Scientist, Computational Biology

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About Willow Biosciences 

Our multidisciplinary team of world-leading discovery biologists, biochemists and geneticists is dedicated to harnessing the therapeutic potential of plants. We have developed the only fully-integrated synthetic biology solution for opioid biosynthesis and are now leveraging our unique design-build process and our proven track record to the biosynthesis of cannabinoids. 

Job Listing: Scientist, Computational Biology

We are seeking an experienced Computational Biologist/Data Scientist to design and analyze rational approaches for metabolic engineering of biosynthetic pathways in microorganisms, particularly yeast. 

Education: PhD in Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Genomics or related field.

Experience: 2+ years’ demonstrated experience in statistics, genetics, engineering or bioinformatics in an industrial research setting (Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, or Life Sciences Industries).Specific experience in gene expression analysis, structure-function relationships and working in a high-throughput environment strongly preferred.

Position: This position is for a highly motivated and experienced individual with a strong desire to work in a fast-paced, collaborative startup environment. This individual should be proficient in statistics, data processing, and experimental design. Responsibilities will include: hands on involvement in the identification and optimization of gene targets; design of single, multi-gene and combinatorial libraries for high throughput screening experiments; data mining/analysis of large complex data for sequence-activity relationship modelling; recommendation of improved variants for subsequent rounds of evolution; participation in rapid Design/Build/Test/Learn cycle with other lab scientists to meet company goals/milestones.

Job Description:                    

  • Build in-house computational/bioinformatics tools 
  • Utilize available transcriptomic, metabolomic and genomic sequence databases for computationally predicting and characterizing eukaryotic gene regulatory pathways (yeast)
  • Design single gene, multi-gene and combinatorial libraries for strain improvement
  • Design high throughput (HTP) experiments with lab scientists for optimal data analysisand continue to monitor and implement improvements to HTP screening processes; develop standard analysis, reporting of processes and any deviations from standard operating procedures or variance.
  • Track (meta) data collection and monitor data storage in database.
  • Develop framework for analysis of HTP data with Spotfire/PyMOL/ I-TASSER and Python (data normalization, identification of hits, linear regression based gene effect analysis, and visualization tools).
  • Effectively communicate/present complex data and analysis to audiences with diverse technical backgrounds
  • Offer strategic recommendations based on interpretation of data for subsequent rounds of evolution.
  • Provide written documentation and specifications for workflows.
  • Work in partnership withlab scientists (strain engineers, assay development and fermentation scientists)to identify, develop, and apply new synthetic biology & genome engineering tools to meet company goals/milestones.

Required Skills:

  • Proficient in statistics (R, JMP) – knowledge of statistical methods; conditional probability, regression modeling, goodness-of-fit tests, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian models;
  • Proficient in at least one of following programing languages: C, C++, Java, Python and Shell in a Linux environment;
  • Proficient in the use of bioinformatics software and packages (e.g., GATK, BCFtools, BLAST, etc.), and publicly available genetics databases (e.g., ExAC, ESP, ClinVar, GenBank, Ensemble, etc.).
  • Experience with analyzing large sequence data sets and cloud computing;
  • Familiarity with HTP screening workflows and genetics;
  • Familiarity with NGS software workflows and analysis of sequencing data from Illumina HiSeq/MiSeq sequencers;
  • Familiarity with enterprise databases (Oracle, MySQL);
  • Experience with Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)
  • Outstanding team player with strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Capable of high performance in independent work as well as in team setting.
  • A strong desire to grow as a scientific researcher, learn new techniques and adopt new technologies for process improvements.

Physical Demands:

  • Remaining in a seated or standing position for extended periods
  • Performing repetitive tasks with hands, fingers, and wrists
  • Use of standard lab PPE (lab coats, safety glasses and gloves)

Position Type

  • Full-time position


  • No

Work Authorization 

  • Authorized to work in the US


  • Healthcare Benefits – medical, vision, dental
  • Vacation + Paid Holidays
  • Life / AD&D, Short-term and Long-term Disability Insurance

Equal Opportunity Employment

  • Willow Biosciences is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.  We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics.  All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need.

Location: Mountain View, CA
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