Synthetic Biologist/Molecular Biologist

Menlo Park, CA
Competitive compensation commensurate with position and experience
Jan 12, 2021
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

At Zero Acre Farms we believe great things come in small packages and are partnering with the microbial world to replace the most destructive products in our food chain. Industrial agriculture, while successfully feeding the masses, has resulted in an unintentional restructuring of the human diet, replacing nutritious whole foods with ultra-processed monocrops that directly cause chronic disease, deforestation, and climate change. Zero Acre Farms is providing healthy, sustainable, and cost-effective alternatives through the farming of microbes. We are a well-funded start-up in the San Francisco Bay Area actively recruiting a core team that share our passion to provide a new generation of healthy sustainable food, and we seek exceptional scientists and technologists to join this effort.

If you strive to have a quantum impact on health and sustainability, have a green thumb when it comes to cutting-edge analytical, synthetic biology, or industrial biotechnologies, and would jump at the opportunity to build a collaborative work environment from the ground up, we would like to hear from you.

Please share your resume and a brief cover letter in an email to Please include "Synthetic Biologist" in the subject line.

Synthetic Biologist

Zero Acre Farms seeks a Synthetic/Molecular Biologist to join our Strain Development team to develop and apply molecular tools for the genetic optimization of our non-conventional microbial hosts. The successful candidate will have a strong background in quantitative eukaryotic molecular genetics and experience successfully developing molecular tools for non-conventional microorganisms. The position requires practical experience applying state-of-the-art evolutionary engineering theory in combination with high-throughput molecular biology and screening to the optimization of whole cell biocatalysts. The new team member will work closely with one or more research assistants and scientists and contribute to the development of the Strain Development Team. As an integral part of the core R&D team, this position requires exceptional organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills and working collaboratively with all teams and their members. We are open to candidates with a range of experience including senior level candidates, with title being commensurate with experience.


  • PhD or equivalent in biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, chemical engineering, or related discipline.
  • >3 years experience working in an industrial setting.
  • Deep understanding of the biochemistry and genetics of yeast, including gene structure and regulation, cell cycle and replication, meiotic and mitotic recombination.
  • Experience successfully developing molecular tools
  • Experience genetically manipulating non-conventional yeast.
  • Mechanisms of genetic manipulation including direct and agrobacterial transformation, RNAi, CRISPR, physical and chemical mutagenesis, homologous and non-homologous recombination.
  • Experience using automation and HTP approaches to generate and screen genetic libraries.
  • Expertise with software packages for the visualization, interpretation, and manipulation of DNA at gene and genomic scales.
  • Exceptional ability to design, execute and analyze conclusive experiments.
  • Ability and desire to learn and where necessary develop new techniques and technologies.
  • Successful experience and desire to work within and contribute to a diverse, collaborative, multi-disciplinary team.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills

Nice to Have

  • Experience working with oleaginous yeast
  • Experience automating molecular biology and genetic protocols
  • Experience breeding strains through sexual and parasexual mating