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Research Associate - Valent BioSciences LLC

Valent BioSciences
Libertyville, IL
Start date
Mar 14, 2023

About Us:

Valent BioSciences LLC is a worldwide leader in the research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of biorational products for the agriculture, public health, and forestry markets. We have more than 60 years of experience bringing biorational products to market, and our products are used in sustainable operations in 95 countries around the world. Biorational products maximize plant quality, productivity, and sustainability.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical, Valent BioSciences LLC operates with the Sumitomo Spirit mindset, which means to benefit both self and others, recognizing that private and public interests are one and the same. It’s about contributing to society, as well as making a profit.

Description of Job:

Contribute to internal strain engineering efforts at Valent Biosciences by conducting fermentation experiments in laboratory-scale bioreactors (i.e., production of target products by microbial cultivation). Evaluate the performance of microbial strain candidates by analysis and interpretation of fermentation data. Work alongside a team of strain engineers, synthetic biologists, and analytical chemists to develop biorational products in agriculture and additional synthetic biology projects in the Sumitomo Chemical business.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Conduct fermentation experiments in both screening and production scale-down models to evaluate engineered microbial strain candidates
  • Sample bioreactors daily, including weekends, in order to measure optical density, metabolite production, substrate utilization, etc.
  • Cultivate microbes in liquid and solid media using aseptic technique
  • Assemble, disassemble, and clean bioreactor equipment Prepare and sterilize fermentation media
  • Analyze and report results from fermentation experiments with conclusions and recommendations in a timely manner and present results as needed
  • Troubleshoot fermentation methodology and propose process and method improvements
  • Maintain laboratory documents including electronic lab notebook and SOPs
  • Maintain laboratory workspace including general housekeeping functions, ordering of supplies, scheduling preventative maintenance, and equipment upkeep
  • Work both independently and with interdisciplinary research teams while maintaining a positive and collaborative environment

Required skills/experience:

  • Passion for the expanding field of synthetic biology, especially as it relates to the development of novel products and sustainable solutions
  • Experience using bioreactor systems for microbial cultivations (E. coli, S. cerevisiae, or other hosts)
  • Foundational understanding of: 
    • material and energy balances
    • bioreactor design and fermentation processes
    • microbial growth kinetics and metabolic engineering
  • Foundational understanding of synthetic biology would be a plus
  • Knowledge of statistics and software used for statistical analysis such as JMP or Minitab would be a plus
  • High degree of competency in the Microsoft Office suite, especially Excel
  • Works well in cross-functional teams, especially with synthetic biologists and analytical chemists
  • Strong communication, presentation, and listening skills
  • Will support and foster a culture of diversity and inclusion
  • Able to lift 50lb raw material bags and fermenters

Education: B.S./M.S. in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry or related field with 0-3 years of related experience.

Travel: Limited travel will be required. (<5%)

What We Offer:

You’ll enjoy competitive compensation, consisting of base pay plus an incentive program available to all full-time employees, and a comprehensive benefits package including high-quality healthcare options, 401k matching, life and disability insurance, generous time off (with time off to volunteer) and much more! Additionally, we offer several Flexible Work Arrangements to support a healthy work-life balance.


We work together to power our sustainable future. Here's what drives us: Valent BioSciences, LLC has a strong commitment to both sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). In fact, being a responsible corporate citizen has been ingrained in our culture since the company’s founding. Today, it remains at the forefront of everything we do.


Valent BioSciences LLC is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation and/or identity, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, disabilities, or protected veteran status.


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