Octant, Inc.

Emeryville, California
Company size: 40-50
Est. number of positions: 1-2

Opportunity for remote/virtual internship in 2022: No, in person only


About Octant, Inc.

Octant is a therapeutics company integrating novel and scaled experimental technologies (multiplexed
measurements and high-throughput synthetic chemistry) with computation to solve complex challenges in
drug discovery.

  • We use synthetic biology, or the engineering of cells at scale, as a tool for drug discovery.
  • We precisely engineer human cells to report on the activity of biochemical and physiological pathways to learn how to make better drugs.
  • Importantly, we engineer these cells so that we can run millions of experiments that modulate genetics and chemistries at an experimental scale that matches computational simulation.
  • We use this platform to solve complex and important challenges in drug discovery.


Internship Project Description

–This description represents a potential internship project and is subject to change.–

(Updated 11/8/21)

Octant technology relies on genetically engineered mammalian cell lines that report on specific biochemical
pathways. We need to build hundreds of these lines for different receptors, pathways, and indications. Given
this massive scale, we are constantly working to rationalize our synthetic biology approaches. This involves,
but is not limited to, building toolkits and cell lines that enable current and future drug discovery programs.
Synthetic biology projects at Octant will involve building these technologies. Some examples include:

  • Identify, build, and test inducible promoters in mammalian cell lines.
  • Engineer mammalian cell “chassis” lines used for chemical screening and other assays. Might include several cell types.
  • Design, build, test a multiplexable mammalian cell library used for chemical screening and other assays.
  • Design, build, test a transcriptional reporter used to report on the activity relevant to our drug discovery programs.