Lab automation engineer

Emeryville, California
Synthetic Biology /
Full time /
Prolific Machines is ushering in a new era of biomanufacturing. Our proprietary platform enables unparalleled control over any cell function in any cell type, with wide-ranging applications across food and pharmaceuticals. We are excited for mission-driven, talented, and kind people to help us create a brighter tomorrow with biology. Prolific is supported by leading investors, including Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Mayfield.

About this Job
We’re looking for a lab automation engineer who will function as an integral part of the Synthetic Biology and Assay Development team to create and maintain laboratory automation workflows at Prolific Machines. You will design, develop, and maintain automation workflows and instruments that enable rapid generation and optimization of precisely engineered cell lines for downstream biomanufacturing applications. You’ll work cross collaboratively with team members in synthetic biology as well as hardware engineering, bioprocessing, and analytical chemistry disciplines to spearhead cell line development pipelines that produce high performance cell products. As part of this work you will be provided with training to become an automation expert and will help teach teammates through peer-to-peer training and written SOPs. This is a unique position and opportunity to leverage automation in an industrial setting. You’ll be provided with tons of room for technical growth and professional development opportunities to teach your peers and mentor early career professionals as well as interface with company strategy and decision making.


    • Designing, developing, and maintaining workflows with liquid handling robots to perform an array of molecular, cellular and biochemical experiments
    • Maintenance of automation instruments including troubleshooting issues, repairs and service
    • Maintaining excellent documentation of all work performed including electronic lab notebooks and SOPs for instrument use
    • Optimizing workflows for data integrity, ease-of-use, and other process improvements as needed
    • Training and collaborating with teammates/stakeholders on how to use the platform and run automated workflow to facilitate the success of critical company-wide projects
    • Ensuring robustness and performing experimental troubleshooting to generate desired scientific outcome with high integrity

About You

    • Bachelor's degree in Biology or Engineering, or in a related field, and 3-5 years of industrial or academic experience 
    • Experience in liquid handling robotics (Tecan, Opentron or Hamilton) to create and maintain laboratory automation workflows
    • Enjoy developing complex liquid handling environments with Tecan systems and accessory instruments 
    • Good understanding of principles to develop processes on lab automation platforms, for robust execution, data handling and management post-execution
    • Familiarity with aseptic techniques, mammalian cell culture and cell-based assays
    • Self-starter who’s committed to team science while excited to drive innovation and build infrastructure independently
    • Have strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills and can work effectively as a member of a cross-functional team
    • Enjoy project planning, documentation and execution 
    • Eager to work in a high-growth, fast-paced startup environment
    • Ability to work across multiple projects, and to deliver results considering major timelines
    • This position description likely contains skills you already have as well as skills you would learn in the role. These skills are not requirements, so if you think you would do a great job at this role then you should apply regardless of whether you fit the above criteria.
$100,000 - $125,000 a year
-Equity in the form of common stock (subject to vesting)
-Performance-based bonus

Start Date: On or before July 15, 2024
Location: Emeryville, CA
Benefits: Health, vision & dental insurance (incl. spouse coverage), free team lunches every day
Diversity: At Prolific we value diverse people, perspectives, and knowledge. To this end, we aim to foster a sense of belonging that enables everyone to bring their whole, authentic self to work everyday. We are committed to growing a diverse and inclusive team that encompasses all types of people. We believe this can only be achieved by acknowledging the ancestral, historic, and current systemic and communal inequities.