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High-tech biopharma company partnering with childcare leader, Bright Horizons, to ensure working parents have the support they need to achieve their family and career ambitions

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#biotechRecursion, a tech-enabled biopharma company combining automation with artificial intelligence to discover novel treatments that expand our collective understanding of biology, announced today it will open an onsite childcare center in partnership with Bright Horizons to support working parents and ensure its people have access to convenient, affordable childcare.

While securing affordable and accessible childcare is difficult for parents nationwide, it is especially challenging in Utah, dubbed the country’s “childcare desert” for the fact that only one in four children are guaranteed to find an opening in a care facility. This rings true for Recursion CEO and Co-Founder Chris Gibson, Ph.D., who almost didn’t start Recursion when his family was faced with a childcare challenge:

“Recursion almost didn’t happen. My wife, a physician, was already on a great career path and when we had our first child we were faced with a serious dilemma; with no childcare immediately available to us, we would have adapted our careers in a way that would not have enabled me to take the risk I did in starting Recursion. In a lucky turn of events, we got off a waiting list just in time, but that experience stuck with me as an example of the challenge of being a working parent, while also providing a loving setting for your child’s growth. I knew then that as soon as we could, we would open an onsite childcare facility at Recursion to help alleviate this critical challenge for our team.”

Added Gibson: “Today, in our sixth year as a company, that aim is realized as we partner with the best national childcare operator, Bright Horizons, to build a facility that is going to ease the anxieties of working parents and enable Recursionauts to continue to do the best work of their lives.”

Bright Horizons is the country’s largest provider of employer-sponsored childcare. While the organization serves about 400 employers nationwide, it is exceedingly rare for a company of Recursion’s size and stage — 160-plus people and post-Series C financing — to build an onsite childcare facility.

“We’re a company whose mission is to do the previously unimaginable; decode biology to radically improve people’s lives and chart a new path for drug discovery that layers in the most advanced technologies,” said Heather Kirkby, Chief People Officer. “Because of this we need to recruit our people from all over the world and we need to create an environment that cultivates a deep sense of belonging — a starting point to unleash exceptional teamwork. Adding onsite childcare helps us attract and retain top talent while signaling our commitment to inclusion and our desire to make people feel supported both at work and outside.”

The new childcare facility will open in the second half of 2020 and be adjacent to Recursion’s headquarters at The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City. In addition to meeting the needs of its workforce, Recursion will open up unused capacity to the local community. More details will be announced in 2020 when the new site opens.

For more information on Recursion’s unique approach to applying artificial intelligence and automation to drug discovery, visit

To review current job openings and apply to become a Recursionaut, visit or watch the video about Heather’s appointment as Chief People Officer and plans for people at Recursion here:

Supporting Statistics on Childcare in the U.S. and Utah:

  • Half of U.S. families report difficulty finding childcare [Ready Nation Report, 2019]
  • At least two million parents have had to leave work, change jobs or turn down a job offer because of childcare obligations [Center for American Progress, 2017]
  • U.S. employers lose an estimated $12.7 billion annually because of their employees’ childcare challenges [Ready Nation Report, 2019]
  • Americans are having fewer children — the 2018 birth rate was the lowest in 32 years — and this can be linked to the cost of childcare and need or desire to choose career over family [CDC Report, 2018]
  • Utah, Nevada and Hawaii are the three U.S. states where childcare is the most difficult to access [Center for American Progress, 2018]

About Recursion

Recursion is a tech-enabled biopharma company combining automation with artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover novel medicines that expand our collective understanding of biology. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of 3.5 petabytes of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics that radically improve people’s lives. Recursion is proudly headquartered in Salt Lake City and in 2019 was designated a Fast Company “Most Innovative Company.” Learn more at, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Amanda Guisbond

[email protected]