Principal Synthetic Biologist

MITRE | Non-profit | McLean, VA | More →

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MITRE’s Biotechnology & Life Sciences Department is seeking a Principal Scientist with a track record of research excellence to co-lead the establishment of a Synthetic Biology research group and contribute to ongoing synthetic biology related efforts across MITRE’s work program. The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated individual who enjoys having broad responsibilities, can thrive in a collaborative work environment, and can contribute to multiple projects concurrently.

The successful candidate will provide thought and project leadership and work with MITRE staff to formulate and execute a strategy for engagement in this rapidly evolving field. In this role, you will be responsible for developing a robust internally and extramurally funded research program that establishes new research areas, develops new technologies, and uses those technologies to produce revolutionary capabilities for MITRE’s government sponsors and the marketplace. You will lead efforts to generate new or expanded work in this area that directly contributes to MITRE’s public interest mission of Solving Problems for a Safer World. This position provides an opportunity for collaboration across multiple disciplines in the life and physical science and engineering disciplines, and access to undergraduate and graduate interns.

While initial efforts will primarily focus on strategy development and establishing a research program, it is expected that you will contribute to ongoing projects. In this role, you will provide project leadership and contribute technical expertise to synthetic biology related programs sponsored by the DoD and other government agencies. This position will allow you to provide strategic guidance to MITRE’s government sponsors and assist them in the conception, planning, development, and execution of programs designed to develop solutions to problems of critical national security importance.

•Developing and executing a strategic plan for how MITRE should engage in synthetic biology
•Establishing and leading a synthetic biology group that works at the intersection of computational and experimental biology
•Developing and executing a robust fundamental and applied research program in synthetic biology
•Leading, managing, and executing complex R&D initiatives involving synthetic biology
•Developing and coordinating external partnerships, collaborations, and strategic relationships across academia, industry, and government
•Managing internal contacts and work across MITRE to develop initiatives, programs, and projects related to synthetic biology
•Leading multidisciplinary teams and contributing technically to on-going projects and research in areas including: synthetic biology, bioinformatics/computational biology, biosecurity, and biodefense.
•Providing technical analyses/assessments of emerging technologies
•Preparing technical presentations, reports, whitepapers, tutorials, and other materials as necessary to communicate the progress and findings of projects to colleagues and government sponsors
•Independently authoring detailed, accurate, and accessible documentation (including scientific papers) describing findings and results
•Presenting scientific findings and project results to the internal team and external partners
•Mentoring, training, and managing junior staff members
•Staying current with scientific literature, developments, and efforts and present to the team on relevant topics

Minimum qualifications
•BS and 10 years of related experience, including 2 years of leadership experience
•Applicants selected for this position will be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or applicants who are eligible for security clearances.

Required qualifications
•Candidate must have a background in synthetic biology with a PhD in one of the following areas: Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Immunology, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, or a related field.
•5-8 years experience in academia, industry, or government
•A track record of developing and executing biotechnology research programs
•Demonstrated ability to lead complex scientific research programs
•Ability to work both independently and in a team environment
•Synthetic biology experience and strong molecular biology skills
•Excellent leadership and mentoring skills with prior experience as the scientific lead or PI on complex research projects
•Flexibility, adaptability and the ability to deal with ambiguous situations
•Strong written and oral communication skills including the ability to communicate effectively with audiences of varying technical depth
•Strong publication record in disciplines related to the position
•Demonstrated ability to initiate and sustain a strong externally funded research program in synthetic biology
•Track record of interacting creatively, collaboratively, and productively with other scientists
•Self-motivation, intellectual curiosity, and excitement to carry out interdisciplinary research involving complex experimental and bioinformatics pipelines
•Strong organizational skills

Preferred qualifications
•Impressive technical track record at top-tier academic/research institutions or companies
•Knowledge of biotechnology/biosecurity programs in DoD, Department of Justice (DoJ), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), •Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health and Human Services (HHS), intelligence agencies, and other USG organizations.

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