Research Associate, Synthetic Biology

ZymoChem is a synthetic biology start-up that is genetically engineering microbes to produce chemicals. Our mission is to reshape the chemical industry by developing eco-friendly processes for producing chemicals that go into making every day products such as plastics, fragrances, and fabrics. By engineering biosynthetic pathways not found in nature, ZymoChem is re-imagining the microbe, one that minimizes/eliminates carbon loss as carbon dioxide during fermentation. Specifically, ZymoChem’s “carbon conserving” microbes direct all carbon to chemical production, delivering up to a 50% increase in fermentation yields over state-of-the-art technologies. This improvement in efficiency gives ZymoChem’s bioprocesses a breakthrough cost-advantage over petroleum-based production of these chemicals, even at today’s oil prices.

Leading ZymoChem is a world-class team of scientists & engineers who have raised funding from the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Agriculture, IndieBio, and Breakout Labs. We are actively seeking highly motivated and productive researchers to join us in Berkeley, California to develop ZymoChem’s technology for transforming the renewable chemicals industry.


ZymoChem is seeking a Research Associate to immediately join and contribute to our company’s enzyme development and metabolic engineering endeavors. As a member of our dynamic & cohesive team, you will have an opportunity to build a game-changing platform technology from the ground up. This position requires a strong work ethic with the capability to effectively multi-task on a daily basis and readily acquire new skills & techniques. An adept ability to communicate and work both independently and with a team in a fast-paced environment is crucial.

Specific responsibilities for this position will include DNA construction, cloning, heterologous protein expression & purification, and in vitro enzyme activity assays. The Research Associate will also assist with designing experiments, creating & optimizing protocols, and collecting & processing data. Additional duties will involve maintaining inventories of chemical and biological materials as well as performing routine tasks such as preparing reagents and maintaining a stocked & organized lab environment.

This position is for a full-time appointment with benefits including medical, dental, and vision.


  • BS or BA in bioengineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, genetics, or a related discipline, with a minimum of 1 year laboratory experience with an academic and/or industrial research group
  • Experience working with E. coli is strongly preferred; additional experience with other industrially-relevant microorganisms is a plus
  • Hands-on expertise with molecular biology techniques including primer design, PCR, DNA purification, electrophoresis, and DNA sequence analysis
  • Experience with state-of-the-art synthetic biology techniques such as Gibson Isothermal Assembly and Golden Gate cloning
  • Research experience with heterologous protein expression & purification


Technical experiences and in-depth knowledge with the following:

  • In vitro activity assays for characterizing enzyme functionality; experience with microtiter plate-based screens and spectrophotometers is a plus
  • Analytics such as HPLC and LC/MS for detecting and quantifying small molecules
  • Experience with strain engineering work flows and techniques such as homologous recombination and CRISPR/Cas9
  • Preparing & maintaining collections of chemical solutions & standards as well as biological samples such as enzymes and glycerol stocks of strains

Other desired qualities & experiences include:

  • Ability to maintain a well-organized laboratory notebook, prepare technical reports, and make scientific presentations
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Past work in an industrial setting or startup research setting is a plu

If this position aligns with your career aspirations, please complete the form below, or send your resume/CV and a cover letter to, and include “Application for Synthetic Biology Research Associate Position” in the subject line of the e-mail.

ZymoChem is an equal opportunity employer.


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