Senior Small-Scale Fermentation Scientist - Assay Development

Ginkgo Bioworks Boston , MA 02298

Posted 2 months ago

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world to answer the globe's growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. Today, our world-class foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Core to our organism engineering pipeline is the testing and analysis of our engineered strains. We leverage high-throughput screens and selections to measure thousands of strains at a time for improved enzyme activity of key steps or increased titers of final products. Given the diversity of projects at Ginkgo, our assay development approaches must work across multiple hosts and products. Your novel screening and selection methods will lie at the center of our new high-throughput screening pipelines.

As a Senior Small-Scale Fermentation Scientist, you will utilize your extensive expertise in fermentation and organism physiology to guide the Small-scale Predictive Fermentation (SPF) team in the design of microtiter plate fermentation processes that are predictive of how strains will perform at larger scales. These processes will be used to screen large libraries (from hundreds to tens of thousands) of strains with robotic work cells and liquid handling workstations in the Foundry. You will consider how the plate fermentation processes integrate into downstream assays (including colorimetric, LC-MS, or GC-MS). The SPF team currently supports a wide range of projects with different organisms, product types, and large-scale fermentation processes, and your role will leverage your expertise across all of these projects. You will also have the opportunity to mentor and train other members of the SPF team.


  • Guide the development and optimization of microtiter plate microbial fermentation processes based on larger-scale fermentation processes

  • Leverage your skills to help the team become more proficient in their understanding of fermentation processes across scale

  • Identify and onboard new methods and technologies to improve the team's capabilities

  • Execute high-throughput screens using the plate models that you and the team develop, and analyze your results to determine which strains would perform best in larger-scale fermentations

  • Aid in tech transfer of strains and processes to and from customers

  • Adapt readily to changing project needs and develop sophisticated problem-identification and problem-solving skills

Desired Experience and Capabilities

  • PhD or MS in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, or related field

  • Five to ten years of industrial fermentation experience at multiple scales (plate, flask, bench, pilot, production)

  • Deep understanding of microbial metabolism and physiology

  • Familiarity with a wide range of industrially-relevant microbes (including bacteria, yeast and filamentous fungi) and mammalian cell lines

  • Excitement to learn how to work with new organisms

  • Familiarity with software and statistical platforms for the analysis of large data sets (e.g., JMP, Tableau, Spotfire, or MODDE pro/DoE)

  • Experience in computational analysis of biological data and large data sets using a general-purpose programming language (such as Python, R, or Matlab) is highly desirable, but not required

  • Desire to work in a collaborative, team-oriented environment

To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:

Ginkgo Bioworks CEO on scaling up Covid-19 testing: 'If we try, we can win' (CNBC)

Ginkgo raises $70 million to ramp up COVID-19 testing for employers, universities (Boston Globe)

Ginkgo Bioworks Redirects Its Biotech Platform to Coronavirus (Wall Street Journal)

Ginkgo Bioworks Provides Support on Process Optimization to Moderna for COVID-19 Response (PRNewswire)

The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing (Forbes)

Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $290 Million in New Funding (Bloomberg)

Ginkgo Bioworks raises $350 million fund for biotech spinouts (Reuters)

Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)

We also feel that it's important to point out the obvious here - there's a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.

We're developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can - and will - impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it's something we'll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it's critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.

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Senior Small-Scale Fermentation Scientist - Assay Development

Ginkgo Bioworks