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Designing RNA molecules using deep generative models



Zürich, Switzerland
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2024

At Inceptive, we don't have titles. Instead of topic experts working in silos, we are building an antedisciplinary team where everyone is gaining deep knowledge outside of their traditional area of expertise. For this reason, we call ourselves Beginners.

At Inceptive, you will drive development forward that could help billions of people. To accomplish this, you will be part of a collaborative, antedisciplinary team building our biological software.

There are more RNA sequences coding for a single target protein than atoms in the universe. Each of these RNA sequences differs in ways that may radically affect how it performs when used in medicine. Faced with this search space, we believe that machine learning based approaches are ideally placed to tackle the RNA design problem that we work on at Inceptive.

You will be responsible for developing and training large-scale machine learning models to generate RNAs with controllable characteristics. You will have access to both public and in-house data sets as well as the opportunity to develop new wet lab methods to generate data working together with colleagues from many different scientific backgrounds including RNA biology.

Additionally, you will establish relevant evaluation benchmarks to guide decision-making and track progress. The designs you create will undergo rigorous testing in our lab, ensuring real-world validation of their potential impact.

Your Mission, should you choose to accept it

  • Develop, implement, and train large-scale foundation models on vast biological data sets with applications to various downstream biological properties and controllable molecule design
  • Embody our vision of an antedisciplinary environment and embrace learning about areas outside of your traditional area of expertise
  • Collaborate with team members from diverse backgrounds to build innovative and scalable experiments to solve complex problems that span biology and computation


  • Experience building and training large-scale foundation models and/or fine-tuning such models for non-trivial downstream tasks — experience with biological data is a plus
  • A solid foundation in both machine learning theory and practice and experience building machine learning systems end-to-end, including data generation and lifecycle management, is preferable
  • Problem-solver who is equally excited by finding creative solutions to complex problems, as you are by executing on them
  • Ability to communicate technical and scientific concepts to team members from a broad variety of backgrounds
  • Ability to understand the big picture, while driving projects on the ground from beginning to end
  • Deep knowledge in your traditional area of expertise with a strong eagerness to connect to and apply your skills in other areas
  • Availability to accommodate working with team members across different time zones, with one or two meetings per week starting at 8am PT or finishing at 7pm CET
  • Readiness to travel several times a year for company retreats and business events
  • We value the benefits of in-person collaboration and prefer candidates who can easily and regularly connect at one of our office locations


$135K – $240K + Bonus + Equity

What we offer

  • A competitive compensation package
  • 30 days paid vacation per year
  • Comprehensive health insurance and 401K with company match (US) or comparable benefits if based in other countries
  • Quarterly company-wide retreats
  • Budget for multiple visits per year to our offices in Berlin and/or in Palo Alto
  • Learning & Development budget to attend conferences, take courses, or otherwise invest in your professional growth, as well as access to the Learning & Development platform EdX
  • A buddy to help you get settled

About Inceptive

At Inceptive, we are creating tools to develop increasingly powerful biological software for the rational design of novel, broadly accessible medicines and biotechnologies previously out of reach. Our team brings together vast expertise in molecular biology, machine learning, and software engineering, and we are all working towards becoming antedisciplinary, meaning we deepen the knowledge we have in our area of expertise while also expanding our knowledge of completely new fields.

We approach our goals with a beginner's mind, humbly and with fresh eyes, and aim to become the pioneers of a new discipline rooted in biology as much as in deep learning, whose impact will be realized together with out-of-the-box thinkers in business and entrepreneurship, defying established categorizations. We are building a company culture centered around growth, learning, and discovery. We believe in humility and open-mindedness in how we approach each other, as well as problems we don't yet have solutions for.

It is the policy of Inceptive to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Inceptive prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

Inceptive is also committed to welcoming and providing accommodations to people with disabilities. Please let your recruiter know if you need any accommodations throughout your application process.