Microscopy Support Engineer



Customer Service
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Opportunity

The ability to extract biologically and clinically meaningful signals from high content imaging data is at the heart of insitro's efforts to rethink drug development. Machine learning methods allow us to construct disease-relevant phenotypes and to identify causal factors for those phenotypes, which help reveal new therapeutic interventions. Yet, machine learning methods are extremely sensitive to confounding effects, like for example the microscope used. Our goal is to produce data consistently and bias-free across many different instruments.

As a Microscopy Support Engineer, you will be part of insitro's automation team and report to the Director of Automation Industrialization. This is an onsite role expected to be in the office a minimum of 4 days/week in our South San Francisco Headquarters. You will ensure our microscopy fleet, consisting of both custom and off-the-shelf imaging hardware, is in great running condition. Your work directly supports the needs of insitro's biological science and data science teams through proactive process development and reliable hardware deployment. You provide creative engineering solutions to ensure bias-free dataset creation.

You will join an exciting biotech startup that has long-term stability due to significant funding, but that is still very much in formation. You will have ample opportunities for growth and impact. You will work closely with a diverse team, learn a broad range of skills, and help shape insitro's culture, strategic direction, and outcomes. Join us, and help make a difference to patients.


  • As a member of insitro's Automation Engineering Team, you will develop and execute IQ, OQ, and PQ methods and perform regular Preventive Maintenance.
  • Assist in developing predictive maintenance methods for our imaging fleet by exploring common failures and analyzing system logs.
  • Interface with insitro's microscopy systems team to assist in the development of novel image acquisition methods.
  • Interface with biological science teams (neuroscience, metabolic diseases, and oncology) to collect requirements for imaging components of their experiments, and participate in their experiment design process.
  • Work with automation and machine learning engineers to identify and reduce sources of bias, such as batch effects, imaging artifacts, and even operator bias.
  • Participate in the development of advanced microscopy technologies to uncover insights from a variety of sample types including fixed and live representations of a variety of complex (2D and 3D) human cell culture systems.
  • Develop and maintain standard acquisitions for orchestrating microscopy acquisitions using modern version control practices

About You

  • B.Sc. in optical engineering, biomedical, electrical engineering, physics, or a related discipline, or equivalent practical experience and two or more years of relevant experience working with microscopes or other imaging systems.
  • Hands-on experience working with imaging systems, and a working knowledge of microscope components and configurations
  • Experience communicating updates and resolutions to customers and other partners and collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and job functions
  • Experience working with external vendors
  • Passion for providing better medicine to patients in need
  • Some software development experience using python, C#, C++ or other programming languages
  • Working understanding of optical engineering principles (aberrations, resolution, tolerance analysis, optical physics)
  • Experience with lab automation

Compensation & Benefits at insitro

Our target starting salary for successful US-based applicants for this role is $120,000-$130,000. To determine starting pay, we consider multiple job-related factors including a candidate's skills, education and experience, market demand, business needs, and internal parity. We may also adjust this range in the future based on market data.

This role is eligible for participation in our Annual Performance Bonus Plan (based on company targets by role level and annual company performance) and our Equity Incentive Plan, subject to the terms of those plans and associated policies.

In addition, insitro also provides our employees:

  • 401(k) plan with employer matching for contributions
  • Excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage (insitro pays 100% of premiums for employees on our base plans), as well as mental health and well-being support
  • Open, flexible vacation policy
  • Paid parental leave
  • Quarterly budget for books and online courses for self-development
  • Support to occasionally attend professional conferences that are meaningful to your career growth and development
  • New hire stipend for home office setup
  • Monthly cell phone & internet stipend
  • Access to free onsite baristas and cafe with daily lunch and breakfast
  • Access to free onsite fitness center
  • Commuter benefits

insitro is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be at the foundation of our culture. We bring together diverse teams–grounded in a wide range of expertise and life experiences–and work even harder to ensure those teams thrive in inclusive, growth-oriented environments supported by equitable company and team practices. All candidates can expect equitable treatment, respect, and fairness throughout the interview process.


About insitro
insitro is a drug discovery and development company using machine learning (ML) and data at scale to decode biology for transformative medicines. At the core of insitro’s approach is the convergence of in-house generated multi-modal cellular data and high-content phenotypic human cohort data. We rely on these data to develop ML-driven, predictive disease models that uncover underlying biologic state and elucidate critical drivers of disease. These powerful models rely on extensive biological and computational infrastructure and allow insitro to advance novel targets and patient biomarkers, design therapeutics and inform clinical strategy. insitro is advancing a wholly owned and partnered pipeline of insights and therapeutics in neuroscience, oncology and metabolism. Since launching in 2018, insitro has raised over $700 million from top tech, biotech and crossover investors, and from collaborations with pharmaceutical partners. For more information on insitro, please visit www.insitro.com.