HTS: Assay Development Group Lead

Boston, MA /
Foundry: Test /
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. Today, our foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Core to our organism engineering pipeline is the testing and analysis of our engineered strains, using state-of-the-art analytical and automation technologies. We leverage high-throughput screening (HTS) to measure 1000s of strains at a time for improved enzyme activity of key steps or increased titers of final products. Given the diversity of projects at Ginkgo, our Assay Development group must develop approaches that work across multiple hosts and products of interest. We’re looking for a highly talented and motivated scientist to join our high-throughput screening (HTS) team and lead the Assay Development group.

The Assay Development Group Lead is responsible for the management and growth of assay development scientists, assay development resource allocation, and the delivery of developed assays to meet commercial project needs. The Assay Development group within HTS is responsible for developing assays (typically enzymatic assays) for use in high-throughput screens to test enzyme performance. Assay development scientists fulfill diverse responsibilities in developing novel assays, optimizing assay performance, coordinating high-throughput screen execution, performing large-scale data analysis, leading technology platform development, and scientific consulting. The Assay Development Group Lead is responsible for the intake, assignment, and tracking of assay development work within a rapidly growing matrix organization. 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.

You are an experienced people manager with demonstrated capabilities in project management and resource allocation. With your passion for high-throughput screening and assay development, your research has spanned the fields of microbiology, biochemistry, and HTS. Ideally, you have led the development of multiple enzymatic activity, whole-cell, or microbial phenotypic screens from conception, development, and piloting through execution.


    • Managing a group of at least ten assay development scientists, including up to seven direct reports
    • Developing the team through growth opportunities, career mentoring, recruiting, and hiring
    • Aligning assay development resources with commercial project needs
    • Ensuring the delivery of developed assays, working with assay development scientists and project managers to adjust resources, scope, and timelines as necessary
    • Working with senior assay development scientists to ensure the technical quality of the group’s work
    • Identifying and leading improvements in group practices and protocols

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • PhD in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering or equivalent, or BS with equivalent experience
    • At least four years post-PhD (or equivalent) industry research experience in biotechnology, assay development, or high-throughput screening
    • At least two years of people management experience, managing at least five direct reports
    • At least one year of experience in project and/or resource management; additional familiarity with software tools such as Microsoft Project, Smartsheets, or JIRA is a plus
    • Strong organizational skills
    • Excellent stakeholder management 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
    • Enzymology experience a plus
    • Familiarity with software, programming, and/or laboratory automation a plus
    • Familiarity with diverse microbes a plus
To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing (Forbes)
The engineering of living organisms could soon start changing everything (The Economist)
Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $290 Million in New Funding (Bloomberg)
Ginkgo Bioworks raises $350 million fund for biotech spinouts (Reuters)
Ginkgo Bioworks Is Turning Human Cells into On-Demand Factories (WIRED)
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)
This food tech startup just raised $90 million to make it easier to invent new plant-based meats (Fast Company)

We also feel it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry and it needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. We hope to continue to build a company whose culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with engineers from all walks of life. Making biology easier to engineer is a tough nut to crack – we can’t afford to leave any talent untapped.

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