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Scientist / Senior Scientist – Microbiologist (R&D)


Concerto Biosciences

At Concerto Biosciences, we are obsessed with microbes. We dream of a healthier world where microbial ecology enables advanced medicines and environmentally-conscious agricultural practices. To unlock microbial ecology, Concerto uses a novel screening technology from MIT to construct and observe millions of microbial cocultures in parallel—each its own tiny universe of possibilities. Our technology generates a totally new type of microbiome data that allows us to identify groups of microbes that perform beneficial functions. We call these groups “ensembles”. We are currently in the preclinical stage for our first product, an ensemble to treat eczema—a chronic, irritating, and psychologically stressful skin disease that affects over two hundred million people. Our goal is to discover the first-ever treatment that provides totally safe, sustained relief for eczema patients. Concerto will go on to develop a multitude of ensembles that solve the world’s greatest challenges in human health, food production, and bioremediation.

The Concerto team is our most important ensemble. We believe the best human ensembles, much like microbial ensembles, are diverse—composed of individuals with different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and beliefs. We are committed to building a company where you belong and where your voice is heard.


Role Description

As a (Senior) Scientist – Microbiologist on the R&D team, you will play a critical role in the discovery phase of Concerto’s future microbial products. The ultimate output of your work will be the nomination of “hit” microbial ensembles, strains, or derivatives for future development. Your responsibilities will span protocol design and hands-on execution of (1) microbial biobanking and characterization, (2) assay development, (3) high-throughput combinatorial screening (using Concerto’s proprietary platform), and (4) validation experiments. You will work closely with an interdisciplinary team of laboratory scientists, an automation engineer, and data scientists to plan and execute these experimental workflows.

Microbiology laboratory experience is required, though we do not necessarily expect you to have experience performing all the responsibilities listed below. We are committed to your professional development, and you will develop and hone some of these skills at Concerto. As an early member of Concerto’s expanding team, you’ll also play a critical role in developing Concerto’s culture and translating our core values into practice.


Responsibilities
  • Manage, design, and execute scientifically rigorous laboratory experiments that draw on methods across microbial (co)culture and molecular biology (e.g. plasmid construction, PCR, qPCR, and RNA and DNA extraction)
  • Design, develop, and optimize new quantitative functional assays of bacterial and fungal strains
  • Help design and implement standard operating procedures for biobanking (construction, characterization, information management, and maintenance) and combinatorial screening of microbes
  • Report results from laboratory experimentation through the generation of analyses in Matlab, Python, R, Prism, Origin, Exel, or equivalent (note: the analysis of large screening datasets is accomplished by the data team)
  • Interpret and communicate experimental outcomes, and recommend follow-up experiments
  • Participate in high-level planning of ensemble discovery strategies based on personal experience and scientific learning (e.g. literature, conversations with experts)
  • Participate in low-level planning of week-by-week experiments based on quarterly goals and data discussions
  • Collaborate with scientists, engineers, and research associates, with willingness to learn from and teach others
  • Embody Concerto’s core values in your work

Required Qualifications
  • PhD in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, or related field (or: BS or MS + ≥3 experience in industry)
  • Laboratory experience, including: (a) Microbiology techniques, especially aseptic handling of samples, microbial culture, and engineering of bacteria and/or fungi; (b) Modern DNA cloning methods and bioinformatics tools for construct design; and (c) Design, optimization and implementation of in vitro assays
  • Broad knowledge base across the following fields: microbiome science, microbial ecology, microbial physiology, and medical and/or environmental microbiology
  • Demonstrated ability to rigorously problem-solve, including: forming and testing hypotheses, troubleshooting, interpreting data, and thinking creatively
  • Demonstrated ability to create, maintain, and teach standardized methods and protocols
  • A track record of working well across interdisciplinary teams with excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills (oral and written formats)

Preferred Qualifications
  • ≥1 year of experience in a fast-paced start-up environment
  • Project management experience
  • Knowledge of microbial genetics, biochemistry, and metabolism
  • Experience with high-throughput phenotypic screening platforms

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