Director, Automation Engineering | St. Jude Children's Research Hospital | Tsai Lab

Job Description

The lab of Shengdar Q. Tsai focuses on understanding, improving, and translating novel genome editors for therapeutics, aided by state-of-the-art laboratory automation.

We are seeking highly motivated, experienced, and creative candidates to lead development of an integrated, state-of-the-art liquid handling platform to automate genomics methods associated with development of individualized genomic medicines at St. Jude.

St. Jude has recently launched a new blue sky project, PARADIGM (Partnership to Advance Development of Individualized Genomic Medicines), which has the goal of developing customized genome editing treatments for patients at St. Jude with hematological conditions such as bone marrow failure disorders.

CRISPR genome editors, adapted from bacterial adaptive immune systems, have transformed both basic biological research and genomic medicine. One unique advantage is that they can be simply programmed with a short associated guide RNA molecule, and in principle new gRNAs could direct precise modifications to different disease-associated mutations.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Design and build an state-of-the-art, integrated liquid handling platform to perform genomics and next-generation-sequencing (NGS) assays. The ideal platform will integrate liquid handlers, thermocyclers, incubators, plate readers, washers, and a robotic arm.
  • Automate high-throughput, cellular and biochemical methods such as GUIDE-seq and CHANGE-seq, to define the genome-wide activity of base and prime editors.
  • Automate other key molecular biology and next-generation sequencing methods relevant to development of novel genome editing therapeutics.
  • Apply this platform towards high-throughput lead target discovery of highly active base and prime editors that can make precise edits to living cells.
  • Collaborate with other members of PARADIGM team, including post-doctoral fellows, genomics scientists, and protein engineers, working toward a common goal of realizing a future of individualized genome editing medicines.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Program liquid handlers, robotic arms, and instrumentation for life sciences research with a focus on genomics and next-generation sequencing
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams including biochemists, molecular biologists, cell biologists, bioengineers, and bioinformatics scientists to develop liquid handling automation protocols for genomic and cellular processes.
  • Conduct thorough testing and validation of automated liquid handling protocols, troubleshoot technical issues, and implement necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance.
  • Collaborate with external vendors to evaluate and select appropriate robotic equipment, instruments, and consumables to support project needs.
  • Trains lab members to use new liquid handling automation systems.
  • Manages capital purchasing and budgeting objectives for new blue sky project.
  • Oversees the design, construction, integration, operation, and maintenance of new liquid handling systems.
  • Works closely with the Principal Investigator to create automation workflows that advance lab goals.

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience working with one or multiple major automated liquid handling platforms and familiarity with working with dynamic scheduling software. If you have experience developing liquid handling automation systems for next-generation sequencing, we strongly encourage you to apply.

We care deeply about the success of our scientists and this job is a unique opportunity to advance the development of future individualized genomic medicines at St. Jude, with room for career growth and advancement.

Minimum Education and/or Training:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required
  • Master’s/PhD preferred.

Director Minimum Experience:

  • Ten (10) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required
  • Eight (8) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required with a Master’s degree
  • Six (6) years of relevant post-degree work experience is required with a PHD
  • Management experience is required

Manager Minimum Experience:

  • Minimum Requirement: 7+ years of technical experience in relevant technical field (industry or academia) with Bachelor’s.
  • Experience Exception: 5+ years of technical experience in relevant technical field with Master’s.
  • Experience Exception: 3+ years of technical experience in relevant technical field with PhD.
  • Experience managing at least 1-2 people preferred.
  • Extensive experience leading projects/processes end to end including resource planning and management, and communication and collaboration with internal cross-functional teams and external partners preferred.
  • Experience leading and mentoring teams preferred.
  • Proven performance in earlier role/comparable role.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the world’s leading pediatric hospitals whose mission is to advances cures for catastrophic childhood diseases. Consistent with the vision of our founder, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion, or ability to pay.

St. Jude has been consistently named one of the best companies to work for by Fortune, GlassDoor, and others. St. Jude offers excellent benefits, great salary, help with relocation, and actively fosters professional development. As part of your role, you will have opportunities to attend and present at national and international meetings such as ASGCT, ASH, Keystone Genome Engineering, CSHL Genome Editing, and FASEB Genome Engineering.

Please include your cover letter that explains your interest in the position and resume addressed to Dr. Tsai who will read and review all qualified applications.

If you have questions about the position, please don’t hesitate to e-mail Dr. Tsai directly at shengdar dot tsai at stjude dot org.

Apply now