Laboratory Technician

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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. Our platform technology integrates the plant discovery, synthetic biology, robotics, analytical chemistry and ML to leverage the therapeutic potential of nature and natural products. 

Job Listing:  Automation Engineer

We are seeking an experienced Automation Engineer to provide primary support for routine HTP Screening Operations and to maintain our robotics systems. You will contribute to automating workflows and processes for pathway engineering in microorganisms, particularly yeast. You will be working with a team of internal customers including biologists, assay and analytical scientists for automating and optimizing their workflows.  You will simultaneously support existing operations and build new fully automated workflows. 

Position: This position is for a highly motivated individual with a strong desire to work in a fast-paced, collaborative startup environment. This individual will keep the laboratory robots running while also working on projects for continuously improving operations efficiency. This individual will maintain records of all laboratory equipment and automated systems; perform regular QC checks; perform minor repairs on the automated systems and lab equipment; Develop automated scripts for existing and new workflows  

Education: BS or MS Biological or Bioengineering discipline

Experience: 2 plus years’ experience in a high throughput environment working with and operating lab automation equipment such as Colony Picker (e.g., QPix), liquid handling robotics such as Tecan, Bravo and Echo in an industrial research setting (e.g., Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, or Life Sciences Industries). Self starter with customer focused attitude and ability to juggle multiple activities in a timely fashion. Previous experience with liquid handlers, automation, scripting, equipment maintenance & record keeping a must. 

Job Description: 

  • Work with scientists to develop, automate and validate workflows for metabolic pathway engineering of yeast strains.
  • Qualify and maintain all lab equipment.
  • Propose continual process improvements for efficiency and quality.
  • Create and maintain validated protocols and SOP’s.
  • Create and manage inventory of automation related parts and consumables.
  • Ability to communicate/present work to audiences with diverse technical backgrounds.
  • Ability to translate high level goals into action with minimal guidance.

Required Skills:

  • Experience in designing, building and integrating automation configurations for HTP strain engineering applications.
  • Hands on experience working with and developing scripts for lab automation solutions including systems like Tecan, Agilent, Molecular Devices Colony Picker, Labcyte Echo etc.
  • Strong organization and communication skills.
  • Detailed oriented with an ability to work in a fast paced and autonomous environment.
  • Capable of high performance in independent work as well as in a cross-functional team setting.
  • A strong desire to grow as an engineer, learn new techniques and adopt new technologies for process improvements.
  • Attention to detail, good laboratory practice and maintenance of a high degree of accuracy while working in high throughput.

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
  • 401k plan

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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