Zymergen is hiring a

Research Associate II / III, High Throughput Strain Engineering

Emeryville, United States


Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

Zymergen is hiring an experienced Research Associate 1-III to develop technologies for high throughput DNA assembly and engineering of microbial genomes. The Research Associate will help create new technologies, bring in cutting edge protocols described in the literature, and improve existing Zymergen protocols to provide newer and better workflows to our microbe engineering Factory.  At Zymergen, the Research Associate will work together with other scientists, automation engineers, and software engineers to develop protocols for DNA cloning and microbial strain engineering, and then enable their use in high throughput workflows.

Immediate responsibilities involve:

  • Building DNA assemblies using cutting edge molecular biology methods
  • Using software tools for DNA analysis and design
  • Transforming a variety of host microbes (bacteria, yeast, filamentous fungi)
  • Helping with the development and optimization of strain engineering technology for genome engineering and deploying this technology into our high-throughput microbe engineering Factory.
  • Applying a broad range of analytical methods including PCR, DNA electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, and other plate based assays to qc and test strains
  • Using a broad range of analytical equipment for high-throughput sample analysis
  • Preparing materials including media and buffers, managing experiment schedules, processing materials, and collecting, storing and analyzing data
  • Using automation tools to increase experimental throughput
  • Communicating experimental results to the project team

The Research Associate II / III will work within the team responsible for the upgrade path for the central technology platform at Zymergen. Projects handled by the team include short term optimization projects and long term high risk and high impact development projects. 

Desired Skills and Experience

We favor candidates with substantial experience designing and executing experiments in lab: BS or MS with 2+ years of working experience. We are interested in candidates with technical training in biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry or engineering. Lastly, we look for candidates that have displayed excellence and high achievement in previous technical and non-technical work.

We prefer RAs with experience in some or all of the following areas.

Protocols and Equipment:

  • Experience handling and engineering eukaryotic and/or prokaryotic microbes.
  • Familiarity with utilizing tools for genome engineering is preferred.
  • Metabolic Pathway Engineering
  • Familiarity with techniques in molecular biology, including pcr, dna cloning/assembly
  • Experience using lab automation (Beckman, Tecan, etc.) to enable complicated or high-throughput protocols
  • Proficiency in the use of analytical equipment such as plate readers, automated dna electrophoresis systems

Operations and Data Analysis:

  • Experience writing, optimizing, and following complicated SOPs
  • Capability to manage multiple ongoing multiday workflows, including preparing reagents and materials, and managing implementation
  • Familiarity with concepts in statistics, tools to analyze data such as excel, jmp, or Spotfire


Bachelor's Degree (Masters preferred) in Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry or related field and 2 - 8 years experience, which can be a combination of industry and academic setting.  Must have experience in genome engineering of microorganisms.  

Our facilities are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Founded in 2013 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zymergen is a technology company unlocking the power of biology. We deliver better economics for products made from biology that are used across industries, bring new products to market faster, and develop novel products. Our proprietary platform uses robots and machine learning to engineer microbes faster, more predictably, and to a level of performance previously unattainable. These microbes, and the products they produce, have broad applications across industries such as chemicals and materials, agriculture, and healthcare. For more information visit www.zymergen.com.

Growing our business requires technical development work: to establish new molecular biological techniques, to move existing protocols to robotics workstations, and to create workflows that enable high throughput microbe engineering and evaluation.

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