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Automation Scientist, Functional Genomics

United Kingdom

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Location Stevenage, GB Job ID JR-015197

The successful candidate will join the GSK Functional Genomics team to provide first line software and technical support for automated liquid handling, plate washers and bench-top automation platforms, enabling minimal equipment downtime and maximal system utilisation. This position will be embedded within the department, providing direct support to laboratory scientists in the programing and operation of automated platforms and in planning of experiments to incorporate automated solutions where appropriate.

The role will be based in Stevenage.

Job Responsibilities

  • Work closely with equipment users to develop & optimise assay protocols on their automation platforms, ensuring optimal efficiency & performance.
  • Work alongside gene editing and cell culture scientists to develop, optimise, validate and troubleshoot high throughput automated workflows.
  • Lead Equipment Breakdown Deep-Dive activities to identify the underlying cause, with the objective of mitigating its reoccurrence.
  • Train equipment users on key concepts associated with the platforms within Functional Genomics at GSK to support best-practice and mitigate avoidable run failures, ensuring optimal routine operation.
  • Oversee & participate in equipment support activities within Functional Genomics at GSK.
  • Establish & maintain strong relationships with Vendor Application Specialists
  • Maintain awareness of new developments in the field of Laboratory Automation.
  • Provide technical mediation in the event of long running equipment issues involving multiple vendors
  • Leverage the expertise & experience of the network of Automation Application Scientists and the wider Applied Sciences team from across PE’s Scientific Services accounts.
  • Help develop best-practice and facilitate knowledge sharing between automation users.
  • Work flexibly depending on team priorities and support requirements

 Basic Education/Experience/Qualifications

  • BSc in a Life Sciences related subject
  • 5-10 years’ experience in laboratory automation.
  • Pharmaceutical industry working background
  • Background in biology, automating cell-based assays and/or molecular biological techniques.
  • Attention to detail and good organizational skills
  • Good team-working behaviours, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Advanced technical skills in field of expertise
  • Experience of developing & optimising complex protocols on liquid handling automation
  • Solid understanding of core competencies involved in operating liquid handling automation
  • Experience writing protocols in Biomek, Evoware, Momentum or VWorks software

Desirable Education/Experience/Qualifications

  • MSc/PhD in a Life Sciences related subject
  • 2-4 years’ experience in applications support or service development
  • Previous experience working in innovation i.e. continuous or revolutionary.
  • Strong understanding of cell and molecular biology, cell culture techniques, gene editing methods, high throughput screening & sample preparation.
  • Experience of C#, Java, HTML & other advanced programming languages
  • Extensive experience writing protocols in Momentum or VWorks software

Physical Demands 

The overall physical exertion of this position requires:

  • Sit or stand 2-3 hours in laboratory areas.
  • Reach above/below the shoulder, bend at the knees and waist.
  • Office work activities, including keyboard, with fingers/hands/arms up to 4 hours.
  • Work around moving laboratory equipment and machinery.
  • Work with biohazards such as blood borne pathogens.
  • Appropriate PPE must be worn at all times (Lab coat, gloves, eye protection)

Working Environment

  • Must be able to work in a laboratory, controlled environments requiring personal protective     equipment.
  • Job pace may be fast and job completion demands may be high.
  • Employee may be required to manage hazardous wastes in compliance with company procedures & State/Federal/Local hazardous waste regulations. Duties may include: Identifying, handling, generating, accumulating, storing, labeling.
  • Ensure safety, security, and the environment in all aspect of the daily activities, and any potential safety hazards are addressed and corrected immediately.
  • Understand ergonomic relationship between people, equipment and working environment.


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PerkinElmer is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability status, age, or veteran status or any other characteristics protected by applicable law. PerkinElmer is committed to a culturally diverse workforce.

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