Scientist, Molecular Biology/Synthetic Biology

Watertown, MA
Cultivarium – Cultivarium /
Full Time /
Cultivarium is a Convergent Research focused research organization with a mission to accelerate the adoption of new organisms for biotechnology. We are looking for experts who can contribute both individually and as part of a team to create tangible solutions for a ‘moonshot’ project. This is a great opportunity to be part of a close-knit, driven team of scientists and engineers that are building technological infrastructure for non-model microorganisms, to open new avenues for science, technology, medicine and agriculture.  

We are looking for a synthetic biologist to join our Molecular Libraries team. The successful candidate will develop and perform library-based screens to facilitate the genetic modification of non-model microbes. We’re searching for a candidate with extensive knowledge of synthetic biology, molecular biology and/or genome engineering. You will perform hands-on wet lab experimentation and work with computational biologists and automation specialists. This is a full-time experimental role and must be on-site.


    • Devise, implement and optimize high-throughput screens to solve major challenges in non-model microbe genetic engineering, such as: identifying functional genetic tools, avoiding restriction-modification systems and developing novel strain engineering methods.
    • Perform cloning of genetic libraries using methods such as Golden Gate assembly, DNA synthesis and Gibson assembly.
    • Develop and perform end-to-end assays from molecular tools development, to microorganism screening, through to NGS library preparation and/or fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS).
    • Work in collaboration with internal specialists in computational biology, automation and next-generation sequencing.
    • Leverage high-throughput technologies (laboratory automation, next-generation sequencing, oligonucleotide microarrays) to accelerate domestication of non-model microbes.
    • Engage with the wider research community to identify key obstacles to the domestication and utilization of non-model microbes.
    • Produce open-access materials, data reports and protocols to maximize the impact and reach of Cultivarium’s tools and resources.
    • Maintain high standards of reproducible and rigorous science, with meticulous documentation.
    • Prepare internal reports and manuscripts, and present results at internal or external scientific meetings as appropriate.
    • Write protocols and SOPs for manual and automated experiments.
    • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through actions, interactions, and communications with others.


    • PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology or a related field or equivalent working experience and track record.
    • Passion for impactful research aligned with the Cultivarium mission.
    • Extensive experience in the development and implementation of advanced genetic tools - such as genome editing, CRISPR systems, transposons and DNA assembly - with particular emphasis on the challenges associated with applying these tools in non-model microbes.
    • An appetite to break new ground and take on a complex, multi-faceted challenge.
    • Excellent communication skills, collaboration skills, record keeping ability and attention to detail.
    • Ability to ensure quality experimental design and follow protocols.
    • Comfortable with using and learning lab automation tools.
    • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment.
    • Strong quantitative and analytical skills, proclivity for reasoning from first principles.
    • Creative thinking, problem-solving skills.
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, set priorities and meet deadlines and to adapt to changing projects and goals.
    • Proficiency to stay up to date with new technologies/literature related to the field.
    • Authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.

Advanced Qualifications

    • Industrial experience and/or significant postdoctoral experience.
    • Extensive experience with high-throughput screening, lab automation, next generation sequencing or oligonucleotide microarrays.

We offer

    • An opportunity to change the world and work with some of the smartest and the most talented experts from different fields
    • Excellent medical, dental, and vision insurance through a PPO plan; parental leave
    • Generous time off + paid holidays
    • Wellness allowance for fitness and wellness activities
We aim to help fill a structural gap in today's R&D system. We enable fundamental research that requires unusual levels of scale and coordination yet is not rapidly monetizable by industry. We’re bringing together top talent from academia, industry, and startups to build a new model for innovative R&D. As an incubator within the Schmidt Futures Network, we identify high-impact scientific or technical research and development opportunities, ultimately defining and launching these projects as Focused Research Organizations.
We are an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state, or federal law or company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.