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Scientist, Biology

South San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
Jul 13, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Genetics, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Plants have played a vital role in human health for thousands of years, and we have yet to realize the full potential. Brightseed is a data company with the technology to do just that. We identify the hidden compounds in plants that can impact health and we bring these bioactives to market across industries at a rate that was previously impossible.


At Brightseed, you will be a part of building out an innovative biological investigation capability to uncover the health benefits of natural molecules isolated from major domains of life including plants, fungi, and microbes. As part of your work, you will develop our internal capabilities to perform high-throughput screening in collaboration with our computation and chemistry teams and design research strategies for lead compound validation. Ultimately, your work will result in the human health knowledge base as a crucial part of our Forager® platform and a portfolio of novel discoveries. This role will report to the Senior Scientist, Discovery, and is based in South San Francisco.


You are an expert biologist with a passion to explore the chemical diversity encoded in organismal genomes and how that diversity can be harnessed for the betterment of human health.

    • Design, develop and execute in vitro experiments to characterize the biological activity of natural plant compounds and their application in addressing specific chronic disease conditions.
    • Source, implement, optimize and perform assays representing bioactivities of interest, including phenotypic, target-based, biomarker, and other functional assays. Develop and implement high-throughput screening assays utilizing lab automation.
    • Lead investigations to deliver mechanistic insights into the activity of lead compounds, implementing a range of molecular biology and biochemical techniques for nucleic acid, protein, and cell-based analyses.
    • Prepare, maintain and manage appropriate cell lines, biological tools, reagents, and other experimental resources supporting active biological investigations.
    • Team with in-house natural product chemists and computational biologists to perform bioactivity-guided screening of natural plant compounds.
    • Partner with external groups and services to design, perform and interpret preclinical and clinical studies to validate anticipated outcomes.
    • Develop an appropriate laboratory infrastructure to support research efforts, including Identifying, commissioning, and maintaining critical lab equipment.

    During the first year at Brightseed, we would expect you to:
      • Join the discovery team in launching an initiative to identify natural plant compounds that address the company's next major area of focus.
      • Design and equip the laboratory to support fundamental bench-based biological investigations.
      • Identify, procure, and implement assays and biological tools to screen and validate lead compounds for targeted bioactivities.
      • Work with the medical and nutrition team to review the research literature and annotate scientific data sets representing important areas of chronic disease for use in company research initiatives.

        • MS or Ph.D. in Molecular or Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Bioengineering, or related field.
        • MS with 5+ years post-graduate experience, or PhD with 2+ years post-graduate experience preferred.
        • A track record of achievements in designing and performing fundamental investigations into molecular mechanisms underlying human physiological processes.
        • Deep biological knowledge of one or more chronic diseases is highly desirable, including experience with or exposure to relevant in vitro and in vivo model systems, assays, and biological tools.
        • Expertise in common nucleic acid, protein, and cell-based techniques, including DNA/RNA isolation and amplification, protein purification, gel-based analyses, plasmid design, cloning and transfection, and cell culture.
        • Experience with fluorescent, chemiluminescent, and bioluminescent labeling and detection approaches, microscopy, and cell-based imaging and analysis.
        • Experience with automated liquid handling and high content screening.
        • Excellent computer and quantitative skills, including scientific record-keeping and technical document management.
        • Experience investigating human health processes and metabolomics is a definite plus.
        • Ability to effectively communicate complex concepts, data, and interpretations to a wide range of audiences.
        • Strong attention to detail and safety.


        As a lab based company, where in person collaboration is key to drive innovation, we encourage all team members to be in our office most days each week. However we appreciate and honor the need and desire for flexibility and have implemented a hybrid working model. We have a fully stocked healthy kitchen, a gym onsite, plenty of free parking, weekly team events and a state-of-the-art lab and office.

        We offer a competitive total rewards package with team-first benefits programs for full-time employees, including medical, dental and vision coverage, unlimited paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance programs, 401(k) plan, a mental health platform, employee discounts, payroll credits for cell phone and commuter costs and a paid parental leave program.


        We are committed to making transformative discoveries with a team-first mentality. Successful team members are truth-seeking and trusting, with the tenacity required to trail blaze in uncharted territory. We are a collaborative team that actively seeks input and values differing perspectives. And we produce tangible results, holding ourselves accountable in the process.

        We are also committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of connectedness and inclusion. We grow and learn together, respecting professional and personal experiences, areas of expertise, and types of self expression.

        In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that each one of us brings in terms of education, opinions, culture, color, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran's status, religion, different abilities, sexual orientation and beliefs.
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