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Research Intern - Protein Sciences



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The Opportunity

The heart of insitro's strategy is the combination and application of machine learning to disease biology at scale, and novel analyses from clinical datasets that address important shortcomings in the target discovery and drug development process. To accomplish that, we are putting together an incredible team of highly talented biologists and data scientists with a passion for target discovery and advancement, and who want to make a difference to this important problem.

You will be interning with the Protein Sciences Team, within the wider Drug Discovery group. You will gain direct exposure to techniques essential to insitro's drug discovery engine. These include: protein purification, functional and QC assessment of the protein targets that insitro is working on; structural characterization of biomedically important proteins via X-ray crystallography and/or Cryo-Electron microscopy; in addition to biophysical methods (such as SPR, ITC, FP) to probe drug:protein target affinities and interactions.

You will gain exposure to insitro's world class drug discovery group, as well as cutting edge AI/ML approaches being developed at insitro to accelerate and improve drug discovery. You will be co-supervised by two Scientists within Protein Sciences. This is primarily a lab-based role in our South San Francisco office with on-site work 5 days per week.


  • Learn to apply cutting edge structural techniques to experimentally obtain atomic resolution data of biomedically relevant protein and protein:drug co-complexes
  • Perform and optimize protein purification to generate high quality, functionally active recombinant protein samples for further study.
  • Gain exposure to Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) assays to measure drug candidate binding to immobilized protein targets
  • Advance the operation of our Fluorescence Polarization (FP) assay to measure fluorophore-labeled small molecule binding to protein targets
  • Analyze FP and SPR kinetic and equilibrium data and register results in internal databases
  • Optimize protein immobilization strategies for SPR
  • Use automatic liquid handlers to dispense reagents onto the assay plates
  • Help coordinate sample production, handoff, and registration with automation and compound management teams
  • Entry and maintenance of experimental records in electronic lab notebook, and presentation of data at group meetings

About You

  • PhD candidate or recent PhD graduate in biochemical or biophysical sciences (eg. biophysics, structural biology, chemistry, biochemistry, etc.)
  • Hands on experience handling and characterizing purified protein samples or willingness to learn
  • Interest in or experience in protein structure - function relationships in proteins
  • Has a background or interest in kinetic analysis and protein structure determination
  • Experience with adapting and troubleshooting novel protocols from literature precedent

Compensation & Benefits at insitro

Our target starting salary for successful US-based applicants for this role is $55/hr - $65/hr. To determine starting pay, we consider multiple job-related factors including a candidate's skills, education and experience, market demand, business needs, and internal parity. We may also adjust this range in the future based on market data.

In addition, insitro also provides our interns:

  • Excellent medical, dental, and vision coverage (insitro pays 100% of premiums for employees on our base plans)
  • Excellent mental health and well-being support
  • Access to free onsite baristas and cafe with daily lunch and breakfast
  • Access to free onsite fitness center
  • Commuter benefits

insitro is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion need to be at the foundation of our culture. We work hard to bring together diverse teams–grounded in a wide range of expertise and life experiences–and work even harder to ensure those teams thrive in inclusive, growth-oriented environments supported by equitable company and team practices. All candidates can expect equitable treatment, respect, and fairness throughout the interview process.

About insitro
insitro is a drug discovery and development company using machine learning (ML) and data at scale to decode biology for transformative medicines. At the core of insitro’s approach is the convergence of in-house generated multi-modal cellular data and high-content phenotypic human cohort data. We rely on these data to develop ML-driven, predictive disease models that uncover underlying biologic state and elucidate critical drivers of disease. These powerful models rely on extensive biological and computational infrastructure and allow insitro to advance novel targets and patient biomarkers, design therapeutics and inform clinical strategy. insitro is advancing a wholly owned and partnered pipeline of insights and therapeutics in neuroscience, oncology and metabolism. Since launching in 2018, insitro has raised over $700 million from top tech, biotech and crossover investors, and from collaborations with pharmaceutical partners. For more information on insitro, please visit www.insitro.com.