Protein Engineer

Menlo Park, CA
Introduction to Aether

Aether was founded under the belief that synthetic biology will fundamentally change the future of manufacturing. In order to catalyze the next industrial revolution, we are building a fully automated robotic laboratory that will generate enough data to leverage deep learning for biological engineering for the very first time. To do this, we are building a diverse team of software engineers, machine learning engineers, process engineers, roboticists, bioengineers, environmentalists, sci-fi nerds, and world-changers. We hope you can join us.

Job Description

At the core of Aether’s success will be protein sciences and our collective ability to leverage the field to create a generalized understanding of enzyme space and capabilities. We are looking for experts to help us drive the development of ultra-high-quality processes based on the most sound scientific principles. These processes will be used to push the boundaries of process engineering and laboratory automation and lead the way towards faster, more robust, and accurate robotic sample processing systems while maintaining the most stringent levels of precision and accuracy. 

As an early member of the protein sciences team, you will be developing next-generation solutions to acquire high quality data. You will be responsible for the design, development, iteration, and supervision of the biological processes that will be built into a state-of-the-art, enzyme design and evolution. You will help shape Aether Biomachines’ long term vision for versatile automated solutions to support the indexing of enzyme function and stability across multiple dimensions. You will be in charge of finding technical answers to data quality problems and interface heavily with the other technology groups: machine learning, process engineering and automation, software engineering, and mass spectrometry. You will use your strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology to develop novel, advanced protocols supporting the broad indexing of biology. 


As a member of the scientific staff within Aether, you will play a key role in shaping the scientific culture, building world class technology solutions, and evangelizing the scientific approach across the organization. Core responsibilities include:
- Assist in the application of a broad range of molecular biology techniques for the construction, expression, and screening of enzyme libraries.
- Innovate on, develop, and optimize enzyme expression protocols for quality, yield, cost and automatability.
- Generate high quality recombinant proteins for downstream experiments in different expression systems using automation. 
- Perform variety of biochemical assays and enzyme screening using different analytical techniques. 
- Work closely with the process engineering and automation teams to ensure processes can be scaled efficiently in a high-throughput operational setting.
- Help with troubleshooting and other production related issues associated with data quality and protein expression.
- Perform other related duties as assigned and based on Company needs

Minimum Requirements

    • A Bachelors or Masters degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or related field with 3+ years of hands-on research experience in protein biochemistry in an industrial or academic setting.
    • Research experience in molecular biology including primers and vector design, standard cloning techniques, Gibson & Golden Gate assembly, gel electrophoresis, PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, DNA and RNA isolation, sequence analysis.
    • Demonstrated experience in design and construction of expression plasmid constructs, site-directed mutagenesis and libraries generation, and recombinant protein vector design.
    • Experience in protein engineering and directed evolution.
    • Proficiency with recombinant protein expression in several systems including E. coli,  yeasts and cell-free transcription-translation platforms.
    • Skilled at routine protein biochemistry techniques including but not limited to SDS-PAGE, and Western blotting.
    • Hands-on experience with multi-step proteins purifications including refolding insoluble proteins, FPLC purification, Ni-NTA and His-tag purification.
    • Familiarity with enzyme kinetics and inhibition mechanisms.
    • Experience designing and implementing biochemical assays.
    • Demonstrated independence in experimental design, execution, data analysis and troubleshooting is required.
    • Analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to resolve routine issues using appropriate information.
    • Hands-on experience using lab automation
    • The ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently, communicate clearly, work within departmental groups, and to build open and collaborative relationships is essential
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Requirements

    • Ph.D. in a relevant field
    • Experience with next-generation sequencing is a plus.
    • Experience with technology transfer, writing SOPs, and high-throughput laboratories is a strong plus.
    • Experience in rapidly growing start-ups a strong plus