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Job: Research Associate, Xilis, Inc, Durham, NC

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General Information

Job title:
Research Associate
Job location:
Durham, NC  27701 United States
Requisition code:
Date posted:
Job category:
Product Development
Program Management
Research and Development
Employment type:
Full time

Job Description

Xilis, Inc is a Duke spinoff founded by Duke professors David Hsu (M.D./Ph.D) and Xiling Shen (Ph.D) in Durham, North Carolina. The company has been developing cutting-edge Patient-Derived Micro-Organospheres (PDMO) technology for precision cancer diagnostics and drug development. Xilis’ transformative platform recreates patient-specific tumors in their 3D and environmental complexity at micro-scale ex vivo, allowing ultra-high-throughput, clinically-relevant, and affordable experimental selection of the safest, most effective drugs for each and every patient in a matter of days. The company is funded by Silicon Valley and New York venture firms that are leaders in the healthcare space and have invested in top precision medicine companies including Foundation Medicine and Guardant Health.


The candidate will execute critical experiments in the laboratory to advance Xilis’ core biological R&D capabilities and know-how. Working very closely with thought-leaders in the fields of cancer biology and assay development, the candidate will process samples, gather data, keep meticulous notes, and participate in detailed analysis, drawing conclusions, and formulation of next steps / experimental designs. The successful candidate will bring exceptional skills to the laboratory and an ability to independently run large and complex experiments, and will have prior experience in cell culture, cell viability assays, and a demonstrated ability to operate lab instrumentation. He or she will also have strong attention to detail and the integrity to precisely report any deviation or issue observed in the laboratory. Finally, the candidate’s communication skills will be stellar. The candidate will report to Xilis’ Founding Principal Scientist.

By joining the team at an early stage, the candidate will have an outsized impact on fundamentally advancing precision cancer care therapy. In the next few months and years, the candidate will:

- Run large and complex experiments under the guidance of the company’s most senior experts
- Personally develop the most critical assays and components of Xilis’ transformative biological platform
- Carefully maintain meticulous records of experimental designs, execution details, and results
- Organize and transparently present experimental results to the broader biological team
- Participate in project planning, experimental design, data analysis, and other scientific activities
- Support laboratory operations, troubleshooting of issues, and SOP development and maintenance
- Process and maintain samples in support of R&D, assay development, and if needed, operational efforts
- Work closely with the operations and quality teams to develop quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) protocols
- Operate successfully in a rapidly changing, fast paced, mission-driven environment
- Share thoughts and ideas on how to improve performance in the lab
- Perform support tasks across the company as needs arise

Job Requirements

The ideal candidate should have:

- A B.S. or M.S. degree in biology, biological sciences, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, or equivalent
- 1+ year of laboratory experience in an academic or industrial setting
- A proven track record of independently and successfully running complex experiments
- Hands-on experience with processing and handling of tissue samples and tissue culture is a must
- Experience with 3D cell culture is desirable
- A strong enthusiasm for being in the laboratory to personally run experiments
- A strong sense of commitment, integrity and handling challenges collaboratively
- Experience and interest in a high-growth startup, where communication is key
(Job number: 3906733)
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