUB), West London, with a growing scientific start-up community.
- Your time will be split between CC Bio core facilities and the Imperial College London SynbiCITE Biofoundry, where you will have access to state-of-the-art robotics and analytical equipment.
- You will work within an organisation with a generally flexible working culture and will receive a generous leave allowance.
- You will have access to the cycle to work scheme.
Our company culture is, and will always be, inclusive: we will not discriminate based upon gender identity, race, nationality, skin colour, age, disability, relationship status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected right or status.
If this job role is a good fit for your skillset, please get in touch with Matthew@ccbio.co.uk before December 10th, 2023. Don’t be discouraged from applying if your skills do not exactly align with the requirements, but you feel that you would still succeed in the role. In your application, please include your CV alongside a cover letter which outlines why you’d love to join us.