Mammalian Cell Engineer, Engineering Tools Development

Boston, MA /
Mammalian Foundry /
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.

Ginkgo is continuously crossing new frontiers of biological engineering and we have a record of delivering what was, until recently, thought impossible.  Now, our expansion into mammalian cell engineering promises to push our boundaries even further, and so we’re looking for pioneering engineers to make Ginkgo’s new mammalian cell foundry a success.

We’re looking for remarkable scientists and engineers with the skills and imagination needed to implement groundbreaking genetic engineering approaches at Ginkgo foundry scale.  As a Mammalian Cell Engineer, your pursuit of tools will span a wide range and include direct genome editing, semi-random, and targeted (landing pad) transgene integration, as well as high-efficiency introduction of DNA by viral – and especially non-viral – means.  The tools you develop will need to run with high productivity, speed, and efficiency on Ginkgo’s automation and software platforms.  Plus, you’ll be working closely with a variety of cross-functional teams, such as Automation, Software, NGS, Omics, Fermentation, Codebase, and Program.


    • Lead the identification, development, and testing of next-generation tools for high-throughput genetic engineering of mammalian cells.  These tools should include direct genome editing as well as robust methods for the reliable and efficient introduction of one to many transgenes into mammalian cells in a semi-random or site-specific manner. 
    • Work with fellow Ginkgo engineers to adapt cell engineering tools to foundry scale using Ginkgo’s automation and software platforms
    • Collaborate with other teams to develop sensitive high-throughput and automated genome-scale assays for activity and specificity of genetic engineering tools, including detection of intentional and unintentional genome edits, and both potential and actual sites of integration for transgene constructs
    • Attend, participate in, and present results at cross-functional team meetings
    • Generate, analyze, and record high-quality data using Ginkgo LIMS, documentation, and database tools
    • Maintain laboratory records, and contribute to laboratory organization and maintenance

Desired Experience and Capabilities

    • PhD in biology, synthetic biology, biological engineering, or related field
    • Expert knowledge of genetic engineering tools applicable to mammalian cells, including design of editing RNAs and accompanying verification strategies
    • Extensive hands-on laboratory experience with cell engineering techniques, including routine propagation of mammalian cells, multiple transfection reagents/methods, and assessments of cell health and viability
    • Experience with both basic and advanced recombinant DNA cloning techniques, including restriction cloning, Golden Gate assembly, Gibson assembly, and PCR-based assembly
    • Expertise in virus titration methods, copy number determination, integration site analysis, and molecular biology techniques, such as qPCR, ddPCR, and/or flow cytometry
    • Familiarity with Geneious, Benchling, and/or other software for plasmid design and sequence analysis
    • Familiarity with laboratory automation and data analysis platforms such as Python, R, and/or JMP strongly preferred
    • Experience in the application of genetic engineering tools to primary immune cells and/or mammalian bioproduction hosts, such as CHO or HEK293T cells strongly preferred
    • Willingness and ability to share occasional weekend cell culture duties
    • Strong organizational, time management, communication, and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to develop and mentor a team of researchers (as needed with team’s expansion)
    • Comfort in a fast-paced environment and ability to adjust workload based on changing priorities
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.