Research Associate - Microbial Genome Engineering: USA

Zymergen is hiring a distinctive Research Associate 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, 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.

Job Description and Specific Responsibilities

Immediate responsibilities include:

  • Building DNA assemblies using cutting edge molecular biology methods
  • Using software tools for DNA analysis, construct design, and handling large datasets
  • Genome engineering in a variety of host microbes (e.g., bacteria, yeast, filamentous fungi) using a variety of advanced approaches (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9, etc.)
  • Development and optimization of high-throughput protocols for DNA assemblies and strain engineering
  • Deploying developed technology into our high-throughput microbe engineering Factory
  • Applying a broad range of analytical methods including PCR, DNA electrophoresis, Next-Gen sequencing, spectrophotometry, and other plate based assays to QC and test engineered strains
  • Using software and automation tools to increase experimental throughput
  • Independently troubleshooting experiments
  • Analyzing data and communicating results to the project team

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


  • We favor candidates with substantial experience designing and executing experiments in lab: BS or MS with 0-2+ years of working experience.
  • We are interested in candidates with technical training in biology, molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, genomics, or related engineering fields.
  • Lastly, we look for candidates that have displayed excellence and high achievement in previous technical and non-technical work.
  • We prefer candidates 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 advanced technologies (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9, etc.) to engineer genomes is preferred
  • Familiarity with techniques in molecular biology, including: PCR, DNA cloning/assembly, and Next-Gen sequencing
  • Experience using lab automation (Beckman, Tecan, etc.) to enable complex or high-throughput protocols
  • Hands on experience troubleshooting in the lab
  • 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 multi-day workflows, including preparing reagents and materials, and managing implementation
  • Familiarity with concepts in statistics, tools to analyze data such as Excel, JMP, R, Python
  • Previous experience in the field of synthetic biology is a plus
Further details
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