Sr. Scientist, Biology (Strain Engineering)

Emeryville, CA
120K - 170K base salary, benefits and bonus
Aug 08, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Amyris is an integrated renewable products company focused on providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of chemical products (e.g., those currently sourced from petroleum, or threatened plants or animals). Amyris uses its synthetic biology platform and advanced fermentation processes to convert plant sugars into a variety of molecules -- flexible building blocks that can be used in a wide range of products. Amyris’s initial portfolio of commercial products is based on Biofene®, Amyris’s brand of renewable farnesene, a long-chain hydrocarbon; the portfolio has expanded to include a wide array of additional molecules. These products are commercialized under the Amyris No Compromise® renewable platform in global industry sectors to include specialty chemicals, polymers, fuels, lubricants, cosmetics, and flavors & fragrances. Amyris Brasil Ltda., a subsidiary of Amyris, oversees Amyris's manufacturing in Brazil. More information about Amyris is available at

Job Description

Amyris is seeking a Senior Scientist to guide the engineering and optimization of microbes for industrial fermentations to deliver sustainable solutions for a growing world. The Scientist will join or lead a team of researchers utilizing the world’s most advanced high-throughput automated strain engineering and testing platform. The successful candidate will formulate hypotheses, interpret data, and design, build, and test microbial strains and enzymes to improve strain performance (i.e., conversion of sugar into target molecules) in industrial fermentation conditions.


  • Combine classical genetics with cutting-edge molecular biology to engineer proteins and/or strains with unique desired properties
  • Delve though scientific literature and historical data to identify new hypotheses to improve strain performance
  • Work together with the automated strain engineering, high-throughput screening, and fermentation groups to build and test engineered strains
  • Develop new assays and procedures, as needed, to monitor and improve strain performance
  • Design experiments and screens to understand and remove barriers to high strain performance
  • Analyze data from phenotype tests and use knowledge of metabolism to design additional sets of DNA designs (i.e., genotypes) for the next round of strain engineering
  • Manage and coordinate complex experimental schedules within a broader team
  • May lead a project team and/or manage several other scientists
  • Serve as senior advisor to many other projects in the company
  • Maintain safe practices and work environment


Candidates must have Ph.D. in metabolic engineering, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, or related field, and 8+ years of industrial microbial strain development experience including microbial genome engineering and synthetic biology. Must have demonstrated track record of high productivity in an industrial environment, including publications, patents, and successfully completed projects. We prefer Scientists with experience in some or all of the following areas:

  • Extensive experience with cellular physiology and metabolism in a variety of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes
  • Extensive experience with cellular processes involved in small molecule production, including redox balance, energetics, product transport, growth rate, fermentation conditions, etc.
  • Extensive experience with enzymology, protein engineering, and genetics
  • Extensive experience with molecular biology techniques including PCR, restriction digest analysis, plasmid construction, multi-piece DNA assembly, DNA sequence analysis, nuclease-triggered DNA recombination, and microbial transformation (bacteria, yeast)
  • Well-rounded yeast biology and genetics expertise for genotype and phenotype manipulation and assessment
  • Extensive experience with concepts in statistics and tools to analyze data (Excel, Minitab, R, Spotfire)
  • Extensive experience working in cross-disciplinary, collaborative teams
  • Track record of high scientific productivity, including scientific publications and patents

Amyris, a leader in industrial synthetic biology, uses its innovative bioscience solutions to achieve renewable products by converting plant sugars into a wide variety of product molecules. Amyris’ molecules are used in wide range of specialty & performance chemicals, flavors & fragrances and in applications ranging from cosmetics to biofuels. Learn more at

As a VEVRAA Federal Contractor, Amyris is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Amyris complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.