Staff Scientist (Biocompatibility)
University of Toronto -
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Arts & Science
Department: Acceleration Consortium
Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)
The Acceleration Consortium (AC) at the University of Toronto (U of T) is leading a transformative shift in scientific discovery that will accelerate technology development and commercialization. The AC is a global community of academia, industry, and government that leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, materials sciences, and high-throughput chemistry to create self-driving laboratories (SDLs), also called materials acceleration platforms (MAPs). These autonomous labs rapidly design materials and molecules needed for a sustainable, healthy, and resilient future, with applications ranging from renewable energy and consumer electronics to drugs. AC Staff Scientists will advance the field of AI-driven autonomous discovery and develop the materials and molecules required to address society’s largest challenges, such as climate change, water pollution, and future pandemics.
Hiring is occurring on a rolling intake. Please apply ASAP and do not wait for the listed job closing date.
The Acceleration Consortium received a $200M Canadian First Research Excellence Grant for seven years to develop self-driving labs for chemistry and materials, the largest ever grant to a Canadian University. This grant will provide the Acceleration Consortium with seven years of funding to execute its vision.
The AC is developing seven advanced SDLs. These include:
Inorganic solid-state materials,
Organic small molecules for advanced materials,
Drug discovery with chemical probes,
Polymers for materials science and biological applications,
Formulations for pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and coatings,
Biocompatibility (organ-on-a-chip), and
Synthetic scale-up of materials and molecules.
This role is for a Staff Scientist within SDL6: Biocompatibility
Expertise in one or more of the following areas is desired:
Organ-on-a-chip / Organoid expertise
Pluripotent stem cell differentiation
Toxicology and pharmacology
Cell culture (3D an asset)
AI / computational / automation expertise (an asset)
Machine learning in life sciences
Robotics and automation
The Staff Scientists involved in the AC are highly skilled and experienced researchers who will work independently to develop the AI and automation technologies required to build robust and scalable self-driving labs, manage these SDLs, and design and implement research programs (based on the direction of the AC’s scientific leadership team) that leverage the SDL platforms to discover materials and molecules. Moreover, the Staff Scientists will work collectively, sharing knowledge among each other, faculty, and trainees. This role will report to the Academic Director and Executive Director of the Acceleration Consortium.
We are hiring both Staff Scientists and Staff Research Scientists (limited term). While Staff Scientists are expected to have 5 years of post-PhD experience, individuals with a relevant Ph.D. and associated expertise can qualify for Staff Research Scientist (limited term).
The Staff Scientists will work with a diverse team of leading experts at the U of T and the University Hospital Network (UNH), including: Professors Milica Radisic and Vuk Stambolic.
The components and duties of the work include:
1. SDL and Automation Development
Working with the AC community, including faculty and partners to determine the required capabilities of the SDLs to be built. Developing the plans for SDLs that will meet user requirements, and designing novel instruments for automated material synthesis and characterization. Developing customized hardware and Python software packages to build SDLs. Selection, procurement, and installation of the equipment required for SDLs.
2. Research Direction
Working independently to develop research programs that leverage the AC’s SDLs and supports the research objectives AC faculty and industry partners. Using SDLs to synthesize and characterize large quantities of candidate molecules, calibrating theoretical models with experimental data, predicting promising candidates with computational tools and machine learning algorithms, and elucidating structure-property relationships of emerging molecules, polymers, solid-state materials, formulations, etc.
Managing the research and development projects of AC’s industry partners when implemented in AC labs.
Developing plans that support research collaborations and planning and estimating financial resources required for programs and/or projects.
Working with Product Managers to ensure research outcomes meet partner requirements.
Promoting AC’s research capacity, including delivering presentations at conferences.
Collaboration in the preparation and submission of research proposals to granting agencies and progress reporting.
Preparing manuscripts for submission to peer review publications/journals and stewarding them through the process.
Supporting consulting services related to the application of SDLs for materials discovery for the AC’s partners.
Support research-focused events such as the Annual Symposium
Education – Ph.D. in chemistry, materials science, life sciences, physics, engineering, robotics, computer science, or related discipline
Five (5) to 10 years of experience (inclusive of PhD and/or post-graduate work) in accelerated research and development with demonstrated academic and research excellence
Experience working closely with a Principal Investigator or as a Principal Investigator or as Project Director with responsibilities of managing, developing and executing a major research project
Strong experience and expert knowledge of AI and automation
Experience with overseeing the activities of a lab
Experience working with industry partners and on industry led research and development projects
Strong experience presenting research at academic conferences
Demonstrated record of academic and/or research excellence
Must have a strong scholarly publication record
Strong and effective communicator in oral and written English
Collegial in working with team members and collaborators
Ability to work independently
Must have a strong publication record
Demonstrated success in writing and preparing manuscripts, presentations, reports, briefs, and scientific abstracts and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.
Closing Date: 12/31/2023, 11:59PM ET
Employee Group: Research Associate
Appointment Type: Grant – Continuing
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: 55K – 150K (salary will be assessed based on skills and experience)
Job Category: Research Administration & Teaching
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