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Research Associate - Microbiology

Planet Pharma
South San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
Oct 28, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Adaptive Management, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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We are currently seeking a highly motivated Research Associate to play a key role in our team that is advancing rapid and thoughtful progression of our discovery portfolio from lead identification through IND enabling studies and early clinical development. A successful candidate is required to have experience with anaerobic microbiology laboratory techniques. You will be contributing towards microbial isolation and characterization to generate early preclinical data that supports further clinic investigation. You will be also responsible for developing molecular and biochemical assays to characterize microbes. The perfect candidate will have deep understanding of basic microbiology techniques with focus on anaerobic microbiology and be able to immediately contribute to microbial isolation and culturing of human gut commensals from complex samples. The candidate should be scientifically rigorous and experimentally curious. The role will require meticulous planning and organization. You will be expected to be a flexible, adaptable, and intellectually rigorous team member and you will play a critical role in the design and development of microbiome therapeutics at the absolute forefront of the field.

Core responsibilities and opportunities are:
  • Participate in execution of creating a microbial strain library by isolating human microbiota commensals.
  • Perform molecular and biochemical assays as well as microbial growth assays
  • Perform small-scale microbial fermentation experiments
  • Assess microbial viability and enumerate microbes grown in single cultures as well as from complex samples
  • Prepare microbial culture media and frozen microbial stocks
  • Keep precise experimental records and enter data into databases
  • Assist in ordering and organizing laboratory supplies and equipment
  • Effectively communicate with cross-functional teams to ensure optimal information and material sharing
  • Be nimble and adaptive to learn new laboratory techniques as needed to support cross-functional research team
  • Work rigorously as an individual and passionately as part of a team

Desired Skills and requirements:
  • Experience of working with anaerobic microbes and anaerobic gas chamber
  • Must have experience of working with microbial cultures in aseptic environment - culture inoculation, propagation, scale up and transfer
  • Previous experience of performing high-throughput microbial growth assays (preferably using robotics) or small-scale (up to 250 ml) fermentation using bioreactors or Next Gen Sequencing (NGS) are highly desirable
  • Experience of preparing microbial strain banks is a plus
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques and approaches, including DNA extraction and quantification, PCR/qPCR and primer design.
  • Keen attention to detail and careful record keeping skills
  • Able to work independently
  • Strong organizational and computer skills including familiarity with electronic notebook keeping software
  • Excellent verbal and written communication
  • Hands-on experience of working with human gut commensals is a plus

Key Qualifications
  • B.A., B.Sc. or M.Sc. in microbiology, biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, or related field
  • At least 2-3 years prior experience in a microbiology or molecular biology laboratory, preferably within industry
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