Program Director, Filamentous Fungi

Boston, MA /
Organism Engineering /
Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. Today, our foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Our team of Organism Engineers (OEs) is the core of Ginkgo’s strain engineering platform. We believe that biology is a unique engineering substrate that comes pre-loaded with startlingly brilliant code we didn't write. Enabled by our high-throughput foundry, we study and design the most efficient way to create a new organism using the most advanced molecular biology techniques. We also employ various -omics technology for understanding, troubleshooting, and debottlenecking our designed systems.

We are looking for a highly talented Program Director to lead a team of three to six OEs in developing finely engineered fungal strains to produce commercial products for Ginkgo’s customers.  With your expertise in engineering fungi for the production of enzymes and/or chemicals, you and your team will be responsible for identifying and implementing sound metabolic engineering strategies and workplans that will lead to successful, newly engineered strains.  Further, you’ll work with Ginkgo’s world-class foundry to ensure that your team leverages the unique capabilities of Ginkgo’s automated workflows to speed up strain development.

As a technical leader in your field, you’ll also collaborate with our Business Development Team, as well as senior management, to communicate Ginkgo’s unique offerings to current and potential customers.  Plus, you’ll provide key insight in order to effectively evaluate strain performance and pathway optimization. 

Finally, Ginkgo’s most important goal is to build a sustainable business that advances our mission to make biology easier to engineer.  Therefore, in addition to the above, you’ll also play a critical role in helping to shape our overall direction as a company, and supporting evolving needs, where appropriate, as they emerge.  While this is primarily a team management role, you'll ideally leverage your advanced experience to offer significant technical leadership across the organization.


    • Administer technical direction and guidance on the engineering of fungal strains to your team to ensure project success
    • Support resource management and project planning across your fungal engineering team
    • Measure and evaluate team performance with respect to the technical success of team projects, as well as the continued development of your high-performing team
    • Communicate project and team performance to executive leadership and external customers
    • Identify new technologies in fungal strain engineering to increase the efficiency of constructing improved organisms within Ginkgo’s foundry
    • Collaborate with customers and internal process development teams to establish commercial-scale processes based upon novel strains developed by your team
    • Partner with our Business Development Team to identify and evaluate new project opportunities from both a technical and commercial perspective, and communicate Ginkgo’s unique offerings to current and potential customers
    • Assist with shaping Ginkgo’s overall direction as a company and support its evolving needs, as necessary

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • PhD in microbial engineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical engineering, microbiology, or related field
    • At least four years of industrial experience in engineering filamentous fungal hosts for the production of recombinant proteins or other molecules, and at least two years of experience in a director-level role
    • Experience with selecting filamentous fungal host organisms for protein production or other commercial applications, and developing safe laboratory practices for host engineering
    • Successful application of novel gene editing strategies in a filamentous fungal host 
    • Experience with developing bench-scale (or larger volume) fermentation processes in filamentous fungi
    • Ability to train and develop cross-functional engineers and scientists on safety and necessary laboratory techniques for engineering and culturing filamentous fungi
    • Experience with high-throughput protocol development and validation for fermentation, genome sequencing, homokaryon isolation, protein detection, and FACS a plus, but not required
    • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to oversee multiple simultaneous projects, meet deadlines, and collaborate with cross-functional teams
    • Proven track record of leading successful teams and mentoring multiple team members
    • Strong communication skills, with the ability to effectively convey project plans and complex technical details to a wide range of internal teams, executive leadership, and external customers
    • Ability to adapt to changing priorities and pivot as needed in a fast-paced environment

To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
Ginkgo Bioworks CEO on scaling up Covid-19 testing: ‘If we try, we can win’ (CNBC)
Ginkgo raises $70 million to ramp up COVID-19 testing for employers, universities (Boston Globe)
Ginkgo Bioworks Redirects Its Biotech Platform to Coronavirus (Wall Street Journal)
Ginkgo Bioworks Provides Support on Process Optimization to Moderna for COVID-19 Response (PRNewswire)
The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing (Forbes)
Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $290 Million in New Funding (Bloomberg)
Ginkgo Bioworks raises $350 million fund for biotech spinouts (Reuters)
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)

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, equality, 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.