Senior Scientist, Assay Development

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Oct 17, 2019
Nov 16, 2019
Position Type
Full Time


Q-State is the only company now offering comprehensive genomic services ranging from genetic sequencing to mutation modelling and screening to targeted antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) design, with application to individuals as well as populations. Underlying these services is the company’s expertise in functional genomics, stem cell biology, gene editing, and machine-learning based bioinformatics. Q-State’s proprietary OptopatchTM technology, in particular, enables the company to gain unparalleled physiological insights into personalized models of genetic nervous system conditions. Q-State also offers screening services in these models with its in-house new chemical entity (NCE) and repurposing libraries, and with custom-constructed ASOs. These collective services are available to individuals through their physician and to larger underserved populations through drug development partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Q-State’s approach enables rapid drug discovery opportunities with shorter timelines and powers new treatment paradigms for genetic disease.


We are seeking a self-motivated Senior Scientist to develop novel all-optical electrophysiology assays and to help enable Q-State to develop therapies for diseases of the central nervous system. In particular, we are seeking a candidate to build novel optogenetic assays for probing differential pharmacology on excitation-inhibition in both rodent and human cell culture as well as rodent brain slice. The developed assays, both excitability and synaptic-based, will be used for neuronal disease phenotyping and drug screening applications. The ideal candidate will be comfortable and experienced with the biological, genetics and instrumentation dimensions of such assays. The Senior Scientist will help to conduct validation studies of developed assays, and monitor quality control and performance metrics as the assay is transferred to production operations. Throughout development, the Sr. Scientist will demonstrate effective collaboration on experimental design, rigorous data analysis, and clear communications. The Senior Scientist candidate will also be expected to carefully manage timelines and budgets for relevant projects.



  • Develop new all-optical "Optopatch" synaptic and general excitability electrophysiology assays, in-vitro and in slice
  • Lead or strongly participate in teams to develop instrumentation necessary to execute the assays
  • Carry out cell culture if needed to support assay/instrument dev
  • Conduct plasmid design and cloning, hands-on internally or coordinated externally, to support transfection, viral transduction or related as needed to develop the assay
  • Develop additional software analysis methodologies, MATLAB or Python preferred, and help to integrate work into existing code base
  • Improve the efficiency and reproducibility of assays by working with production engineering to integrate quality control processes
  • Train and supervise research associates as needed
  • Work with Q-State’s senior scientific team to prepare research proposals for Pharma partners, grants and manuscripts as needed


  • A Ph.D. in neuroscience, biological or biomedical engineering, physics, a relevant discipline OR 10 years related work experience
  • Experience developing and debugging electrophysiology assays, preferably both patch and optical assays
  • Experience maintaining and operating scientific, medical, engineering instrumentation or equivalent
  • Ability to work independently as well as in cross-functional teams
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced startup atmosphere with a “do what it takes” attitude
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills

Nice to haves

  • Experience with human stem cell culture and neuronal differentiations,
    development of iPS cell-based phenotypic assays
  • Experience developing and optimizing synaptic assays
  • Experience with CRISPR/Cas9-based assays
  • Familiarity with in vitro culture of additional cell types, e.g. primary rodent neurons and HEK293 cells
  • Experience with microfluidics
  • Experience with slice microscopy
  • Mechanical design experience using SolidWorks
  • Optical design experience using Zemax
  • Electronics design, fabrication and test experience
  • Familiarity with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Mbed or similar platforms

Q-State is a well-funded startup company with 60+ employees located in Cambridge, MA. We offer a comprehensive benefits package and competitive compensation.


Find out more: Visit the company website (complete with beautiful pictures of neurons):

Watch Q-State cofounder Adam Cohen’s TEDx Talk at

Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to

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