Lead Automation Engineer, Industrialization



Software Engineering
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Opportunity

At insitro, we aim to bring better drugs faster to the patients who can benefit most, through machine learning and data at scale. Through our platform approach we want to create a flywheel of discovery. We believe in the industrialization of biology and standardization and repeatability are crucial to that mission. As a Lead Automation Engineer, Industrialization, you will maintain and improve our automated systems, help develop custom automation functionality, not generally available for purchase, and enable automation for our scientists, at industrial scale.

You will be a member of the Automation team and report to the Director, Platform Industrialization. This is an onsite role expected to be in the office at least 4 days/week in our South San Francisco Headquarters. 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 influence. You will work 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!


  • Develop IQ, OQ, and PQ methods to ensure equipment is in good operating condition
  • Develop process specific QC metrics that allow users feedback on quality of data being acquired
  • Standardize our RNA Sequencing process through both bulk sequencing and single cell sequencing sample prep automation
  • Help develop process improvements for our omics platform
  • Work with biological science teams (neuroscience, metabolic diseases, and oncology) to collect requirements for assay automation
  • Work with automation and machine learning engineers to identify and reduce sources of bias, such as batch effects, sample artifacts, and even operator bias.

About You

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in Robotics, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, Software or Bio-Engineering, or Physics, Chemistry or Biology
  • B.S, with 5+ years, M.S with 3+ years, or Ph.D. with 1+ years of professional experience working with automation hardware
  • Ability to manage responsibilities without the need for constant oversight or direction
  • Experience with Python
  • Demonstrated ability deploying data-driven decision-making using Statistical Process Control, IQ,OQ,PQ, and predictive maintenance to improve throughput and reliability of laboratory systems
  • Experience with data analysis
  • Experience troubleshooting issues with scientists, software engineers, lab managers

Nice to Have

  • Experience with genomics workflows
  • Experience with Green Button Go, Overlord, Cellario, Tempo, or other automation scheduling softwares
  • Experience integrating automation systems with Lab Information Management Systems (LIMS)
  • Experience with APIs and instrument drivers

Compensation & Benefits at insitro

Our target starting salary for successful US-based applicants for this role is $140,000-$155,000. 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.