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Job Description

Illumina is the global leader in DNA sequencing technology, with a mission to improve human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our products and solutions produce 90% of the world’s DNA sequencing data, supporting research and clinical applications. Illumina revenues were $3.3 billion in 2018, with phenomenal year-on-year growth. The company is frequently recognised for its innovation; company culture; and as a great place to work. 

We are seeking an enthusiastic and ambitious individual to work in R&D within our Optical Systems group. Within our group, we research and apply advanced optical and biophysical technologies to produce step-change advancements in our sequencing platforms. Your work will have a profound impact on sequencing markets, and indirectly on those who receive clinical care based on genome sequencing.

The role will involve researching cutting-edge technologies, and assessing their performance via experimental and analytical means. Modelling, analysis, and computational simulations will be performed alongside designing, building and integrating optical breadboard and sequencing systems. Furthermore, lab-work will be performed to create samples and solve problems caused by the complex interaction between our biological systems and physical devices.

This challenging and interdisciplinary role will require a candidate with a broad knowledge base and a drive to learn more.  This role would suit someone with a background in physics, biophysics, engineering research, or similar.

 Responsibilities will include:

Apply a subject-matter expertise in advanced optics to design and develop prototype DNA sequencing systems based on novel technologies.
Perform the necessary trouble-shooting, system integration, and research, to develop these technologies and prototypes for productization.
Build, align and test novel sequencing systems.
Monitor industry trends and developments in the academia through literature and conferences. Screen and assess these developments for application in commercial DNA sequencing via the use of analytic and mathematical models.
Perform rapid cycles of optical breadboarding and lab work in order to assess and parameterise relevant technologies.
Develop an understanding of the technological and commercial fundamentals of DNA sequencing hardware.
Design and execute rigorous experiments, and keep detailed notes, complying with good laboratory practice. Develop and document inventions, and assist in patenting procedures.
Provide regular, timely and comprehensible reports on progress to broad range of individuals within the global organization.
Collaborate extensively with local and global cross-functional and interdisciplinary teams, in order to develop new ideas and advance projects.
Preferred Background:

PhD in Physics, Engineering, Biophysics or similar.
Experience in designing, building and aligning breadboard level optical systems, with an understanding of the basic principles of practical optics.
Experience with state-of-the art microscopy; biophysics; or single-molecule techniques. E.g. super-resolution imaging, single-molecule fluorescence, optical-tweezers etc.
Comfortable with mathematical modelling and analysis, as well as programmatic analysis of complex datasets.
Ability to code custom scripts and utilize tools such as Matlab, Python, Labview etc. for hardware control, data and image analysis.
Experience with complex biochemical systems, or of assay development for biotechnology application is desirable but not essential.
Knowledge of nanophotonics or silicon photonics is desirable but not essential.
Evidence of achievement through an excellent academic track record; publications; and/or patents.
Strong inter-personal, communication, and collaborative skills. Ideally demonstrable experience of working in a multidisciplinary team.
An open and enthusiastic individual with a desire to share experience and a willingness to learn from others.
A creative thinker who can generate novel ideas and is able to execute these into tangible solutions.
The ability of work efficiently and prioritise a range of competing goals.
This role would suit an innovative post-doctoral scientist with strong background in physics, engineering research, biophysics, or similar subject area that wants to work at the cutting edge of next generation DNA sequencing technology (NGS). 

We are based at a new state-of-the-art facility, just south of Cambridge, where we work on the key innovations which will ensure Illumina’s continued success.

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