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Research Associate / Senior Research Associate: Microbiology

Berkeley, California, US
Closing date
May 31, 2022

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Ecology, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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The MicroByre team makes pets out of bacteria. The vast majority of prokaryotes on the planet are not currently considered cultivable, let alone genetically modifiable. MicroByre domesticates and then genetically engineers otherwise reluctant, recalcitrant, and rebellious bacteria. We get them to eat out of our hands.

With friends like these, who needs petroleum? Newly cooperative bacteria will help us replace ancient biomass (petrochemicals) with renewable biomass (lawn clippings) efficiently and economically.

This is not the synthetic biology you've read about. We do not design genetic circuits in yeast or E. coli . We engineer naturally cool but standoffish bacteria to be cooperative, and thus even cooler.

As a Team Member

You are the bacteria savior. You lift your lamp beside the red barn door! The bugs come straggling in, malnourished, sad, and under appreciated. You take each in hand and shine them up to be the healthiest versions of themselves. You are their first point of contact, the gentle caretaker that soothes their fears and sets them up for success. And when the bacteria are comfortable, you skillfully interview them for as much information as you can get out of them, the better to help the next set of neglected microbes at the door. No one will know as much about bacteria as you do.

  • Grow myriad bacteria in myriad conditions
  • Improve growth outcomes for bacteria by being both wise and creative
  • Gather detailed observations about microbial responses
  • Contribute to a proprietary bioinformatics knowledgebase
  • Train other researchers on species-specific microbiology best practices
  • Generate next generation sequencing libraries for Illumina and Oxford Nanopore platforms
  • Collaborate with analytical chemists and metabolic engineers to analyze and interpret sequencing data
  • Maintain long-term strain archives with provenance and careful annotation
  • Find holes in our microbiological data collection pipeline and plug them

Required qualifications:
  • B.S. or M.S. in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, or a related field
  • Three or more years experience in an industrial setting
  • Proficiency in standard molecular biology techniques
  • Exquisite attention to detail
  • Strong organizational skills paired with operational flexibility
  • Clear communication, both written and oral, and strong interpersonal skills
  • Good general computer skills
  • Ability to train, correct, and learn from peers
  • A willingness to learn very basic programming skills

Also helpful:
  • Any experience whatsoever with programming in any language
  • Experience isolating, handling, and sequencing RNA
  • Experience in NGS library generation

As an Employer

MicroByre is a biotech startup in the Berkeley/Oakland Bay Area. We recently closed a round of funding and are growing fast!

We offer competitive benefits:
  • Three weeks paid vacation each year
  • Every federal holiday is a paid holiday
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Life insurance and disability coverage
  • 401(k) program with 3% employer match

We offer a professional and intellectually stimulating work environment with plenty of opportunities to train up.

We take a lesson from the diversity evident from the study of ecology: it takes a lot of different kinds of skills working together with mutual respect to make a dent in the world. We are committed to a maintaining a work environment free of harassment and discrimination. All recruitment, salary, & promotion decisions are based on business need, qualification, and job requirements with no regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, family or parental status, veteran or disability status, religion or belief, or age. MicroByre is not sponsoring work visas or reimbursing relocation expenses for this position.

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