Senior Scientist/Principal Scientist – Automation Specialist

Zoetis Inc   •  

Kalamazoo, MI

Industry: Pharmaceuticals & Biotech


11 - 15 years

Posted 33 days ago

Position Summary

We are seeking an automation specialist to join our research and development team to provide support for developing veterinary therapies. This position will require a highly motivated and independent leader who can effectively collaborate across organizational lines to advance projects. Ideal candidates must have practical experience in laboratory automation and robotics as well as strong communication skills to understand user requirements and challenges in utilizing such automation. S/he must contribute to a vision for where automation can enhance productivity in other lines within Global Therapeutics Research and commit to maximizing the contribution of hardware and software to broader Veterinary Medicine Research & Development (VMRD) productivity.


  • Work closely with VMRD scientists to conduct business analysis, discuss and understand their work processes, and then match and implement automation technologies to meet the specific research needs.
  • Based on results of discussions with end users, program and run a diverse array of robotics and data capture software in support of samples logistics, study supply provisioning, primary pharmacology, PK, and biomarker efficacy testing. Solutions will be implemented with:
  • laboratory automation including but not limited to integrated inventory and/or assay systems (e.g. Agilent BioCel), sample storage and retrieval systems (e.g. Hamilton Verso/TekCel), automated liquid handlers (e.g. Hamilton Star, Agilent Bravo), multimode plate readers (e.g. Perkin-Elmer Enspire, Mesoscale Discovery, and SpectraMax readers), and other general lab equipment (e.g. plate washers, centrifuges, etc.)
  • programming languages including but not limited to: R, Python, JSON, SQL, Visual Basic, and JavaScript scripting language.
  • Use and interface automation with various LIMS and other inventory management tools in both discovery and GLP/GCP environments while applying principles and software necessary for quality control and data analysis.
  • Stay abreast of innovations in automation and data technologies to maintain and/or constantly improve our capability to support R&D.
  • Instruct others in the use of laboratory automation and associated informatics tools to support their work and progress projects.
  • Work collaboratively and be flexible in working across many scientific areas simultaneously, with rapidly changing projects and situations and in response to changing priorities and/or development of new, innovative technologies.
  • Operate in a highly-matrixed environment and convey scientific and technical information to a diverse audience, including management both within and outside the R&D group.
  • Lead and implement change related to best practices for use of automation, sample logistics and inventory management across multi-disciplinary groups.Minimum Qualifications
  • BS or MS in biology, chemistry, computer science or related field with at least 10 years of industry or academic experience.
  • Scientific understanding of small molecules/large molecules/biospecimens, primary pharmacology, PK, and/or biomarker efficacy testing and experience in implementing laboratory automation and data analysis to support these areas.
  • Experience programming lab automation, especially using Hamilton Venus
  • Experience with interfacing automation to LIMS and/or other databases.
  • Experience in technologies that can be used for efficient sample management, liquid handling, and assay execution.
  • Experience working in GLP/GCP environments.
  • Experience in process improvement, identifying and evaluating new technologies, and implementing automation and data solutions for R&D teams.
  • Basic biological lab techniques, especially with respect to pipetting and analyte/fluorophore detection.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with colleagues representing a broad cross-section of the drug research and development pipeline.
  • Strong attention to detail and organizational skills.Desirable Skills
  • Experience with any of the following technologies for:
  • sample management: Watson LIMS, BioRails, Hamilton Verso, Hamilton TekCel
  • liquid handling: Hamilton Microlab STAR, Agilent Bravo, Hamilton EasyBlood, Tecan Evo
  • multimode plate readers: Perkin-Elmer Enspire, Mesoscale Discovery, and SpectraMax readers
  • integrated systems: Agilent BioCel systems utilizing VWorks
  • other general inventory management/assay systems and tools: Scinomix Tube Labeler, plate washers, centrifuges, etc.