Senior Fullstack Engineer, IDSEQ at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (Redwood City, CA)

Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges – from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education and Justice and Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy work, and movement building, to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone.

Our Values

We believe we can help build a future for everyone.

  • We aim to be daring, but humble: We look for bold ideas — regardless of structure and stage — and help them scale by pairing engineers with subject matter experts to build tools that accelerate the pace of social progress.
  • We want to learn fast, but build for the long-term: We want to iterate fast and help bring new solutions to the table, but we also realize that important breakthroughs often take decades, or even centuries.
  • Stay close to the real problems: We engage directly in the communities we serve because no one understands our society’s challenges like those who live them every day.

Our success is dependent on building teams that include people from different backgrounds and experiences who can challenge each other's assumptions with fresh perspectives. To that end, we look for a diverse pool of applicants including those from historically marginalized groups — women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, veterans, and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Opportunity

The IDseq application aims to provide easy to use web tools to facilitate the study of infection diseases through genomic analysis. Our main product IDseq gives researchers access to state-of-the-art genomic pipelines and rich visualizations to analyze results. Our computationally heavy pipelines align genomic samples against large NCBI databases to identify all relevant organisms in the sample. Our web app focuses on pinpointing the most relevant pathogenic organisms and providing highly interactive visualizations that accelerate time to result and can be accessed by both expert and non-expert savvy users. IDseq is used by researchers all over the world, and has been used to identify full SARS-CoV-2 genomes, identify outbreaks and accelerate research in countries with limited access to cloud resources.

Some other Science Initiative example projects include:

  • cellxgene - an open source interactive data explorer for single-cell transcriptomics data
  • Meta - a semantic discovery tool that provides a faster way to understand, organize and explore science through personalized feeds
  • Starfish - an open source image processing framework, enabling access to multiplex image-based transcriptomics analysis
  • napari - an open source interactive, multi-dimensional image viewer for python

As a Senior Software Engineer on the IDseq team, you will have the opportunity to build out our Infectious Disease Sequencing tool, a collaboration between CZI and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. The tool, which began as a research project at Dr. Joseph DeRisi’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, works by rapidly combing through terabytes of metagenomic data for pathogens in a given sample — be they bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. IDseq has demonstrated its ability to detect disease in the field by helping scientists in Bangladesh determine the cause of a meningitis outbreak, by helping researchers in Cambodia confirm the country’s first case of COVID-19, and through other pilot projects at global health research sites around the world in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It has also been used extensively by researchers at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and other US research institutions, processing more than 40,000 samples and hundreds of terabytes of data.

You will

  • Design and build scalable, reliable and maintainable web applications (frontend and backend) to process and visualize IDseq genomic data
  • Lead and facilitate discussions of design and implementation of software towards decisions, influencing a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders (design, UXR, product and computational biology)
  • Collaborate closely with other engineers as part of a scrum team to deliver incremental value for scientists working at the cutting edge of an emerging field
  • Have the opportunity to learn the science behind the tech
  • Have the opportunity to interact with a few key users and field experts to learn about their requirements and the impact of your work

You have

  • 5+ years of relevant software experience with full-stack web development or backend technologies
  • Strong fundamentals in data structures, algorithms, and object oriented programming principles
  • Proficiency in high-level scripting languages (preferably Ruby or willingness to learn)
  • Experience in Javascript and frontend libraries (preferably React)
  • Experience building RESTful APIs
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary environment (engineering, product, UX)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • A passion for learning about new fields and technologies

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