Head of Assay Development

Cambridge, MA /
Lab /
Full Time
Biobot’s mission is to build resilient and inclusive public health infrastructure by turning our sewers into early warning health observatories. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Biobot pioneered wastewater analysis (based on what is excreted in urine and stool) as a tool for tracking the progression of the virus through communities. We are now the leader in pathogen detection for community-level and building wastewater, as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recent award to sponsor COVID-19 monitoring by Biobot of over 300 hundred wastewater treatment plants representing over 100M people. Since the Company’s  founding in 2017 from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) laboratory, we have been building capabilities to combat public health crises like the opioid epidemic, and plan to expand our early warning platform to serve as a resource management hub for disease, nutrition disparities, and more. Please note that Biobot is currently unable to sponsor employment visas.

The Assay Development group is responsible for developing biological and chemical assays to detect various analytes of interest from wastewater samples. Assay development scientists fulfill diverse responsibilities in developing novel assays, optimizing assay performance and throughput, performing large-scale data analysis, leading technology platform development, and scientific consulting. The Head of Assay Development is responsible for the intake, assignment, and tracking of assay development work within a rapidly growing matrix organization and the appropriate resource allocation to deliver developed assays to meet commercial project needs. They are also responsible for nurturing the team by aligning work assignments with scientific and career interests and, when necessary, growing the team via recruiting and hiring.

In this role you will

    • Utilize your skills and experience as people and project manager to lead the development of novel biological or chemical assays from conception, development, and piloting through validation.
    • Manage a group of assay development scientists, developing the team through growth opportunities, career mentoring and recruiting.
    • Align assay development resources with commercial project needs.
    • Ensure the delivery of developed assays, working with assay development scientists and project managers to adjust resources, scope, and timelines as necessary.
    • Work with senior assay development scientists to ensure the technical quality of the group’s workIdentify and leading improvements in group practices and protocols.

Who you are

    • PhD in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering or equivalent, or BS with equivalent experience.
    • At least five years post-PhD (or equivalent) industry research experience in biotechnology or assay development.
    • Experience scaling assays from idea to commercial launch.
    • At least two years of people management experience.
    • At least one year of experience in project and/or resource management; additional familiarity with software tools such as JIRA is a plus.
    • Strong organizational skills.
    • Track record of aligning strategy, resources, and prioritization with project goals.
    • Ability to identify trade-offs and, when necessary, say no.
    • Demonstrated ability to develop novel assays and optimize conditions to reduce variability.
    • Familiarity with software, programming, and/or laboratory automation a plus.

Last and certainly not least

    • At Biobot, we believe that the best technologists can improve society and we strive to build a workplace in which everyone can thrive. Our goal is to be a diverse team that is representative, at all job levels, of the society we live in. We encourage applications from women; non-binary, trans, and gender-non conforming individuals; Black and indigenous individuals, and people from other minority racial and ethnic groups; and other groups traditionally underrepresented in technology startups.
    • To learn more about Biobot, check out some recent press: https://www.biobot.io/media