Strain Engineer

San Leandro, California /
Biology /
Full-time
At New Culture, we are making cow cheese without the cow. Dairy cheese is unsustainable and plant-based cheeses don’t work. Ours are sustainable, healthy, ethical, and indistinguishable from current dairy options in taste, texture, and function. Using fermentation to produce dairy proteins, food science to combine those proteins with natural ingredients, and traditional cheesemaking methods to make any cheese of choice, we are bringing about a new culture for the cheese industry. 

We are a Bay Area-based, venture-backed startup in an exciting growth and rapid expansion phase. We are looking for a Scientist, Strain Engineering to join us in leading the global transformation to an animal-free dairy future. As an early member of the team, you will have significant influence and responsibility in determining the success and trajectory of New Culture. The ideal candidate is looking for a new challenge in a fast-moving, collaborative environment and has several years of experience in manipulating microbial hosts. 

The role of the Scientist, Strain Engineering, and the Biology team overall, is to engineer microbial strains that can produce functional milk proteins at commercial scales. The Biology team works closely with the Fermentation, Downstream Processing, and Product teams during the research, development, and scale-up of novel protein ingredients.

Learn more about our CULTURE here!

What will you be doing:

    • Conceiving, designing, executing, analyzing, documenting, and communicating experiments
    • Owning projects and taking initiative to try new approaches
    • Developing, troubleshooting, modifying, and documenting assays
    • Collaborating both within and outside of the Biology team
    • Potentially training, mentoring, and/or managing early-career researchers
    • Regularly communicating technical progress with the Biology team and broader company
    • Seeking opportunities to widen your expertise, professionally grow, and expand your role at New Culture

What we expect from you:

    • PhD w/ 0-3 years of industry experience, MS with 2-5 years of industry experience, or BS with 3+ years of industry experience.
    • Hands-on experience with and mechanistic understanding of several of the following: Constructing libraries and devising screening/selection strategies, Microbial cell biology and/or physiologyManipulation of genetic sequences, Recombinant protein characterization
    • Experience with high throughput experimental tools such as microplate readers, colony pickers, liquid handling robots, Biolector
    • Hands-on experience with more than one type of microbe (gram negative bacteria, gram positive bacteria, yeast, and filamentous fungi)
    • Working knowledge of at least one programming language, mathematical/statistical analysis package, and/or spreadsheet software (expert user).Strong quantitative reasoning skills
    • Excellent written and verbal communication
    • A strong desire to improve the world, a love of discovery, huge enthusiasm for getting rigorous experimental results and hitting milestones on a tight deadline, sharing your ideas and embracing other’s ideas, eagerness to help where help is needed, flexibility to quickly pivot to new tasks or projects.

Even better if you had:

    • Experience with post-translational modifications in recombinant systems
    • Experience with dairy proteins
    • Experience with large dataset analysis/management
    • Experience with strains deployed for commercial production
How to know you are a great fit: We look for candidates who are team players, learners, doers, and hungry to make a difference in the world. Creativity and resourcefulness, honesty and empathy go a long way. Our five core values guide us on our path to achieving our mission. 

Determination with Kindness | Have the resolve, the drive, and the will to succeed, but do it with empathy, encouragement, and compassion. In the face of adversity we will only excel as a team by keeping kindness at the forefront of everything we do.

Tenacity with Transparency | Creativity, persistence, questioning, and crazy ideas to solve hard problems are essential to our work. We do all of this out in the open while being honest and forthright about the new things we’re trying, getting feedback and input from our teammates along the way. 

Teamwork with Rigor | Hold yourself and those around you to high standards and understand how your responsibilities are interconnected with others’. As much as you rely on your teammates, they’re relying on you, and only with consistent communication and rigorous teamwork will we achieve our goals together.

Speed with Focus | We move quickly, exploring new opportunities and incorporating new results to make progress rapidly. Remaining focused throughout our experimentations means making thoughtful decisions, listening to a range of perspectives, and moving forward as a unified team once we’ve committed to the path ahead.

Love the Product | The science is cool but the product is even cooler. Our breakthroughs are always in the pursuit of better products. It’s by selling delicious dairy that we will bring about a successful future for New Culture and a positive impact for our customers and the planet.


New Culture is committed to promoting and creating a diverse, inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Diversity is the foundation of what we do at New Culture, enabling us to build a company that celebrates what makes each of us unique.