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Fermentation Research Associate

ZymoChem, Inc.
San Leandro, CA
Start date
Jul 14, 2022

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Regulatory, Research/Documentation, Science/R&D, Research
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Biotech Bay
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About ZymoChem

ZymoChem is re-imagining how to make some of our favorite everyday products without polluting the planet. Motivated by the enormous carbon footprint and vast amount of trash from the fossil-based materials produced by century-old technologies of the ‘traditional’ chemicals industry, ZymoChem’s mission is to create plant-based, hero materials that enable a sustainable future. We are realizing this vision by pioneering low-cost fermentation-based production of chemicals coupled with advanced materials development technologies. 

ZymoChem has raised >$18 million to-date that includes funding from premier domestic & international venture capital firms, multiple government awards – most recently two ARPA-E awards – and partnerships with world-leading chemicals companies. Tripling in team size in 2021, we are maintaining our rapid growth and filling multiple roles ( We seek candidates who are motivated by science & innovation and have a passion to push the boundaries of materials performance. We are collaborative, multidisciplinary, and relentlessly committed to creating a chemicals & materials industry in tune with the 21st century. If this sounds exciting, we want to hear from you. 

The Opportunity

We’re seeking an enthusiastic, hands-on Fermentation Research Associate to join our growing Fermentation Team. In this role, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work with two different products at two different stages in the development process. You will gain diverse experiences with assembling and scaling commercially-relevant bioprocess workflows by exploring a combination of both established and cutting-edge technologies. You will also have opportunities for consistent multi-disciplinary collaborations with internal R&D groups as well as the company’s external partners to accelerate the scale-up of fermentation and downstream product recovery processes from the bench top to the pilot and demonstration levels.


  • Develop commercially-scalable processes for the production of microbial fermentation-based products
  • Hands-on set-up, execution, and clean-up of bench-scale bioreactors for both proof-of-concept experiments and benchmarking studies to meet project milestones aimed at achieving product titers, rates, and yields at industrial specifications
  • Sampling and sample processing, in addition to establishing new approaches for evaluating process streams
  • Routinely interface with and support the Downstream Processing Group, and also collaborate with CMO partners on fermentation scale-up endeavors
  • Contribute to the expansion of the Fermentation and Scale-up group’s capabilities by exploring new technologies and strategies to improve production and accelerate scale-up efforts
  • Contribute to the development of ZymoChem’s IP strategy & portfolio toward expanding the company’s market position
  • Interface with the company’s data management system to record fermentation-based data and implement statistical analyses on large data sets
  • Support the maintenance of the company’s bioprocessing technologies via hands-on equipment troubleshooting & repair


  • Degree in (Bio)chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Process Engineering, Material Science, or a related discipline
  • MS degree with 0+ years or BS degree with 1+ year of industrial/startup experience working directly with bench and pilot-scale bioprocess development
  • Hands-on expertise with microbiology/fermentations, bioreactors and bioprocess-related unit operations is a requirement 
  • Experience with chemical separations equipment and related analytical devices is a plus
  • Strong aptitude for hands-on work with equipment along with a rigorous attention to details with experimental design, execution, and record keeping
  • Excellent time management skills, effective with multitasking, and an adept ability to improvise work plans while maintaining efficiency
  • Capability and willingness to work extended days, off-peak hours, and weekends

Nice to Have (but not required)

  • Fundamental knowledge of biochemical & process engineering principles including mass balance & transport, reactor design, fluid dynamics, and process control
  • Experience with fermentation broth
  • Prior industrial work with modeling software (ASPEN, SuperPro) and/or building computational models; familiarity with scripting tools such as Python and R


Full-time opportunities at ZymoChem come with: 

  • Competitive salary
  • Benefits package that includes company stock options, 401(k) option, and employee medical, dental, and vision healthcare coverage
  • Additional benefits including dependent healthcare coverage, FSA, HSA, commuter, and supplemental life insurance
  • Flexible time off policy with 15 days paid vacation days per year and 10 paid company holidays per year

ZymoChem offers full-time employees a competitive base salary, a comprehensive benefits package, and a company culture that’s collaborative, multidisciplinary, and committed to a big vision for positively impacting the world. We seek candidates who are motivated by our mission and are equally passionate toward pushing the boundaries to build a sustainable future.  This position will be based in the Gate 510 technology hub in San Leandro, CA, and ZymoChem may agree to offer relocation assistance for this role. Located in the vibrant East Bay area of San Francisco, Gate 510 is a state-of-the-facility with many in-house and nearby amenities.

Legal authorization to work in the United States is required. ZymoChem may agree to sponsor an individual for an employment visa immediately or in the future if there is a shortage of individuals with particular skills for this job. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States, and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

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