Laboratory Operations Manager at QB3
Berkeley, CA, US
Bakar Labs is UC Berkeley’s world-class incubator dedicated to helping life science startups succeed. Launched in late 2021, it has rapidly established itself as a leading program of the university, is recognized throughout the Bay Area, and is a national and international destination for entrepreneurs.
With wet labs and office space for 40 bioscience startups, Bakar Labs is home to a global community of companies focused on bringing innovations in therapeutics, diagnostics, research tools, food, and agriculture to market. Tenants have access to millions of dollars of advanced, new scientific equipment, expert advice from more than 20 industry affiliates, an associated venture fund, and access to many campus resources. Bakar Labs also provides programming that actively enriches its community of startups through executive matchmaking, expert office hours, workshops, and a regular interactive speaker series that features leading thinkers, from industry veterans to Nobel laureates. Located in the heart of a vibrant urban community, Bakar Labs has easy access to the UC Berkeley talent pool of top-ranked students and researchers, and advanced scientific services. Housed in a fully renovated, award winning, registered landmark building, Bakar Labs attracts startups from around the world, making it a global destination for life science entrepreneurship.
Bakar Labs has an extraordinary opportunity for a Lab Operations Manager to play a vital and influential role in the continued success and growth of the program by overseeing lab operations support for 30+ leading startup companies. The role requires advanced technical understanding of life science research tools and methods, EH&S knowledge, and basic troubleshooting skills. The Lab Operations Manager must have a strong customer service orientation with a sense of urgency, that thoughtfully balances individualized tenant requests with the needs of a larger community Bakar Labs supports. The manager will lead a talented and dedicated staff that maintains more than 20,000 square feet of labs, with a special operational focus on safety, efficiency, and scientific capability. The Lab Operations manager will also be the primary liaison with campus safety offices, and be a key contact for vendors and other campus facility services. Success in this role will be measured in part by sustaining an overall high level of tenant satisfaction. The lab operations manager reports to the managing director.

Ensure that all lab-related tenant inquiries are resolved in a professional, timely, and satisfactory manner. Incumbent will manage simultaneous, diverse, and sometimes challenging issues using mature judgment that factors safety, operational sustainability, individual tenant needs, and the needs of the tenant community.
Advise new and existing tenants' laboratory space availability incorporating an understanding of the work they intend to conduct. Provide expert support to tenants of campus Biological Use Authorization process.
Respond to tenant requests to introduce new materials, techniques, or equipment that may impact lab operations. Where appropriate, consult with recognized technical experts.
Oversee or delegate facility orientation to new tenants that introduces them to all applicable lab policies.
In coordination with campus EH&S staff, advise tenants on proper waste stream management, obtaining biological use authorizations, and any other steps needed to perform laboratory work in accordance with lab policies.
Anticipate, plan, and communicate to the Bakar Labs team and tenants significant service disruptions to facility and laboratory resources or services.
Create or revise policies and usage instructions for shared equipment resources such as core facilities and tissue culture rooms (eg. advanced equipment use, training, and qualification, sign-up scheduling, service need reporting).
Oversee customer support ticketing system for laboratory operations.

Ensure that all equipment and services have a high availability to tenants. Manage glasswash/autoclave premium services and others that may be developed over time, ensuring a high level of tenant satisfaction. Manage supplies of incubator-to-tenant supplied consumables (e.g. C02 gases, liquid nitrogen) Monitor equipment usage and propose equipment removal, addition, or replacement. Oversee installation of scientific equipment. Manage scheduling system for shared resources including equipment.
Provide limited initial troubleshooting support to expedite the repair of down equipment or services. Manage maintenance/repair/calibration of laboratory equipment. Initiate and maintain communication with outside service providers to coordinate service and repairs that minimizes disruption and expense. Perform or manage routine maintenance and light repairs. Provide status updates to Bakar Labs staff and tenants.
Work closely with business operations to support operations. This includes shipping and receiving, billing for chargeable lab resources and services, and other needs as required.
As directed by the managing director make recommendations on how to improve service and expand capabilities, improve efficiencies, and operational costs.

Ensure staff work is prioritized and aligned with programmatic objectives, providing direction as appropriate. Provide (or advocate for) resources needed to realize near- and long-term goals. Support staff in their professional development.
Provide updates, prepare documents, and provide operational and planning advice to the managing director.
Ensure that laboratories and associated spaces are safe.  Be the Bakar Labs' point of contact for all lab safety practices. Ensure that lab safety protocols are documented and available to tenants. Encourage, remind, and direct tenants and staff to follow safety practices. As required, draft and communicate new safety procedures consistent with campus policies. Develop a constructive working relationship with campus safety review committees such as Committee for Laboratory and Environmental Biosafety and Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee.
Work independently and collaboratively with EH&S representatives to monitor laboratories for compliance with EH&S protocols. Take appropriate corrective action when a deficiency is identified. Examples include improper chemical/waste handling and storage, improper use of extension cords, poor labeling, lack of appropriate PPE, ensuring eyewash and shower areas are clear, and prohibiting food/drink in the lab.
Document and communicate to EH&S and management major safety violations. Where appropriate, participate in the investigation of incidents, near misses, and property damage incidents. Ensure that applicable documentation is complete and all corrective actions are implemented to minimize the chance of recurrence.
As required, maintain up-to-date inventories of hazardous materials.

Ensure that laboratory facilities are properly supported to meet Bakar Labs program objectives. Work with Bakar Labs business operations to ensure that laboratory maintenance, custodial, and repairs are completed. Provide a needs assessment for repairing, modifying, or adding lab services such as power, light, temperature control, security, or gas supply.  In the case of repair, light troubleshooting may also be required.

Select, implement, and maintain remote monitoring capabilities for cold storage, etc. Maintain emergency call tree, coordinating with campus staff.
Ensure that there is sufficient extra equipment to manage unexpected failures (eg. - 80 storage).

Required Qualifications
5 or more years of working experience managing a large life science laboratory.
3 or more years of supervisory experience.
Excellent communication and customer service skills that build relationships with tenants, vendors, and campus colleagues to expedite resolutions.
Advanced time management, organization, multi-tasking, and decision-making skills.
Advanced knowledge of scientific principles, laboratory equipment, and research techniques in a life science laboratory.
Working knowledge of EH&S.
Experience assessing lab processes, creating lab policies and processes, and making improvements.
Bachelor's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.
Preferred Qualifications
Master's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.