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Head of AI Research

Synthesize Bio

Synthesize Bio

Software Engineering, Other Engineering, Data Science · Full-time
Seattle, WA, USA · Remote
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2023


We are an early stage startup using generative AI to fundamentally change life sciences research and accelerate the pace of biomedical discovery.

Genomic data are at the heart of most modern molecular studies and tools, from basic research to clinical decision support, but these data are hard to work with. Genomic data require expensive laboratories, sophisticated computational infrastructure, and big teams to produce and analyze. Generating and analyzing genomic data takes weeks or months. We’re building generative AI models to cut that time down to minutes or hours.

Our platform addresses a huge need in the large and rapidly growing use of genomics in research, from basic science to therapeutic development. mRNA therapeutics alone - a subset of the overall market we serve - is projected to be a $100 billion market by 2026. This is an opportunity to be part of a mission to transform life sciences R&D by dramatically accelerating the pace of discovery.


Our team has dedicated their careers to moving the needle in biomedical research and education and has a deep understanding of how to build a transformative product in this space. Our founders each have ~20 years of experience in life sciences, genomic data generation and analysis, and AI/ML and data science. Our team has leading experts in the design, execution, collection, and application of AI/ML methods to large biological studies; has previously led and scaled startups; and are experts in scientific training and enablement. We have lived the problem and are ready to solve it!


We are looking for a head of artificial intelligence research who wants to join our mission and be an early part of building our AI-powered platform at the intersection of machine learning and life sciences discovery.

You will help to set and build out our machine learning program and long-term technical vision:

● Be part of the initial team to develop and iterate roadmap for model development

● Build novel generative models for experimental biology data

● Develop and implement evaluation framework and metrics for models

● Apply experiences and insights on the challenges to building forward-focused models that can transform how life sciences data are generated, analyzed, and interpreted

● Recruit, build out, and support our machine learning team


The best candidates do not always match the limited criteria mentioned in the job description. If you are excited about our vision and feel that you could be a valuable asset to our team, please apply.

This role requires experience with building AI/ML models. The exact types of models can vary, but a desire and ability to learn quickly is essential. An interest in applying your skills to our mission is the key ingredient.

Tech Skills & Experience

Must have…

● Background in recruiting, managing, and leading a machine learning team

● Development experience with PyTorch, Tensorflow, JAX, or similar

● Experience with generative architectures, like diffusion and transformers

● Experience training AI/ML models in cloud environments

● Experience managing model experimentation, development, and evaluation

● Experience with AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform

● Experience in model development and deployment at scale in either large tech or growth-stage startup companies

● Building models that are relevant to highly technical scientific domains

● Experience reading the AI/ML literature and implementing/developing new methodology based on research ideas

Ideally you also…

● Have knowledge of key MLOps, including model training, hosted inference options, and both batch and stream processing

● Experience deploying AI/ML models in production environments

● Awareness of cloud computing environments and privacy-preserving architectures

● Are familiar with uncertainty estimation in deep learning

Bonus skills/experience…

● Understanding of genomics and applications of AI to molecular biology or some exposure to or interest in learning about genomic measurement technologies and life sciences research

No minimum number of years or degree requirements, provided demonstrated understanding of the range of approaches needed (model architectures, cloud infrastructure, etc.)


● Innovation-focused leader

● Desire to be a key player

● Open-minded and adaptable; willing to change focus and direction quickly in response to product/market demands

● Comfortable working both independently, leading a team, and working in close collaboration with your own team as well as other teams with complementary expertise

● Strong communication and ability to explain complex AI and ML concepts to non-experts

● Focused on identifying, developing, and mentoring junior team members


Our founders have strong reputations as thoughtful, forward-thinking colleagues and mentors who cultivate talent. We’ll think intentionally and collaboratively about your career and how we build our team. Our founders’ experiences in workforce development and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our approach.

Impact — Our platform will accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and therapy development to advance human health. This is an opportunity to build something from the ground up in a space that has a real, positive impact.

Early employee impact — As a member of the very early team, you will play a pivotal role in helping shape our product, team, and culture. For the rest of our days, no matter how many thousands of people join after you, you will always have that honor and distinction. It looks great on a resume, too.

Early stage equity — A benefit of joining early. None of us (neither our founders nor our investors) would be here if we didn’t think that our company will create tremendous value over time.

Flexible location and hours – We are whole people with whole lives and expect that you are, too. We’ll trust each other to make progress as a team, in times and places that work for everyone. Preference for Seattle area. Travel to Seattle will be required from time to time – it’s a beautiful city!

Visa support - We cannot provide visa support at this time.

Synthesize Bio is an equal opportunity employer.