Scientist (Structural Biology & Drug Discovery)

 

Company Description

A-Alpha Bio is an early-stage venture backed biotechnology company located in Seattle, WA.

Company Mission

A-Alpha Bio combines cutting edge synthetic biology and next generation sequencing technologies to discover, optimize, and characterize therapeutics for a wide range of diseases.

Role Description

We are seeking a skilled structural biologist with research experience related to the ubiquitin proteasome and/or targeted protein degradation. The Scientist’s initial role will be leading a research project to develop a novel approach for discovering targeted protein degraders using A-Alpha Bio’s proprietary AlphaSeq platform. In the lab, this role will involve designing and constructing libraries of E3 ubiquitin ligases and relevant therapeutic targets, conducting high-throughput yeast assays, and executing Illumina and nanopore next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflows. The role will also involve analyzing and interpreting large NGS datasets in python and presenting results to the A-Alpha Bio team and to external pharmaceutical company partners. In addition to relevant experience around structural biology, molecular biology, and E3 ubiquitin ligases, the ideal candidate will be comfortable leading and managing a growing team in a fast-paced and highly dynamic startup environment.

 

Responsibilities

  • Lead, manage, and execute an internal R&D initiative for the discovery of protein degraders

  • Design, build, and validate large AlphaSeq yeast surface display libraries

  • Execute and optimize the AlphaSeq assay to quantitatively measure millions of protein-protein interactions between E3 ubiquitin ligases and therapeutically relevant target proteins

  • Use and expand an internal data science pipeline to interpret and analyze large NGS datasets

  • Present findings to the A-Alpha Bio team and to external academic and company partners

  • Document results in written reports for internal and external use

  • Manage and mentor junior members of the team

  • Stay current with scientific literature in the rapidly growing field of targeted protein degradation

 

Requirements

  • Ph.D. in Life/Chemical/Physical/Engineering Sciences

  • Strong background in structural biology, with an emphasis on the ubiquitin proteasome and targeted protein degradation

  • Strong molecular biology skills (PCR, cloning, sequencing, etc.)

  • Highly self-motivated, intellectually curious, and excited to carry out interdisciplinary research involving complex experimental and bioinformatics pipelines

  • Strong written and oral communication skills

 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience building and working with large DNA libraries in a synthetic biology context

  • Experience with next-generation sequencing, including sample preparation and analysis of Illumina and Oxford Nanopore platforms

  • Strong data science skills in Python (Pandas, Matplotlib, Scipy)

 

About A-Alpha Bio 

We have developed AlphaSeq, a novel platform technology that hijacks the native yeast mating machinery to measure protein-protein interactions at a library-on-library scale. AlphaSeq allows us to characterize all possible interactions between a library of biologic drugs and a large panel of target proteins, which enables the discovery and optimization of challenging biologics that require a particular binding profile to multiple targets. Using this platform, we offer a proprietary service to pharmaceutical companies discovering, optimizing, and characterizing drug candidates.

 

A-Alpha Bio spun out of the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design and Center for Synthetic Biology in July 2018. We are newly venture-backed and expect to grow rapidly over the coming years. New members of the team should expect a fast-paced and highly dynamic work environment. We are building a diverse, meritocratic, and supportive team that values hard work, creativity, transparency, individual and team growth, flexibility, and kindness.

 

A-Alpha Bio is located in Fluke Hall, a startup incubator operated by the University of Washington, with easy access to public transit. While the startup lifestyle occasionally requires grueling hours, we strongly value the need for a work-life balance and time out of the lab/office. We are fortunate to be situated in an area that is renowned for its premier outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, and boating.

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to contact@aalphabio.com 

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