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Danaher Corporation Associate Scientist, Chemistry R&D in Bothell, Washington

Business Context:

The role is critical for providing early phase oligonucleotide designs to internal customers for screening in assay development. By helping maintain short turnaround times this function will enable Cepheid to establish design lock and realize commercialization of new products under aggressive timelines. The role is critical to support Cepheid’s overall pipeline of new assays under experimental investigation.

The role will have an additional focus on providing specialized oligonucleotide chemistry support to our cross functional innovation scientists. Bothell is responsible for providing new technologies to improve assay performance with greater sensitivity, higher multiplexing and other desired traits for PCR. This often involves implementing new chemistry methods into the creation of our oligonucleotides, as well as functionally testing these materials via PCR. The role will be critical in establishing new chemical processes to prepare and characterize unique synthetic DNA, RNA, DNA/RNA chimera’s, bioconjugates, as well as other hybrid materials for enhanced RT-PCR properties. Additionally, QC release testing of complex materials and functional PCR testing to verify the new approach brings incremental value over existing technologies will be investigated.

Introduction to the role:

This individual will be primarily responsible for performing a variety of oligonucleotide purifications to support early phase assay development teams achieve key milestones leading to design lock and eventual product commercialization. This individual will have cursorily operational competence of the MerMade and Shasta Synthesizer platforms. Additionally, the individual will have expert knowledge of Agilent analytical HPLC systems to perform oligonucleotide purifications and characterization, as well as quantitation of oligonucleotides via UV/Vis analysis. Expert operational experience of Thermo LTQ-XL high throughput mass spectral analyzer with intermediate level skills in the interpretation of the resultant spectra is expected.

The Associate Scientist will support a variety of innovation teams and scientists within Bothell for multiple sub-projects that require specialty chemical skills. Post synthetic modification of oligonucleotides and characterization / analytical testing of complex biomaterials will be required.

The individual will be hardworking, efficient, flexible, and able to perform key responsibilities in a fast-paced, team environment. Also, this individual will be responsible for training junior personnel how to prepare modified DNA and perform purifications of complex oligonucleotide designs, as well as assist with process transfer to our oligonucleotide development team.


  • Performs oligonucleotide purification for the high throughput production of early phase synthetic DNA, RNA and DNA/RNA chimeric designs.

  • Develop advanced analytical methods to characterize complex biomolecules, small molecules, synthetic polymers, modified solid supports, etc, as well as qualification of new analytical instruments and methods.

  • Design, produce and experimentally evaluate via functional PCR testing of new chemical tools to enable fast and highly multiplexed based molecular diagnostics

  • Responsible for maintaining efficient day-to-day operation of the laboratory and purification equipment, as well as troubleshooting and repairing suboptimal performing equipment.

  • Perform oligonucleotide synthesis and analysis as required according to business needs.

  • In collaboration with key innovation scientists determine new methods for preparing and characterizing complex oligonucleotide materials (i.e., DNA/RNA chimeras, heat labile primers or aptamers, post synthetic modifications to DNA/RNA, bioconjugation, etc).

  • Determination of oligonucleotide extinction coefficients using custom in house platform (CalcExt).

  • Prepare synthesis columns packed with proprietary CPG’s using high throughput apparatus.

  • Maintain proper chemical hygiene in the laboratory according the current EH&S guidelines.

  • Assist in the technology transfer of new chemical methods to oligonucleotide development team.

  • Collect & organize research data and document experimental results in laboratory notebook.

  • Present research activities at bi-weekly Chemistry R&D meetings and to other Cepheid stakeholders outside of Bothell.

  • Provide input on experimental design and suggest protocol modifications or alternative experimental methods needed to prepare and characterize complex oligonucleotides.

  • Prepare stock solutions of chemical buffers and other reagents used in the synthesis and purification laboratories.

  • Order and stock the laboratory with various consumable materials and use appropriate procurement techniques to ensure key raw materials are never a bottleneck.

  • Keep abreast of current publications relative to methods, techniques, and new developments within the area of chemical and oligonucleotide sciences, as well as molecular diagnostics and sample prep chemistries for PCR.


Education or Experience (in years):

  • B.S. in Chemistry or Biochemistry or similar science with 2+ years of relevant laboratory experience.

  • M.S degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry or similar science with 0-2 years of related work experience

Knowledge and skills:

  • Must be proficient in basic organic chemistry laboratory techniques, as well as the preparation and characterization of complex materials.

  • Must be proficient in the operation of automated and manual HPLC (SEC, IEX, affinity), spectroscopy (UV, Fluorescence), NMR and LC/MS instruments, as well as the interpretation of all data.

  • Conduct literature searches and keep up to date on relevant techniques for chemical synthesis, oligonucleotide chemistry, and PCR applications.

  • Operate safely in a laboratory environment.

  • Dispose of chemical waste via the appropriate procedures.

  • Must be capable of multi-tasking, working both independently and within a team.

  • Must have strong initiative to complete challenging tasks and learn new technologies.

    Danaher Corporation and all Danaher Companies are equal opportunity employers that evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics protected by law. The “EEO is the Law” poster is available here (http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/pdf/eeopost.pdf) .

Operating Company: Cepheid