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Assay Development Co-Op

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms.  

When we can measure things, we make progress. We do not get what we expect; we get what we can inspect. As we measure it and understand what we are observing, it becomes possible for us to ask essential questions that will drive us to future discoveries.  

The Assay Development Team is the center of excellence for designing, developing, optimizing, and validating assays, technologies, and methods that allow Ginkgo to measure enzyme and strain performance. Core to our organism engineering pipeline is the testing and analysis of our engineered strains. We leverage assay development and high-throughput screens to measure thousands of strains simultaneously for improved enzyme activity of critical steps or increased titers of final products. Given the diversity of projects at Ginkgo, it is essential that assay development and analytical approaches work across multiple hosts and products of interest. Our novel detection, screening, and selection methods enable Ginkgo’s high-throughput screening pipelines to deliver newly engineered cell strains.

As an Assay Development Co-op, you will gain experience in the development and optimization of novel enzymatic biochemical and cell-based assays. Specifically, you will design and execute laboratory experiments, generate and interpret data supporting the development of new assays, and execute high-throughput screens. Other learning opportunities will encompass an ability to apply, utilize novel detection technologies, and incorporate automation solutions to assay development operations in the lab, assay troubleshooting, data analysis, and reporting. Previous projects have included new assay development using biochemical and cellular methods to robustly quantify biological interactions for applications in the therapeutics, food or materials industry. Examples include alphaLISA assay development to identify immune potentiators targeted for IBD or development of FRET assay for characterizing libraries of novel enzymes producing antibiotics.

Please note: this co-op position has a preferred start date of January 2023, for a 6 month term.

The Ginkgo Bioworks Early Talent program is open to students who will return to their degree programs upon completion of their employment at Ginkgo. Candidates must be enrolled in a United States based institution and/or have work authorization in the United States to be eligible to participate.

  • Develop, optimize, and execute novel enzymatic and cell-based assays into high-throughput screens 
  • Design and execute lab-based experiments, generate and interpret data 
  • Leverage automation to support assay development, execution, troubleshooting, data analysis, and reporting
  • Bring an excitement to learn new skills and take on new challenges in support of where the science of our projects takes us 
  • Plan and execute high-throughput screens, and interpret experimental results to plan the next steps for the project 
  • Support recurring execution of existing workflows and continuously improve them

Minimum Requirements
  • You are currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program with interest in hands-on wet lab research, assay development, and learning how to use, optimize, and implement a diverse set of analytical approaches across microbial and mammalian engineering efforts. 
  • You are a current sophomore or junior at time of application
  • You are a Biology major with interests in measuring things, organisms, and experiments in lab; Computer Science major with Biology coursework or strong demonstrated experience of Biology projects welcome to apply
  • Willingness to learn and use various software tools and robotic instrumentation.

Preferred Capabilities and Experience
  • Experience with basic biology laboratory techniques and equipment, including preparation of media and reagents, plate readers, and liquid handlers 
  • Familiarity with Python, Spotfire, GraphPad PRISM, or JMP, experience in analyzing large data sets, and a desire to learn new programming languages and software tools
  • Willingness and ability to learn new things quickly and work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment
  • Demonstrated ability to independently troubleshoot errors

We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  

We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.