Research Associate, Metabolic Engineering

ZymoChem is an early-stage company that is genetically engineering microbes to produce industrial bioproducts. Our mission is to reshape the chemical industry by developing eco-friendly processes for producing bio-based chemicals that go into making everyday products such as plastics, fragrances, and fabrics. To accomplish this, we are re-imagining the way microbes ferment sugars by engineering unique biosynthetic pathways not found in nature. ZymoChem’s “carbon conserving” microbes are designed to eliminate the wasteful production of CO2 during fermentation and instead direct all of the sugar’s carbon to the final product. The company’s proprietary carbon conversing pathways can deliver up to 50% increase in fermentation yield compared to state-of-the-art technologies, where this improvement in efficiency gives ZymoChem’s bioprocesses a breakthrough cost-advantage over the petroleum-based production the same chemicals, even at today’s oil prices.

Powering ZymoChem’s mission is a world-class team of scientists & engineers along with funding from the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, IndieBio, and Breakout Labs. We are looking for 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 / Sr. RA to immediately join and contribute to our company’s enzyme characterization, metabolic engineering, and strain development 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 research-based responsibilities for this position include DNA construction, cloning, host engineering, protein expression & purification, in vitro enzyme activity assays, and cell culture studies. The Research Associate will also assist with designing experiments, creating & optimizing protocols, and collecting & processing data. Additional duties will involve building & maintaining ZymoChem’s registries of chemical and biological materials as well as performing routine tasks such as preparing reagents and maintaining an organized lab environment.

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


  • BS or MS in bioengineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical engineering, or a related discipline, with a minimum of 1 year research experience with an academic lab or an industrial research group

  • Experience working with E. coli and/or S. cerevisiae is strongly preferred; additional experience with other industrially-relevant microorganisms is a plus

  • Hands-on expertise with synthetic biology & strain engineering-related techniques such as PCR, Gibson Isothermal Assembly, Golden Gate cloning, and homologous recombination


Technical experiences and in-depth knowledge with the following:

  • Heterologous protein expression & purification

  • 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

  • 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 plus

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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