Research Associate, Fermentation Technology Development - Emeryville, CA | Biospace
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Research Associate, Fermentation Technology Development


Emeryville, CA
Posted Date:
Position Type:
Full time
Job Code:
Required Education:
Bachelors Degree
Areas of Expertise Desired:
Associate, Development, Fermentation, Research,

Job Description

Founded in 2013 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zymergen is a technology company unlocking the power of biology. We deliver better economics for products made from biology that are used across industries, bring new products to market faster, and develop novel products. Our proprietary platform uses robots and machine learning to engineer microbes faster, more predictably, and to a level of performance previously unattainable. These microbes, and the products they produce, have broad applications across industries such as chemicals and materials, agriculture, and healthcare.

Currently, we are working with large industrial partners helping them improve their existing production microbes. We are in contract and advanced discussions with a variety of Fortune 100 companies. Over time we expect to develop a large portfolio of our own products, ranging from drop-in replacements for existing chemicals to advanced materials to life-saving therapeutics – all generated from green, renewable raw materials.

Growing our business requires technical development work: to establish new molecular biological techniques, to move existing protocols to robotics workstations, and to create workflows that enable high throughput microbe engineering and evaluation.

Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

Zymergen is hiring Research Associates into the Test Improvement team to focus on the continual improvement of both high throughput screening and fermentation workflows. These associates are required to be able to identify and implement improvements in existing processes and establish protocols for new programs. Typical responsibilities will include:

•   Experiment design and execution, preparing reagents, collecting and analyzing data to present to a technical audience
•   Setup, running, and turn-around of lab scale fermenters, including work in off hours
•   Preparation of complex media with multiple variations for both plates and fermenters
•   Operation of multiple types of robotic systems, including but not limited to, liquid handlers, colony pickers, barcoders, and automated plate readers and improvement of robotic scripts
•   Development and implementation of new data tools in collaboration with automation and software teams
•   Establishment of new assays to measure in-process fermentation samples and samples from high throughput strain screening

The successful candidate will need to interact closely with the Operations team in both microbe screening and fermentation as well as the Improvement team. The associate will need to be able to learn new systems quickly and adapt to changing needs as Zymergen rapidly expands capabilities in terms of projects and processes. This Research Associate with be part of the team establishing the methods to scale and expand our automated strain engineering factory.


We favor candidates with training in areas such as biology, biochemistry, biological engineering, and chemical engineering with a BS and 2+ years of relevant industrial experience or MS with independent research experience.  We prefer Research Associates with experience in some or all of the following areas:

•   Experience using lab automation (Beckman, Tecan, etc.) to enable complicated or high-throughput protocols
•   Experience with a variety of microbes, a variety of fermentation processes (aerobic, microaerobic, and anaerobic), and a variety of fermentation products (proteins, small molecules)
•   Experience with programming, familiarity with statistical concepts, or experience with analysis software such as JMP
•   A strong understanding of cellular physiology to troubleshoot and improve existing cultivation models
•   A proven track record in identifying and implementing process improvements

Previous experience in the field of synthetic biology is not essential.  Our facility is located in Emeryville, CA in the San Francisco Bay Area.