Zymergen is hiring a

Research Associate, Analytical Chemistry Operations

Emeryville, United States

The Associate will be joining a growing team as one of the core members. Will assist to make critical measurements used to evaluate fermentations and high throughput processes under development. The Associate will participate in continuously improving measurement quality and efficiency in collaboration with the development, production and engineering teams. They will communicate frequently with strain and process developers to help them understand assay requirements and to interpret data.


Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

Immediate responsibilities include: 

  • Preparing biological fermentation samples both volumetrically and gravimetrically 
  • Preparing HPLC mobile phases and sample diluents 
  • Managing parallel workflows that have been automated to varying degrees 
  • QC and deliver large datasets using statistical software and LIMS 
  • Interacting with internal customers who rely on high data quality and quick turnaround time 
  • Working in a high throughput environment analyzing thousands of samples per week 

Additional responsibilities:

  • Operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting HPLCs independently 
  • Familiarity with assays common to fermentation samples (e.g. organic acids, amino acids, sugars, lipids, etc.) 
  • Preparation of calibration standards and process controls 
  • Revising, and writing SOPs 
  • Investigate deviations informed by interpretation of analytical data 
  • Able to assist and train fellow colleagues with less analytical experience 
  • Communicate effectively to peers and superiors 

The Screening Operations team within the company is integral to the construction and screening of large libraries of microbes every week. We need members of the team to be thoughtful, meticulous, well organized, energetic, collaborative, and fully engaged in the execution of the workflows. In addition, we need team members to be fully committed to the improvement of the workflows through better techniques, more efficient processes, or entirely new approaches.



We favor candidates with a background in chemistry, biology, engineering, or other quantitative disciplines (BS/BA preferred). We welcome candidates who have thrived in an operations/manufacturing environment or have otherwise strived to deliver high throughput and fast turnaround while continuously improving their measurement systems. At least 2 years of professional lab or extracurricular university lab experience required. Lastly, we look for candidates who have displayed excellence and high achievement in previous technical and non-technical work. 

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

Protocols and Equipment: 

  • Responsible for preparing, qualifying, and stability testing analytical standards 
  • Responsible for preventive maintenance and troubleshooting HPLC instrumentation, including autosamplers, columns, and detectors 
  • Experience using lab automation (Agilent, Tecan, etc.) to enable complicated or high-throughput protocol 

Operations and Data Analysis: 

  • Experience following, updating and writing complicated SOPs 
  • Capability to manage multiple ongoing multi-day workflows, including scheduling instrumentation, preparing reagents and materials, and managing implementation 
  • Hunger to constantly improve processes and the attention to detail to ensure current processes are running smoothly 
  • Familiarity with statistical concepts, statistical software such as Tableau. 
  • Familiarity with manufacturing principles such as 5S, Lean, GMP or GLP 
  • Facility with both ChemStation/CDS and Microsoft Excel 

Previous experience in the field of synthetic biology is not essential. 

Additional Details
Shift work and weekend work may be required.

Legal authorization to work in the U.S. is required. We are not able to sponsor individuals for employment visas 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 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.