Research engineer

Seeking talented Engineer or Scientist for implementation of single-molecule microscopy directed towards development of therapeutic biologics

About LeslieLab and the CLiC high-throughput single-molecule analysis technology

LeslieLab is a young talented team dedicated to adding single-molecule resolution to help advance the cutting edge of biomolecular and pharmaceutical science, nanotechnology and biotechnology research.  Our single-molecule technology, Convex Lens-induced Confinement (CLiC), works by squeezing molecules into arrays of nanometer- to micrometer-scale “traps” that are large enough to allow the molecules to move and interact freely, but small enough to keep them confined so they can be imaged over extended periods with a high powered optical microscope.  The result is the world’s first simple and high-throughput single molecule technology for analyzing individual molecular interactions.  CLiC is capable of detecting, following, and understanding rare molecular events – like the drug/target interactions which can ‘silence’ genes associated with the onset of diseases.  

Our research program is focused on elucidating the mechanism of complex drug-target interactions, as well as drug uptake and release by nanoparticle delivery vehicles – applications where every molecule matters.  The ability to simultaneously observe large numbers of single molecule interactions offers important advantages over industry-standard “ensemble” measurement technologies like Surface Plasmon Resonance and Dynamic Light Scattering.  These ensemble methods, which are workhorse technologies in the 50B per year drug development industry, provide a single value that represents an “average” across the large number of molecules being measured.  Critically, ensemble measurements fail to reveal sub-populations within a sample arising from biomolecular complexity, multi-step reaction kinetics such as enzyme-assisted drug/target binding, and are not able to tease out the relationships between different variables in a molecular interaction, such as drug cargo loading and size of delivery vehicle. 

Our technology has generated significant excitement in a diverse range of fields, from fundamental biophysical research (effect of DNA super-coiling on plasmid binding) to materials science (shape-based catalysis), to drug development (ASO binding to target mRNA).  We are primarily focused on accelerating the development of complex macromolecular therapies based on antibodies, oligonucleotides, and nanoparticles, and we are actively working with the leading global companies in these fields.  Our development of CLiC technology is driven by the need to ‘close the loop’ on rational drug design, providing the data and resolution needed to iterate on drug design to optimize performance.  

About the position

We are looking for an applied scientist or engineer (BSc, BEng, MSc or MEng) with a background in experimental science, experience in laboratory research, an entrepreneurial spirit and interest in a career in biotechnology.  The successful candidate will work alongside PhD scientists in a hands-on capacity to develop and validate novel applications of the CLiC technology to accelerate drug development.  

The candidate will be responsible for the execution of a wide variety of experiments and for analyzing and reporting the resulting data. Excellent attention to detail and strong communication skills are critical as the candidate will be the “ears, eyes, and hands” working with a new technology that is actively under development.  

The candidate will also be expected to perform thorough and detailed analysis of experimental results and to regularly report on their work in a professional manner (clear slides and graphs, clear communication of experimental plans, objectives, results, and conclusions, etc.), contributing to grant applications, reports, and publications.

The successful candidate will demonstrate a desire to learn quickly and work independently and will constantly be looking to improve their knowledge and extend their scope of responsibilities. 

Desired skills and experience

Any hands-on experience designing, building, hacking, or “making” of any kind is a strong asset in our lab, as we are constantly modifying our own instruments and trying new things.  The candidate should ideally also have some experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Quantitative analysis of large data sets (e.g. with MatLab or Python)
  • Automation of laboratory equipment (e.g. with LabVIEW or MicroManager)
  • Electronics (e.g. design, soldering, control software)
  • Mechanical engineering and device design
  • Microscopy, imaging, biosensing
  • Sample preparation and molecular biology
  • Sample characterization and chemistry
  • Clean room or wet bench work

Some experience with single-molecule microscopy, microfluidics and sample-preparation would be advantageous but not necessary. A B.Sc. background with some laboratory experience is fine.

The successful candidate will be well-organized, an enthusiastic team player who enjoys lab work and troubleshooting scientific instrumentation, who can follow detailed instructions, think on their feet to solve experimental problems, learn very quickly, and work independently.

To apply, please send a cover letter and CV/resume to contact.leslielab [at]