Strain Engineering Padawan (1-year paid internship)

Boston, MA /
Internships and Co-ops /
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.

We’re looking for highly intelligent and motivated Strain Engineering Padawans to join our team. This role will be critical to advancing our development processes by helping to build biosynthetic pathways, perform genetic engineering of microorganisms, evaluate strain performance in fermentation, manage experiments through the use of custom software, and much more.

Ginkgo’s Padawan program is a 1-year paid internship program, designed to give recent graduates an opportunity to experience Ginkgo for a longer period of time than a traditional internship.  Upon the program’s completion, Padawans are reevaluated for potential full-time opportunities at Ginkgo.


    • Support the design and engineering of organisms for the production of cultured ingredients, commodity chemicals, and enzymes
    • Build biosynthetic pathways in target host microorganisms, applying genetic and metabolic engineering methods and knowledge of chemical and biological principles
    • Review, analyze, and evaluate our engineered microorganisms
    • Employ genome engineering in order to improve productivity, titer, and yield of products produced by engineered strains of selected microorganisms
    • Grow strains for high-throughput screening assays, using our Foundry tools
    • Manage and track experiments through the use of our custom software
    • Analyze microorganism performance and identify obstacles limiting productivity, titer, and yield
    • Execute strategies to overcome obstacles in order to maximize productivity, titer, and yield and support the further development of organism engineering

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • BS or MS in bioengineering, chemical engineering, or related field
    • Prior experience with metabolic engineering of industrial yeasts and/or prokaryotes a plus
    • Prior experience in engineering secondary metabolism and/or natural products biosynthesis a plus
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 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.