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Principal Scientist


PetDx, Inc.

Job Location

9310 Athena Circle
Suite 230
La Jolla, CA 92037
United States


  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • 401(k)
  • Term Life / AD&D
  • PTO
  • Company holidays

Job Description

Reporting to the Head of Assay Development, the Principal Scientist will lead assay development and product improvement projects, play a leadership role in the conception, execution, interpretation, and summarization of results, and lead the team to reach company and departmental goals.

You will lead pilot studies and complex molecular diagnostic laboratory experiments and may also oversee others’ projects to develop novel diagnostics in the veterinary oncology space.

You will work closely with commercial teams, lab scientists, process engineers, and bioinformatic teams to create manual and automated laboratory processes as we develop a high-throughput production environment, using analytical and qualitative studies to identify ways to rapidly iterate and improve on existing methods.

You will also work closely with the clinical production team to facilitate validation studies to transition a R&D protocol to clinical production deployment.

This position requires handling of biospecimens (blood, plasma, nucleic acids, proteins, etc) in a molecular diagnostic setting with separate areas of pre-PCR and post-PCR procedure rooms and performs assay development studies requiring nucleic acid extraction and NGS library preparation for DNA/RNA sequencing using manual and automated methods.

Other tasks may be assigned as needed, including assistance to support adjacent departments such as the clinical laboratory, accessioning, and quality assurance. Reasonable flexibility with assignments and schedules is required to complete project and company goals which may include the need to work evenings and/or weekends.

Key Job Responsibilities

  • Design and lead pilot studies and explore new technologies with the potential to improve performance of existing products or open up new avenues of research and development.
  • Lead multi-omic assay projects, potentially including whole genome, exome, targeted sequencing, methylation and/or proteomic methods.
  • Develop protocols and laboratory workflows to analyze samples, including isolation of nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) from banked biospecimens and QC.
  • Serve as a technical resource for other lab members regarding advice on methods and experiment design and analysis.
  • Establish experiment goals and plans, carry out experiments independently using standardized processes, including but not limited to DNA extractions, genomic sequencing library preparations, PCR, and quantitation of samples.
  • Keep an accurate record of all methods, observations, outcomes, and data generated, following the best practice in the team to collect and record data within LIMS, other IT application systems.
  • Summary, interpretation, and presentation of results from experiments.
  • Manage and lead team scientists to reach overall company and departmental goals and timelines.
  • Mentor and direct scientific laboratory staff.
  • Manage CROs, contractors, and other parties that provide external support for Assay Development processes.
  • When needed, you may contribute to scientific writing and preparation of grants, manuscripts, or other publication materials.
  • Share support of lab facilities, equipment maintenance and inventory control
  • You may support exploratory experiments, validations, bridging studies, preparation of documentation for transitioning R&D protocol to clinical production.


  • Minimum of 6+ years of experience with a PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry, or a closely related field, or equivalent industry experience (16+ years of experience with BS and/or 12+ years of experience with MS)
  • Expertise in technical areas such as whole genome, exome, transcriptome, genomic targeted methods, methylation and/or and proteomic methods as demonstrated by publications.
  • Ability to integrate knowledge from multiple sources and develop novel solutions towards improving assay performance and assay methods.
  • Experience with experimental design, execution, and statistical analysis.
  • Experience with direct management of other laboratory scientists and collaborating with cross-functional groups.
  • Skillful hands-on experience with technical molecular biology techniques, including nucleic acid extraction, PCR, qPCR, digital PCR and/or library preparation for next generation sequencing platforms (including Illumina NextSeq and NovaSeq).
  • Hands-on experience with technology transfer studies, including guard-banding, stability studies, and in-process quality control.
  • Excellent time management, organization across multiple projects, and communication/presentation skills.
  • Be able to effectively track project progress and meet pre-defined timeline for deliverables.
  • Flexible with assignments and schedules in a rapidly changing start-up environment.
  • Experience with assay development for clinical laboratory (CAP accredited and/or CLIA certified) is highly desirable.
  • Practical knowledge of LIMS/database query tools is preferred.

About Our Organization

PetDx is a venture-backed San Diego based molecular diagnostics company, founded by highly experienced cancer researchers and veterinarians who are harnessing the power of genomics to develop a first-of-its-kind non-invasive test for the early detection, characterization, and management of cancer in companion animals, starting with dogs. Our cutting-edge approach to the science will radically change how we manage cancer in pets, so they can enjoy longer, healthier lives with their humans.

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