Cambridge Consultants: Senior Scientist - Synthetic Biology

  • Closing date 31 Mar 2018

The next technology revolution is coming: the engineering of biology.  Cambridge Consultants wants to be at the forefront.  We are building a team to work in synthetic biology: applying engineering principles to the design and build of biological systems to create completely new products and services by combining biology, chemistry, engineering, and maths skills.

We are looking for an outstanding molecular biologist to drive this work forward.  With current expert knowledge in molecular biology techniques you will be a part of the team carrying out work in our labs and delivering answers to our clients.

Main Purpose

As Senior Scientist – Synthetic Biology you will be key part of our team focused on winning and executing projects in synthetic biology.  Working with the Principal Scientist and Biological Safety Officer, your main purpose will be to provide specialist technical knowledge in molecular biology within our project teams to ensure our synthetic biology projects are executed efficiently and to the highest quality.

You will do this by:

  • Providing expert scientific knowledge in molecular biology and genetics of micro-organisms (particularly coli, S. cerevisiae), including control of the functions and processes within cells and the current methods and techniques used in the lab to characterise nucleic acids, proteins and metabolites
  • Assisting with project planning and quoting by providing expert input regarding strategy, time and effort to execute biology-based tasks
  • Designing and executing experimental protocols in our synthetic biology lab
  • Leading and supervising more junior staff to produce high-quality work


The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic, hands-on scientist, who wants to use their skills to work on interesting, real-world synthetic biology problems within a team context.   Your main purpose will be to ensure Cambridge Consultants can plan and execute the biological aspects of synthetic biology projects to a world-class standard.


Type of work undertaken by division/group

The synthetic biology team is a cross-company initiative to build our business in this exciting new area.  The team consists of scientists and engineers from a broad cross-section of disciplines and a cross-section of industry experience.

The team works with our clients to take synthetic biology out of the research lab and make it a real-world technology.  This is based around (a) development of tools and processes to take synthetic biology from an artisan research role to a mainstream product development role and (b) development of commercially- relevant synthetic biology products across a wide spectrum from bioplastics to cell therapies.  The team is strongly multi-disciplinary across biology, chemistry, engineering and maths disciplines and builds on an underlying engineering mind set: abstract, characterise, design, build and test.



Specific Responsibilities:

  • Providing specific genetic and molecular biology expertise to clients and to Cambridge Consultants’ staff
  • Assisting in preparing biology-focused technical content in project plan and proposals
  • Designing, performing and documenting hands-on biology experimental work in the lab, including design and specification of DNA constructs to engineer bacterial and/or yeast strains, transformation, fermentation / culturing and characterisation
  • Presenting the results and conclusions of experimental work to clients
  • Assisting in development of robust, effective processes and tools within the lab
  • Occasional travel as required to meet and engage with clients

This role has a strong technical focus, ensuring we can execute good-quality biological science rapidly in our lab for our clients.


Minimum Requirements:

  • A PhD level degree in molecular biology or a similar biology focused scientific discipline relevant to synthetic biology
  • Experience of analytical techniques such as fluorescence methods, microscopy, NGS, GC-MS, HPLC
  • Experience in bioinformatics tools for DNA construct design, experimental design and data analysis
  • Strong communication skills to both domain experts and non-experts

In addition, the following would be beneficial:

  • Experience as a hands-on scientist in a commercial context in a relevant area to synthetic biology (e.g. gene design, gene editing, cloning, cell transformation, cell culture, sequencing, assay development, culture scale-up, fermentation, downstream purification)
  • Experience of specific synthetic biology techniques, particularly biological system design and characterisation
  • Experience of automation tools for laboratories, particularly software tools

Why Cambridge Consultants?

Cambridge Consultants creates exciting and novel breakthroughs in technology and products. We help our clients achieve the kind of game-changing leap forward that will transform their whole business.

At the heart of what we do are talented and motivated multi-disciplinary teams empowered to create cutting edge technologies and systems to solve difficult problems for our clients.

We recognise and celebrate individual talent and we understand the importance of letting individuals be just that. Our people are here to do the best work of their lives and our job is to provide the platform for them to do it. That means letting people pursue the projects that interest them and develop their career in whatever direction they choose.

A Times Top 100 Best Company to work for

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