Scientist - Enzyme Engineer 

Menlo Park, CA
Sep 10, 2021
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Aether was founded under the belief that synthetic biology is the key to building the post-scarcity future. In order to catalyze the next industrial revolution, we are building the world's highest throughput robotic laboratory, generating data on scales previously not possible to feed deep learning algorithms. We are building a diverse team of engineers, sci-fi nerds, and world-changers. We hope you can join us.



Software | Biology R&D | Automation | Machine Learning | Operations


Biology is the core of what we do at Aether. Our R&D primary focus is to enable high throughput technologies for the production and screening of diverse enzymes. We are providing the fundamental building blocks essential for data collection, analysis, and building machine learning algorithms.

The Bio-R&D team is tasked with building the molecular tools for our robotic operations and verifying results on the backend. Our in-house toolbox provides a variety of automation-ready methods to generate mutagenesis libraries with a high degree of diversity. Every new type of chemical reaction we engineer, enzyme class we express, or DNA shuffling protocol we use, all start on the R&D benches.



Aether has successfully built a state-of-the-art, high throughput robotic factory. A key component of our strategy is protein sciences and our collective ability to leverage the field to create a generalized understanding of enzymes' sequence and function space. Aether is looking for a Protein Engineer to help us drive development of high-quality processes based on the most sound scientific principles.

You will support the development of high-quality, scalable solutions for the enzymes library construction and screening, as well as ongoing lab operations. You will help us find technical answers to data quality problems and collaborate daily with other technology groups: automation, machine learning, and software engineering. You will use your strong background in molecular biology and biochemistry to develop novel, advanced protocols supporting the broad indexing of biology.

What you will bring: 

  • Ph.D. in a life sciences related discipline, relevant industrial experience preferred
  • Deep expertise and ability to innovate on a broad range of molecular biology techniques for gene editing and the construction of enzyme libraries.
  • Proven experience in directed evolution and mutagenesis libraries generation.
  • Solid understanding of enzymes mechanism and structure/function relationship
  • Proven experience  in performing a variety of biochemical assays and enzyme screening using different analytical techniques. 
  • Proven experience in development and optimization of enzyme expression and downstream processing, including a variety of purification techniques.
  • Aptitude and experience in working closely with the process engineering and automation teams to ensure processes efficient and cost-effective scale-up. 
  • Strong data analysis skills and demonstrated independence in experimental design, execution, data analysis and troubleshooting
  • Experience with and strong desire to work in a cross-functional, rapidly growing startup environment

In this role, you’ll OWN:

  • Development of novel enzyme engineering tools
  • Design and construction of diverse mutagenesis libraries in a variety of techniques , including oligo design, PCR,qPCR, in-vitro and in-vivo cloning.
  • Develop and implement QC processes to ensure high quality processes and guide lab process improvements
  • Building protocols ready for automation and implementation in a high-throughput setup
  • Assay development and enzyme screening in a variety of analytical techniques 
  • Conduct detailed data analyses and provide data-driven recommendations
  • Provide clear and concise written and oral communications to colleagues and supervisors
  • Liaising with Aether’s Automation, Machine Learning and Software teams about Biology R&D’s work and requirements

What you’ll learn

  • Automated lab workflows
  • ML techniques / algorithms
  • Data management

Within One Month:

  • Understand/get familiar with Aether’s technology and current workflows and cycles
  • Learn and understand current R&D protocols
  • Build mutagenesis libraries via 1-2 techniques and follow through screening 
  • Familiarize and use electronic lab notebook and LIMS tools

Within Three Months:

  • Build mutagenesis libraries via all current protocols to support high throughput screening
  • Use QC tools
  • Contribute to development of engineering tools 
  • Implement enzyme screening techniques and develop activity assays
  • Develop screening methodologies
  • Work closely with automation team
  • Familiarize with NGS process 
  • Understand LIMS tools  and provide ongoing feedback
  • Familiarize yourself with ML algorithm

Within Six Months:

  • Design novel mutagenesis methodologies
  • Contribute to systematic methods for mutagenesis library design and analysis
  • Provide QC tools libraries wet lab processes 
  • Support libraries QC analysis
  • Support activity analysis  and downstream processing
  • Provide feedback for data analysis and visualization tools