Computational Biologist & Bacterial Geneticist, Design Team

Boston, MA
Foundry: Design
Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer in every sense of the term. 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.

As a Computational Biologist & Bacterial Geneticist, you’ll support Ginkgo’s organism engineering programs by designing and analyzing high-throughput experiments. Plus, you’ll help to expand Ginkgo’s genetic engineering platform with the development of novel computational tools. By adding your own expertise to an interdisciplinary team of bench scientists, computational biologists, data scientists, and software engineers, your role will be critical to developing world-changing methods for engineering biology.

Please note: we recognize that not all candidates may meet the entire list of Desired Experience and Capabilities below. We’re eager to train the right candidates for this role, and encourage those who meet at least two thirds of the criteria to apply.


    • Support Ginkgo’s organism engineering teams with your technical expertise in bacterial genetics, designing megabases of DNA for each project
    • Design high-throughput experiments that leverage Ginkgo’s foundry, with the goals of solving difficult biological obstacles and uncovering new design principles
    • Collaborate with stakeholders throughout Ginkgo to create next-generation synthetic biology tools — e.g. algorithms, data structures, predictive models, software pipelines, or experimental approaches — that yield step changes in our ability to engineer biology
    • Manage a small team of approximately 3–5 design engineers, helping them to reach their peak potential via one-on-one mentoring, conducting performance reviews, and overseeing overall career development
    • Troubleshoot technically complex design problems, and propose solutions or experimental plans to resolve or correct for them
    • Maintain high-quality documentation of your work and discoveries, in the forms of written reports, technical presentations, electronic lab notebooks, internal database records, code comments, and software documentation

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • PhD (or equivalent experience) in genetics, genomics, systems biology, biochemistry, computational biology, quantitative biology, or similar field. Interdisciplinary work is strongly encouraged
    • 2+ years of professional experience (grad school counts) with engineering one or more bacterial species. Wet lab experience is a plus
    • Prior experience effectively managing and coordinating a small team (3–5 people)
    • Proficiency with at least one software programming language (Python preferred). Knowledge of best practices for collaborative software development (version control systems, test-driven development, and good documentation habits) is preferred
    • First-hand technical experience in at least two of the following disciplines:  bioinformatics, sequence analysis, comparative genomics, phylogenetics, NGS analysis, statistics, probabilistic modeling, machine learning, population genetics, metabolic engineering, and quantitative modeling of biological systems
    • Demonstrated ability to meet the demands of multiple concurrent projects, and work efficiently in a fast-paced, high-growth environment
    • Strong curiosity of, and comfort working in, areas of biology previously unknown to you (and, at times, your peers)
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.