Research Associate II / III, Analytical Development at Zymergen
Emeryville, CA, US
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zymergen is a technology-driven company applying radical new methods to design and improve microbes by rewriting their DNA. This capability allows us to generate novel chemicals, advanced materials, and pharmaceuticals far faster and at lower costs than competing technology. Our approach combines biology, robotic automation, and proprietary computational and analytic methods to industrialize what is otherwise a slow, risky process.

1. Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

Zymergen is hiring a Research Associate to support the analytical chemistry team in analyzing a wide variety of compounds produced through bench-scale and microtiter plate-based fermentation processes. The incumbent will develop new assays as well as identify and implement assays described in the literature to support these fermentation processes. These assay development projects include working alongside equipment providers to build out the facilities to run the assays in high throughput (HTP).

An ideal candidate for this position will handle the following responsibilities:

Assay Development
Optimize HTP assays to measure titer of a variety of target molecules including new bio-derived compounds generated through plate-based fermentation
Provide practical expertise in UHPLC and LC/MS operation to support the development of improved HTP assays for target compounds
Make use of enzyme-coupled assays to develop HTP methods for measuring titer of target molecules
Test new analytical techniques including automated sample preparation to be used in the context of high throughput screening
Assay Operationalization
Operate analytical instruments such as UHPLC and LC/MS
Prepare and analyze samples from plate-based fermentations
Further improve existing protocols within highly automated workflows
Work with automation and fermentation teams to ready assays for operations
Improve existing detection techniques to increase the quality of data acquired and to decrease the associated costs and timelines
Equipment/Data and Team Management
Maintain, troubleshoot and repair analytical instruments
Upgrade systems through third party vendors and by adding peripheral components, and improve systems through custom upgrades and custom workflows
Maintain relationships with vendors, repair support staff, and consumables and parts providers
Interact with software engineers for the capture, storage, and processing of measurement and process data
2. Qualifications/Experience

We favor candidates with the following:

BSc/MSc with minimum of 2 years of industry experience in a relevant field (biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, or related).
Experience in analyzing small molecules in fermentation samples using UHPLC and LC/MS including sample prep.
Experience with automated liquid handling systems to increase experimental throughput.
Excellence in operations and creativity in assay development.
Capability to manage multiple workflows, including scheduling instrumentation, preparing reagents and materials, and managing implementation.
Familiarity with the tools of statistical process control, including use of control charts and software such as JMP.
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