Scientist, Biology

South San Francisco, California
R&D /
Full-time /
Brightseed®, the bioactives company is a World Economic Global Innovator that illuminates nature to restore human health. Brightseed’s proprietary AI, Forager®, accelerates bioactive discovery, biological validation, and ingredient formulation from years to months, rapidly revealing new connections between nature and humanity.  Brightseed produces clinically proven bioactives for dietary supplements, food & beverage CPG, specialty nutrition and medical foods to power proactive health worldwide. Learn more at

Bioactives are compounds found in plants, fungi, and bacteria that also benefit human health.  They are an important part of a nutrient dense diet, and their health impact often goes beyond basic nutrition. For example, the bioactive lycopene found in tomatoes has been found to lower the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease. In addition, there are multitudes of other bioactives that are only accessible through complex interactions within the gut microbiome. One example is the compound salicin found in willow bark, which transforms into salicylic acid when it interacts with gut microbes. Science has long known that bioactives are critical to human health, yet the vast majority remain unknown and are often referred to as the “dark matter” of nutrition.

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 an expert biologist with a passion to explore the chemical diversity encoded in organismal genomes, part of your work will be developing 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 Director, Biology and is based in South San Francisco.


    • Design, develop, execute and analyze data from in vitro experiments to characterize the biological activity of natural plant compounds and their application in addressing specific chronic disease conditions.
    • Develop high-throughput screening biological assays to narrow potential bioactive compounds from plants and/or microbes.
    • Source, implement, optimize and perform assays representing bioactivities of interest, including phenotypic, target-based, biomarker, and other functional assays.
    • 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.
    • Work with the Medical and Scientific Affairs nutrition team to review the research literature and annotate scientific data sets representing important areas of chronic disease for use in company research initiatives.
    • Partner with external groups and services to design, perform and interpret preclinical and clinical studies to validate anticipated outcomes.


    • Normally requires a PhD in a scientific discipline; may include postdoctoral experience.
    • Scientist I: PhD with 0-2 years related experience, MS with 2+ years related experience, BS with 5+ years related experience.
    • Scientist II: PhD with 2-4 years related experience, MS with 4+ years related experience, BS with 7+ years related experience.
    • Experience with high content screening and automated liquid handling.
    • 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.
    • Expertise in ELISA-based systems.
    • Experience with fluorescent, chemiluminescent, and bioluminescent labeling and detection approaches, microscopy, and cell-based imaging and analysis.
    • Natural ability to help indirect and direct team members develop their skills and capabilities with an interest to grow into an effective manager.
    • 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. 
    • Track record of problem solving assay development issues and effectively communicating next steps to team and leadership.
    • Strong attention to detail and safety.


    • This position will consist of approximately 20% desk work, and 80% lab work.
    • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at time.


    • The salary range for this position is $117,000 - $150,000
    • Compensation for this position is commensurate with relevant qualifications and work experience, academic credentials, job related skills, employment location and other factors.
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 for some positions which will be outlined on the job description. Our property provides a professional gym onsite, plenty of free parking, weekly tenant 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, 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.

Brightseed requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. If hired we will require you to provide proof of vaccination.