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Senior Software Engineer, Science

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Software Engineering
Redwood City, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2023

We’re on an ambitious mission to solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease to improving education and addressing the needs of our local communities. Join us to build a better future for everyone!

Learn more about our work modes, benefits, and interview process at www.chanzuckerberg.com/careers.

The Team

CZI is a technology based philanthropy with a mission to build a better future for everyone. To cure, prevent, and manage all diseases by the end of the century, a deeper understanding of biological systems is necessary. In the Science Technology group, we are aligning around an effort to model cell functionality using deep learning techniques, and to address the needs of the entire ecosystem of cell modeling including data, model creation and training, evaluation and validation, and delivery of the work to the global research community.

We are seeking a senior or staff-level software engineer to contribute to this effort through the creation of tools and modules that focus on the needs of the virtual cell modeling effort. Specific items might include:

  • The creation and continued development of specific Python packages that manage and orchestrate the large datasets required for cell modeling.
  • Application of new and existing large data handling software to all aspects of virtual cell modeling.
  • Design and development of parts of the CZI cellxgene and cell census projects.

We support interdisciplinary teams of biologists, computational scientists, and engineers to expand our understanding of the human body and illness — the science behind medicine. CZI fosters collaboration between scientists and engineers, develops tools and technologies, and builds support for basic scientific research. Our North Star objective is to understand the mysteries of the cell, the fundamental building block of life. Our approach is to digitally model cell function through research, advanced development, collaboration, and funding. Some of our work in Science includes:

Building tools such as:

  • CZ cellxgene - an easy to use corpus of single-cell transcriptomics data.
  • CZ ID - a metagenomics platform that delivers insights into infectious disease.
  • CryoET Data Portal - an open access repository of cryo electron tomography data.

Funding of:

  • Single-cell biology and the application of technologies that enable multi-omics investigation at the level of cells.
  • Imaging and developing tools capable of observing biological processes across spatial scales at the level of tissues, cells, and proteins.

What You'll Do

As a member of the CZI Science Technology engineering team, you will contribute to projects that require the management and open access of very large datasets that are intended for use by researchers in the biological and computing sciences. Your initial project will be on the Cell Science team working on the cellxgene product and the cell census. Specific tasks may include any combination of the following:

  • Design, build, and optimize features for our large-scale visualizations to facilitate the reuse of terabytes of data.
  • Help make large amounts of single cell data available for ML/AI use cases, and ultimately our computational users.
  • Develop scalable, maintainable, and testable software systems and participate in team conversations and efforts on engineering excellence.
  • Collaborate with product managers, computational biologists, UX designers, and other software engineers to deliver constant incremental value for scientists without compromising on software quality.
  • Contribute to public Open Source Software that aligns with the mission and projects within CZI Science
  • Help foster community and advance data collection and model development in collaboration with the fund and do parts of the organization.
  • Build capabilities that enable access to training-ready data for modeling, evaluation frameworks to accelerate model development, and applications for the scientific community to interact with models either directly or via specific visualization or analysis functions.

What You'll Bring

  • 5+ years of relevant software experience
  • Strong fundamentals in systems design, data structures, algorithms, and object oriented programming principles.
  • Past experience building new features or systems in web- or cloud-based applications.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Enthusiasm to ramp up on technologies.
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary environment (engineering, product, design).

The Redwood City, CA base pay range for this role is 190,000 - 285,000. New hires are typically hired into the lower portion of the range, enabling employee growth in the range over time. Actual placement in range is based on job-related skills and experience, as evaluated throughout the interview process. Pay ranges outside Redwood City are adjusted based on cost of labor in each respective geographical market. Your recruiter can share more about the specific pay range for your location during the hiring process.


Onsite work mode is site-based in our office at our HQ in Redwood City, CA.
Flex work mode is open to a hybrid approach, but not open to be fully remote.
Remote work mode is eligible for all three modes (Remote, Flex, or Onsite) available to you at CZI.

About Us

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.

CZI is committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace. We welcome interest from individuals of all backgrounds and levels of experience who share our mission. If you’re interested in this role but your previous experience doesn’t perfectly align with each qualification in the job description, we still encourage you to apply as you may be the perfect fit for this or another role!