Synthetic/Organic Chemist

San Carlos, California
Up to $125,000/year + equity + benefits
Oct 11, 2019
Nov 10, 2019
Field of specialization
Biotechnical, Genomics, Organic
Job Type
Full time

A decade ago, fast and scalable DNA sequencing (reading) disrupted the life sciences enabling a wave of new discoveries, and high impact diagnostics and therapeutics. At Elegen, we believe the next frontier in the life sciences will be catalyzed by rapid, scalable DNA synthesis (writing). For decades, synthetic DNA has been an essential input into biomedical and biology research; high throughput sequencing and technologies such as CRISPR have further fueled demand for synthetic DNA. However, the technologies for synthesizing DNA have evolved only incrementally. The ability to generate an essentially unlimited variety of DNA quickly and cheaply will usher in a new disruptive era in the life and biomedical sciences. Elegen is developing a ground-breaking microfluidic technology and platform to usher in this new era, with the promise to synthesize thousands of custom DNA sequences, inexpensively and on demand, in hours instead of days.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and innovative scientist to work alongside some of Silicon Valley’s best to develop an exciting new technology. The company culture focuses on building a high functioning, collaborative, and efficient team that is constantly innovating to deliver life science innovations that change the world.


● Optimize solid-phase DNA synthesis on our proprietary hardware.

● Design and execute hypothesis driven experiments with the goal of trouble-shooting and quality optimization.

● Develop and document robust, reproducible laboratory processes for automated DNA synthesis on our proprietary hardware with high yield and consistent side product distribution.

● Analyze data efficiently and accurately to measure performance.

● Work safely and independently in a laboratory environment.

● Communicate plans and results effectively with team members.

● Participate in project brainstorming discussions with lead scientists.

Essential Candidate Qualifications:

● PhD in organic synthetic chemistry, or equivalent experience.

● Must have experience running water- and air-sensitive reactions.

● Well versed in theory and practice of general chemistry, solid-phase synthesis, and instrumental analysis techniques (e.g. HPLC, MS, etc.).

● Highly proficient with data aggregation and analysis using rigorous statistics.

● Proficiency in programming is a plus; Process chemistry experience is a plus

About the company: Founded and led by Dr. Matthew Hill and located in San Carlos, CA, Elegen is a stealth-mode company that emerged from Y-Combinator and raised Seed financing led by Andreessen Horowitz in late 2017. The company is advised and staffed by leading biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs including Dr. Marc Unger, inventor of the Nanoflex™ valve and former CSO of Fluidigm. Dr. Hill has a PhD from Stanford and a proven track record of advancing innovative technologies from invention to commercial success. Over eight years in his previous role as VP of R&D at a leading molecular diagnostics company, he co-invented and launched five precision molecular diagnostic products, including a best-in-class noninvasive prenatal test used by millions. These products earn more than $250 million per year in revenue and enabled an IPO.