Test Engineer / Natural Products Analytical Chemist

Boston, MA /
Foundry: Test /
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.

Core to our organism engineering pipeline is the testing and analysis of our engineered strains for novel natural product discovery. We leverage NGS, chemoinformatics, high throughput biosynthetic cluster engineering and mass spectrometry to express and engineer novel natural products. We are seeking a Natural Products Analytical Chemist to improve and scale our existing technologies, and define and develop the next set of analytical technologies that will lie at the center of our foundries.

The ideal candidate has discovered and characterized novel natural products from multiple chemical classes (e.g. polyketide, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases, alkaloid, flavonoid, glycoside, and terpene) at scale, from extraction through purification and structure determination. A demonstrated ability to evolve a process in response to changing technology and demands is essential, as is a passion for novel natural product discovery. A willingness to collaborate in a dynamic team of software developers, process engineers, and biologists and synthetic chemists is important.


    • Develop and execute a scaled novel natural product discovery pipeline from extraction through purification and structure determination via activity- and mass-guided approaches.
    • Work hand-in-hand with synthetic biologists, fermentation engineers and synthetic chemists to advance natural product scaffolds through our preclinical pipeline.
    • Equipment troubleshooting and maintenance.
    • Manage external CROs.
    • Collaborate with software engineers to ensure that all generated data is captured, stored, and analyzed in Ginkgo's LIMS.

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • PhD in chemistry, bioengineering, chemical engineering, or BS/MS with 5+ years industry experience.
    • Demonstrated expertise with analytical methods like LC-MS, GC-MS, and HPLC.
    • Demonstrated Expertise in structure determination techniques including UV-VIS, IR, 1H, 13C, 2D-NMR (COSY, NOESY, HSQC etc), and small-molecular crystallography with application to complex natural products. Determination of absolute stereochemistry via derivatization.
    • Familiarity with precursor feeding protocols, microbial metabolomics and proteomics is a plus.
To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:
The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing (Forbes)
The engineering of living organisms could soon start changing everything (The Economist)
Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $290 Million in New Funding (Bloomberg)
Ginkgo Bioworks raises $350 million fund for biotech spinouts (Reuters)
Ginkgo Bioworks Is Turning Human Cells into On-Demand Factories (WIRED)
Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)
This food tech startup just raised $90 million to make it easier to invent new plant-based meats (Fast Company)

We also feel it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry and it 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. We hope to continue to build a company whose culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with engineers from all walks of life. Making biology easier to engineer is a tough nut to crack – we can’t afford to leave any talent untapped.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.