Foundry/Operations Engineer - Mammalian Cell Culture

Ginkgo Bioworks - Boston, MA

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. Today, our foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Ginkgo is continuously crossing new frontiers of biological engineering and we have a record of delivering what was, until recently, thought impossible. Now, our expansion into mammalian cell engineering promises to push our boundaries even further, and so we’re looking for pioneering engineers to make Ginkgo’s new mammalian cell foundry a success.

With your passion for growing the happiest and healthiest cells, you’re familiar with culturing diverse cell types - from CHO to primary immune cells - at scales routinely spanning 20 µL to 2 L. You know the right volumes for 6/24/96/384w plates, all T flasks, and can comfortably use devices such as CellSTACKs, wave bags, G-Rex, etc. Plus, you enjoy efficient experimentation to find, document, and reliably maintain conditions for high cell viability and robust biological responses.

In addition, you’re eager to adapt mammalian cell culture to the Ginkgo foundry model of standardized, reusable processes made highly efficient (and truly scalable) by creative automation. You don’t have to be an expert in (or even use) extensive automation in your cell culture, but you do need to be ready to break the mold of traditional bespoke mammalian cell culture.
Oversee all aspects of mammalian cell culture (BSL1 and BSL2), including media and buffer preparation, culture initiation, propagation, and cryopreservation
Isolate and purify mammalian cells from various sources, including human whole blood, using techniques such as column purification (Miltenyi, etc), FACS, differential growth media, etc.
Perform assays such as cell count, viability, doubling time, and expression of cell-lineage markers by flow cytometry, using light microscopy for evaluation of cell health, viability, morphology, and marker expression
Establish and maintain a clean cell culture laboratory by cleaning incubators, water baths, biosafety cabinets, etc.; testing and monitoring sterility in these areas and cell culture lab in general; building a routine inventory of cell culture consumables; and working with our Infrastructure Operations team to ensure appropriate supply levels are maintained
Cryopreserve cell lines and primary cells for later recovery at high viability, maintaining inventory of master and working cell banks for multiple projects
Systematically test conditions for cell growth and activation, including the use of tools such as DOE for optimization of conditions
Package adeno-, retro-, AAV, and/or lentivirus and transduce cell lines and primary cells with virus, using chemical and electro-transformation systems to introduce nucleic acids and/or proteins into mammalian cells
Independently troubleshoot problems of moderate to high technical complexity and propose solutions related to cell culture, diagnostic/QC assay design, and execution
Maintain accurate experiment and inventory records in various internal databases, and perform data analyses to support these records
Desired Experience and Capabilities
BS and/or MS degree in biology, cell biology, bioengineering, or related field
3+ years of professional experience working in a commercial (biotech, pharma, etc) laboratory environment
Ability to apply flexible work hours to work in conjunction with multiple project scientists (some weekend hours may be required, as needed)
Strong expertise in animal cell culture (adherent and suspension cells), including aseptic technique capable of keeping cultures free from contamination without the use of antibiotics
Demonstrated ability to deliver cells to meet the demands of multiple concurrent projects
Experience with cell-based assays informative for cell viability and functionality (e.g. cell viability/cytotoxicity and immune response assays), as well as the instrumentation for these (e.g. multimode plate readers, light microscopy, and flow cytometry)
Excellent communications skills and ability to work with diverse interdisciplinary teams
Ability to effectively interface with custom and commercial LIMS systems and use software tools for sample and workflow management
Impeccable attention to detail
Ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced, high-growth environment
Additional Preferred Requirements (desired, but not essential)
Experience with primary immune cells
Hands-on experience with T cell engineering (CAR-T)
Hands-on experience with viral packaging and transduction of mammalian cells
Experience with cell sorting (FACS) and/or flow cytometry
Familiarity with laboratory automation and data analysis platforms such as Python, R, and JMP

To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
Ginkgo Bioworks Is Turning Human Cells into On-Demand Factories (WIRED)
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)
Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars Pour Into Hacking Microbes (Forbes)
This food tech startup just raised $90 million to make it easier to invent new plant-based meats (Fast Company)

We also feel it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry and it needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. We hope to continue to build a company whose culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with engineers from all walks of life. Making biology easier to engineer is a tough nut to crack – we can’t afford to leave any talent untapped.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.