Senior Research Associate/Scientist, Microbial Genome Engineering


Emeryville, CA, US
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: Life Sciences QA/QC
  • Post Date: 02/21/2021
  • Website:
  • Company Address: 5980 Horton Street Suite 105, Emeryville, CA, 94608

About Zymergen

We are a science and material innovation company rethinking biology and reimagining the world. A World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, we partner with nature to create never-before imagined materials and products across industries – from agriculture to electronics, consumer care to pharmaceuticals, and more.

Job Description

Zymergen is hiring a distinctive Scientist to develop, optimize and execute workflows for high throughput engineering of microbial genomes. The Scientist will use and improve existing protocols and develop new technologies in order to deliver against program milestones at Zymergen. The Scientist will work collaboratively with other scientists, research associates, automation engineers, and software engineers to achieve the goals above. This is also an opportunity to directly impact program success while shaping the microbe engineering platform of the future within a dynamic company. 

Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

Immediate responsibilities involve:

  • Functioning as part of a team of Scientists and Research Associates to deliver on multi-step wetlab workstreams
  • Generating plasmids and strains to meet timelines and deliverables for programs at Zymergen
  • Improving efficiency of existing workflows for improved economics, equipment utilization, and turnaround time
  • Identifying and developing next generation techniques for DNA assembly, microbe transformation, and genome editing of a variety of microbes (e.g., bacteria, yeast, filamentous fungi)
  • Determining the technical feasibility of new projects and executing experiments that efficiently test new technologies within and across teams
  • Developing molecular and microbiology techniques that can broadly apply across different types of microbes
  • Establishing methods to QC plasmid assemblies and engineered microbes

This Scientist will contribute both to the technical and cultural foundations within Zymergen. 


We favor candidates with formal training (PhD, or equivalent experience) in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, or related fields.  We prefer candidates with a history of successfully working within a team to develop genome engineering technologies in the field of molecular biology. Lastly, we look for candidates who have demonstrated creativity and problem solving in a variety of fields.  We prefer candidates with experience in several of the following areas.

Biology and Chemistry:

  • Expertise handling or engineering eukaryotic and/or prokaryotic microbes
  • Strong technical background in high throughput strain engineering of model and/or non-model microbes
  • Experience in developing genomic engineering tools and improving the efficiency of workflows involving modern gene editing technologies
  • Proficiency with a variety of techniques to build DNA assemblies
  • Familiarity with Next-Gen sequencing applications to analyze various types of DNA samples
  • Proficiency with techniques used to build large DNA assemblies from a library of DNA parts
  • Understanding of genetics and gene regulation for a variety of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbesExperience with nitrogen-fixation metabolic pathways and nitrogen-fixing microbes a plus

Advanced Tools:

  • Adept at utilizing laboratory automation (Agilent, Tecan, Beckman, and others) to assist with complicated or lengthy workflows
  • Competent in using statistics to strengthen experimental design and enable robust data analysis
  • Capable of developing software scripts to assist designing experiments and processing data
  • Success in technology transfer/handoff of materials/processes to other teams

Teamwork/Personality Attributes:

  • Proven track record of collaborating and communicating within a team to achieve complex deliverables
  • Must be comfortable communicating and working with others across departments and disciplines
  • Proven track record of initiative, attention to detail, and providing/adapting to feedback
  • Strong interest in improving and optimizing workflows while continuing to deliver on project milestones

Our facilities are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Legal authorization to work in the U.S. is required. Zymergen may agree to sponsor an individual for an employment visa now 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.


Founded in 2013 and headquartered in the SF Bay Area, Zymergen is a science and material innovation company rethinking biology and reimagining the world. A World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, Zymergen partners with nature to create never-before imagined materials and products across industries – from agriculture to consumer electronics, personal care to pharmaceuticals, and more. The company’s materials are in use today, creating value for Fortune 1000 companies and major corporations across the globe. Our clients have sold over $1 billion worth of products using Zymergen microbial strains. For more information visit:

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This company does NOT accept candidates from outside recruiting firms. Agency contacts are not welcome.