Research Associate, Strain Engineering

| San Leandro, CA, USA
Employer Provided Salary: 68,000-100,000 Annually
Salary data is provided by the employer. Please note this is not a guarantee of compensation.
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About ZymoChem


ZymoChem is breakthrough science for a fossil-free future. We accelerate the transition to a real-zero economy by developing bio-based materials for everyday products. Our platform is powered by proprietary carbon conserving (C2) microbes that convert renewable feedstocks into high-value materials while radically minimizing CO2 loss during the production phase.


ZymoChem recently closed a $21 million Series A round of fundraising to support the launch of our first high-performance material and to advance our first partnered product to commercial scale. In addition to this funding from premier domestic & international venture capital firms, we are also supported by existing revenues from commercial partnerships with world-leading companies and funding from multiple government awards, including a 2023 $4MM grant from the Department of Energy. 


With a plan to double our team in 2024-25, 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, and products industry in tune with the 21st century. 


Our Mission: To catalyze a real-zero economy with drop-in, bio-based solutions.

Our Vision: To live in a world in which the goods we depend on every day are bio-manufactured from 100% renewable materials and designed for a sustainable economy - without compromise.

Our Values: Lead with Compassion, Aspire Collectively, Evolve Continuously, Innovate with Impact, Scale Sustainably


Position Summary


ZymoChem is hiring a Research Associate, Strain Engineering to join a rapidly expanding Biology team and help drive the company’s metabolic pathway development and strain optimization efforts. In this fast-paced, technical milestone-oriented role, you will have a breadth of opportunities to acquire diverse experiences & skills with enzyme development, strain characterization, high-throughput automated screening, and design-of-experiments. This role is a growth-based opportunity to acquire extensive, diverse experiences and skills with microbial physiology, strain design, biosynthetic pathway optimization, enzyme development, and fermentation science. 



  • Design of experiments, execution & optimization of protocols, and collection & processing data with a focus on strain characterization for achieving targeted TRY metrics of small molecule products
  • Implement molecular and synthetic biology workflows for the construction of plasmids, strains, and enzymes to facilitate strain characterization and pathway optimization efforts
  • Develop and carry out high-throughput microbial cell culture workflows for the routine assessment of new strains
  • Assist with in vitro and in vivo enzymatic assays
  • Interface with the company’s data management system to record strain and enzyme-based data
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with other R&D groups, including the Molecular Biology, Fermentation, and Analytics Teams
  • Manage the streamlined operation of the Strain Development Group by routinely preparing sterile materials, reagents, and media as well as maintaining the group’s chemicals and consumables inventories



  • MS or BS in Biochemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology or a related discipline with at least 1+ year of industry experience
  • Hands on experience with synthetic biology and strain engineering techniques such as PCR, Gibson Assembly, restriction digestion, ligation, and homologous recombination
  • Ability to operate laboratory equipment (including basic maintenance and calibration) along with a rigorous attention to details with experimental design, execution, and recordkeeping utilizing good laboratory practices and protocols. 
  • Previous experience in plate-based fermentation workflows for screening/characterization purposes and bioprocess development (experience in scale-up efforts from plate-based screening (e.g. Biolector) to flasks and bioreactors is a plus).
  • Prior experience in molecular biology and DNA cloning techniques for strain engineering.
  • Expertise with bacterial physiology and the execution of microbial cell cultures in the context of biosynthetic pathway development & characterization is strongly preferred; additional experience with other industrially relevant microorganisms is a plus
  • Rigorous attention to details with experimental design, execution, noise/variability, reproducibility, and record keeping
  • Prior experience programming automation using Python or similar programming languages is a plus
  • Keen sense for both physical (lab) and data-oriented organization
  • Excellent time management skills, effective with multitasking, and an adept ability to improvise work plans while maintaining efficiency


Culture and Benefits

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. Located in the vibrant East Bay area of San Francisco, our headquarters are housed at Gate 510, a state-of-the-facility with many in-house and nearby amenities.


Full-time opportunities at ZymoChem come with: 

  • Competitive salary range of $68,000 to $100,000 depending on experience.
  • Comprehensive benefits package includes company stock options, 401(k) retirement plan (includes a corporate match), medical, dental, and vision healthcare coverage, and life and long-term disability insurance.
  • Additional benefits include FSA, commuter, and supplemental life insurance.
  • Flexible time off policy with 18 days Paid Time Off (PTO) per year and 10 paid company holidays per year.
  • Relocation assistance may be agreed upon as well.

If this opportunity sounds exciting and aligns with your career aspirations, we want to hear from you! Please send your resume/CV and a cover letter through our website job posting.

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.


More Information on ZymoChem
ZymoChem operates in the Chemical industry. The company is located in San Leandro, CA. ZymoChem was founded in 2013. It has 33 total employees. To see all 3 open jobs at ZymoChem, click here.
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