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Associate Director of Lab Automation and Process Optimization

Institute for Protein Innovation
South Boston, MA
Closing date
Sep 20, 2023

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Pharmaceutical, Laboratory
Organization Type
The Institute for Protein Innovation (IPI)is a nonprofit research organization advancing protein science to accelerate research and improve human health. Founded in 2017 by Harvard Medical School professors Tim Springer and Andrew Kruse, we are located in Boston's Longwood Medical Area.

The Institute's three-pronged approach is to build protein tools, conduct related internal research and develop educational programs for the protein science and broad biological research communities. With a significant endowment, IPI uniquely combines the freedom of academia with the high throughput and scale of industry to take on transformative projects. IPI has built a robust platform for discovering, developing and distributing synthetic antibodies and other protein tools to share with the biomedical community. The Institute's deep protein expertise, collaborative spirit and research tools are powering new biomedical and therapeutic discoveries with a growing community of researchers at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital and across Greater Boston, and beyond.

The position of Associate Director of Lab Automation and Process Optimization is responsible for establishing and implementing a cohesive automation plan for IPI across all groups of researchers, including accountability for the successful implementation of critical automation projects, including DNA synthesis and Antibody Library projects.

While the Associate Director will be tasked with the development of plans for automation, they must also be able to and motivated by taking a hands-on approach to laboratory automation, especially w as it relates to high-profile and new projects.

Working closely with the IPI leadership, the Associate Director studies and identifies opportunities that significantly advance IPI's ability to serve academia and industry with products and solutions emphasizing high-throughput, automated approaches to generate panels of antibodies for significant subsets of the human and murine/mouse proteomes.

Key Outcomes:

•Conceives and executes lab automation in collaboration with IPI's scientific leadership, including driving the selection and implementation of appropriate technologies to support the institute's mission

•Recruits and develops an expert lab automation team by hiring and developing top talent

•Manages a team of researchers and interfaces with key stakeholders in the R&D organization to create and maintain automation solutions for current and planned pipelines and projects

•Identifies areas amenable for automation and design and executes efficient automation processes

•Builds capabilities for assay development and robotics in conjunction with LIMS systems to support wet lab automation

•Generates reproducible data with appropriate reporting and collaborates effectively with cross-functional team members for end-to-end automation of pipeline processes

•Continually cultivates scientific and technical expertise through review of the scientific literature, attending external conferences, and developing relationships with key opinion leaders

•Works effectively with IPI's other research teams to contribute to the vision, strategy, and tactics of the organization

•Willing to work hands-on at the bench in the near term and recruit/develop a team in the longer term.

Required Skills:

•BS in engineering, biological sciences, or chemistry, and a 5+ year track record of scientific excellence in lab automation

•Proven track record in establishing lab automation teams and platforms for high-throughput scale-up and optimization in a biotech, pharma or larger-scale academic environment

•Expertise in scientific programming languages (python, C++, shell scripts) that will help drive automation and provide interfaces with LIMS systems

•Hands-on capabilities in programming/maintaining one or more of the major robot vendors (e.g., Lynx, Hamilton, Tecan, etc.) and familiarity with a wide range of laboratory instrumentation

•Strong scientific communication skills with the ability to clearly explain complex processes and data sets to drive decision-making

Core Competencies:

•Fast-acting/efficient: Moves quickly and proactively with a strong work ethic to produce high-quality results while fostering a positive work environment. Focuses on key priorities. Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.

•Integrity: Does not cut corners, technically or ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidences. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully. Follows through on commitments. Expects a high level of personal performance and team performance.

•Critical thinking: Learns quickly. Demonstrates ability to proficiently understand new information and independently achieve meaningful outcomes. Able to structure and process quantitative data to draw insightful conclusions and solve complex problems.

•Creativity & Innovation: Generates new and creative approaches to problem solving. Positive "can-do: attitude. Views the toughest challenges as the greatest opportunities for personal growth and company innovation.

•Teamwork: Fully engaged in facilitating personal and team success. Reaches out to peers and cooperates with the team to establish an overall collaborative work environment. Often solicits and responds well to constructive feedback. Possesses good written and oral communication skills with the ability to clearly and concisely convey ideas and opinions.

•Flexibility/adaptability: Adjusts quickly to changing strategic and tactical priorities. Comfortable with ambiguity.

IPI is committed to providing employees with competitive compensation and an excellent benefits package to support physical, mental and financial health. Highlights of benefits include:

•100% employer-paid medical, dental, and vision coverage

•Flexible Spending and Dependent Care accounts and a Healthcare Reimbursement Account

•401(k) plan with generous 6% employer match - immediately vested

•Generous PTO package

•Commuter and parking reimbursement

•Educational assistance

•Career development opportunities

For more information, visit or follow us on social media, @ipiproteins.

IPI is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization and an equal-opportunity employer. The Institute celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

IPI does not accept unsolicited resumes from third party recruitment firms.

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