Are you a Drosophila geneticist who is passionate about making an impact? Do you want to optimize the world’s first Drosophila-based expression platform and unleash the sustainable biorevolution?
About the role
The Senior Scientist - Genetics exists to optimize our EntoEngine platform and ultimately create the highest quality recombinant proteins available on the market today. Activities will range from developing new genetics strategies to consistently express novel recombinant proteins in Drosophila melanogaster, to maintaining existing stocks and supporting the fly rearing team for industrial level insect farming.
The Senior Scientist - Genetics will work collaboratively with the R&D unit of our business under the leadership of the Genetics Lead and VP of R&D. They will work intimately with our Protein Purification and Engineering Teams and provide support and mentorship to junior scientists. This role will attend weekly science and all-hands meetings and participate in collaborative discussions on Future Fields’ R&D and production strategy and business goals.
This role will own the optimization of our genetic systems for maximal growth factor and recombinant protein expression in Drosophila. They will provide mentorship and supervision to junior team members, and support the Genetics Lead in using cutting edge tools to genetically manipulate Drosophila and troubleshooting where necessary. The products of EntoEngine are part of our long-term strategy and can be found within our product roadmap. They will also work with our Protein Purification team to develop the broader production process with each particular recombinant protein product. Specific responsibilities include:
- Molecular cloning of target genes into transposon vectors - primer design, PCR, restriction enzyme cloning, plasmid DNA purification, and DNA analysis
- Investigating and designing novel methods of gene expression within the Drosophila system - designing new plasmids and features for enhanced expression of transgenes
- General fly husbandry - tending to transgenic strains and maintaining existing stocks
- Setting up genetic crosses - planning and designing mating schemes to express transgenes, balancing transgenic strains to prevent expression loss, investigating new transgenic crosses for enhanced expression
- General experimental design and troubleshooting
- Incorporating CRISPR and site specific genomic integration strategies for new products
This role will assist by:
- Supporting the Genetics Lead and VP of R&D with new product strategy and development
- Supporting our Protein Purification team in developing protocols for expression testing and upstream protein purification processes
- Helping other members of the genetics team with general fly husbandry and stock maintenance
- Advising our regulatory team as needed and providing information, including written reports, to meet reporting requirements and help us reach critical regulatory milestones
- Participating in the recruiting and hiring process as the genetics team grows
This role requires an advanced degree (PhD or MSc) in genetics or a related field; extensive experience with the Drosophila melanogaster model organism and the associated genetic tools; the ability to manage a small team and multiple projects; a positive attitude and passion for sustainability and creating impact through growing a startup; and an innovative mindset with a passion for solving hard problems. We are a startup and value a hunger for learning and improvement, balanced with the need to produce results.
You are a problem-loving scientist with a passion for Drosophila and their immense benefits as a model organism. You live and breathe genetics and have a deep understanding of the nuances of the Drosophila system. You are detail-oriented and can manage multiple projects simultaneously with diligent note taking. You’re a strong team player and enjoy collaborating on a scientific level with other individuals with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. You like to support and provide mentorship, but love getting your hands dirty in the lab with your own experiments. You’re a strong communicator with a proclivity for explaining difficult scientific concepts to laypeople and other scientists. You have a passion for sustainability and want to have a positive impact on the world with your unique skill set.
- PhD or MSc with 4+ years experience in Genetics or a related field
- Extensive experience with Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism and its associated genetic tools
- Supervisory or mentorship experience of other junior scientists
- Strong collaboration and interpersonal skills
- Previous experience with recombinant protein expression
- Experience with population genetics
- Previous experience with GMP production
Your future (with Future Fields)
- Within 1 month, you develop a comprehensive understanding of EntoEngine capabilities and optimize the existing genetic strategies and boost expression of key growth factors and recombinant proteins within our Drosophila expression system. You will also develop a plan to effectively balance existing stocks to prevent decline in expression levels.
- Within 3 months, you will begin to implement new plans developed under the supervision of the Lead and VP for new or existing targets, having cloned relevant features or sites into new vectors for transgenesis. You will also have balanced existing stocks for long-term expression of production stocks.
- Within 6 months, you will have the new transgenic strains built with initial expression tests completed. You will have begun to iterate and troubleshoot the new expression system to ensure optimal results.
- Within 1 year, you have developed a robust system for enhanced expression of recombinant proteins, fully implemented into our production system with at least 1 product with new products initiated in the process. You will have worked with the Engineering team to have integrated newly developed strains into the production process.
About our team
Our story and approach to science is anything but conventional. Matt (co-founder/CEO) was a touring punk rock musician who dropped out of University before returning to complete his PhD in cell biology. Jalene (co-founder/COO) is a social researcher by training, previously working on issues from the right to affordable housing to harm reduction. The spark of an idea for our technology came while waiting in line for tiny, Canadian donuts. Our broader team of scientists, engineers, circus performers, restaurateurs, dancers, folk music aficionados, kid parents, pet parents, cyclists, and artists hail from every corner of the world - from small town Alberta to Poland, India, Vietnam and Pakistan. We credit our diverse team and experiences as the key to our success - and we encourage candidates of all identities and backgrounds to apply.
Where is Future Fields located?
Our headquarters (office and lab space) is located in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, in a beautiful, freshly renovated warehouse. From the exposed brick to our rooftop patio - it’s not your average lab space. It is central, close to transit and bike lanes, and walking distance to some of the city’s best coffee shops, restaurants and Edmonton’s incredible river valley.
I don’t live in Edmonton. Why would I want to relocate there?
Any other perks?
Many! Some include: competitive salary; comprehensive health, dental and vision benefits; flexible paid time off policy; and the office is always stocked with snacks and all the coffee you can drink.
Will I like working for a startup?
Great question. Startup life is definitely not for everyone. We move quickly. Projects and priorities shift fast. There is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty at times and we’re not immune to the growing pains of an early stage startup. The risk is high, but so is the reward. We promise you will never get bored. You will have fun and learn a lot. You will grow personally and professionally in ways you never imagined (alongside our company). You will be part of something much bigger than yourself and contribute directly to the mission of a team who cares deeply about changing the world for the better. Oh, and equity!
Sound like something you are interested in? Here are the next steps:
If it seems like a good fit, next steps will look like this:
- We will contact you for an introductory call where we learn more about you, your career goals and motivations, and your technical skills.
- We’ll arrange another interview to figure out how you fit with our team and culture, and better understand your career trajectory.
- We will set up a coffee chat with you and a team member. This is your chance to dig in and find out what it’s really like to work for Future Fields. This is for you!
- We will speak with two of your references to confirm our assumption that you are, in fact, our next great hire.
- We offer you a job!