Assay Development Scientist, Materials Characterization

Emeryville, CA /
R&D /
Full time
About us 
At Shiru we believe that food should be delicious and nourishing without negatively affecting our planet. Acknowledging our growing global population as well as the imminent effects of climate change, Shiru’s mission is to create better protein ingredients that will catapult us into a sustainable food future. 

With our mission in mind, Shiru makes high quality, functional food proteins through better leveraging our precious environmental resources. To do this, we employ technologies originally  created to solve problems in adjacent industries, including computational biology, machine learning, and industrial fermentation and bioprocessing.

We apply computational intelligence to find the most functional natural food proteins in the world, harnessing the inherent ability of microflora to produce them. We then partner with food and beverage companies to incorporate these unique protein ingredients into everyday products. Shiru is now expanding our team of dedicated professionals across multiple disciplines to make enhanced protein ingredients for a better world.

About the role
We are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled materials scientist to join our team and help accelerate the discovery of novel protein ingredients. Reporting to a Lead Scientist, our newest Assay Development Scientist will be responsible for developing methods to characterize Shiru's novel food protein ingredients and related materials systems. Immediately, you will be helping to lead the hands-on development of new materials characterization capabilities in our brand-new Alameda HQ/laboratory. As an expert in instrumental analysis and nano-/mesoscale (bio)materials, you are a curious and detail-oriented problem solver who is excited to collaborate with our team to generate and test hypotheses related to food protein functionality. The methods you develop will help us uncover the full techno-functional potential of novel protein ingredients, driving protein discovery and its translation into new and exciting food products.

About you
As an integral part of our team, you will help build an increasingly powerful suite of off-the-shelf and custom instrumentation for biopolymer materials characterization by proposing new instrument use-cases, coordinating instrument procurement/installations/trainings, and authoring operational SOPs. You'll develop new optical and/or rheological assays to characterize food proteins, hydrocolloids, and (semi)solid materials, working with our data scientists, protein scientists, and food product specialists to define assay use-objectives and specifications.
You'll set up and train research associates/technicians on instrumental assays required for validation of ingredient properties and performance. You'll perform rigorous data analyses and work closely with HTS/data scientists and automation engineers to increasingly automate assay execution, data capture, data analysis, and insights generation via our LIMS system. Finally, you'll collaborate on cross-functional projects and communicate research findings and proposals to multidisciplinary teams and external partners.


    • MS or PhD in Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Food Science, Chemistry, Physics or a related field
    • Strong foundational knowledge of food-relevant chemical and physical properties of matter, as well as a proven ability to communicate your subject matter expertise to both technical and general audiences
    • Demonstrated skills in instrumental analysis and independent experimental design and execution, ideally with experience in statistical DoE, time-series analyses, and evaluation of large data sets using computational data analysis packages (e.g. Python, R, JMP, etc.)Hands-on experience with a subset of the following methods: rheology, tribology, texture analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, optical/electron microscopy, optical spectroscopy, light scattering
    • Previous experience with biomaterials or protein characterization is a plus
    • Effective leadership skills and a passion for food and sustainability
At Shiru, we're looking for people with passion, grit, and integrity. You're encouraged to apply even if your experience doesn't precisely match the job description. We’re expecting your skills and passion to stand out—and set you apart—especially if your career has taken some extraordinary twists and turns. Please join us in this singular opportunity to create the future of food!  

Shiru is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Shiru offers competitive compensation and employee benefits along with an attractive equity package commensurate with candidate qualifications.