Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world to answer the world’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers use an in-house automated foundry to design and build new organisms.
Core to our organism engineering pipeline is the testing and analysis of our engineered strains. We leverage high-throughput screens and selections to measure thousands of strains simultaneously for improved enzyme activity of critical steps or increased titers of final products. Given the diversity of projects at Ginkgo, our assay development approaches involve multiple hosts, products of interest, and a wide range of detection strategies.
The Director/Associate Director of Biochemistry, Biocatalysis, & Enzymology will lead an assay development group within the High Throughput Screening (HTS) team that leverages Ginkgo’s synthetic biology and cell engineering platform to advance our unparalleled enzyme discovery pipeline. Specifically, the group utilizes assay development and HTS to identify, characterize, and optimize novel engineered enzymes with unique or improved activities, creating biological solutions for use across multiple applications ranging from food, agriculture, and industrial chemicals, to therapeutics.
In this crucial HTS leadership role, you will set the future vision for Ginkgo’s biochemical assay development team and continuously improve screening capabilities. You will manage team members, providing mentorship, coaching, and technical support for current and future talent to help them meet their full potential. Ideal candidates have a strong background in team leadership, project and resource management, and communication across interdisciplinary teams of scientists. In addition, you will have an established track record as a top-notch biochemist, applying biochemical technologies and approaches to solve engineered enzyme discovery and characterization challenges.
The Director/Associate Director will be responsible for many projects occurring in parallel, evaluating project strategies, providing insights towards experiment design, deriving biological insights from large screening data sets, effectively utilizing resources, and prioritizing efforts across the team. You will have experience balancing the demands of a fast-paced, ambitious, and diverse group of research objectives through collaborating with cross-functional teams of both internal and external stakeholders.
Lead a talented team of biochemists and enzymologists supporting a diverse portfolio of projects maintaining and fostering scientific excellence and a culture of innovation.
Support and develop an industry-leading biochemistry, enzymology, and biocatalysis team through mentorship and coaching team members.
Continuously improve the team by identifying relevant assay technologies and innovative approaches and helping scout and recruit new talent.
Be accountable for team deliverables, ensuring the use of appropriate assay/detection approaches in screening to generate high-quality data, biological insights, and data-driven decisions that impact the progress of projects.
Proactively manage the team’s project portfolio, engaging in resource planning, project prioritization, risk assessment, and mitigation strategizing while fostering collaboration and communication with internal and external stakeholders.
Serve as a communication bridge between the Biochemistry team and functional teams comprising but not limited to project team leads, protein characterization, design, foundry analytics, operations, fermentation teams, business groups, and commercial partners.
Apply skills in biochemistry and enzymology to advance projects and leverage external networks to provide capabilities or solutions where necessary.
Propose, develop, and optimize novel and robust enzymatic and small-molecule detection assays for high-throughput screens with a deep understanding of the scientific purpose behind screening goals.
Identify and develop impactful methods to assess enzymes, applying fundamental structural, mechanistic, and kinetic characterization, resulting in the discovery of newly optimized and improved enzymes, compounds, or engineered strains.
Desired Experience and Capabilities
Ph.D. in biochemistry, enzymology, biocatalysis/biotransformation, biophysics, or chemical engineering with at least 8 years of relevant industrial biotech or pharmaceutical experience; or MS/BS with relevant years of industry experience.
Previous experience leading and building a team of R&D scientists working on enzyme discovery, catalyzed molecular transformations, optimization, and biochemical characterization campaigns resulting in commercial success.
Excellent written, verbal communication, and advocacy skills across a variety of relationships including reports, team members, company-level leadership, and cross-functional teams.
Recognized for technical rigor and scientific excellence with a strong track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals and external presentations.
Extensive knowledge and practical application of protein biochemistry/enzymology, and biophysics principles, including enzyme kinetics, coupled biocatalysis, and protein-substrate interactions are required.
Demonstrated experience in enzyme characterization, steady-state kinetics, single turn-over kinetics, protein biochemistry, lab-scale in-vitro chemoenzymatic synthesis of products or intermediates, direct binding of ligands using SPR/ITC, and development of plate-based assays for high-throughput screening.
Competency in general biochemical and kinetic-based assay technologies (e.g. Absorbance, Colorimetric, Luminescence, TR-FRET, and/or MS-based analytical platforms)
Solid understanding of statistical concepts associated with assay development, DOE, and high-throughput screening.
Experience with bench-scale microbial fermentation and scaling assays to automated, integrated screening work cells.
Strong ability to hone in on scientific priorities, set timelines, utilize project management tools/principles, and design well-controlled, purpose-driven experiments.
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We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.
We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.
It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.