Protein scientist/engineer

San Francisco, 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
In this role, you will design, express, and characterize Shiru’s functional food proteins using biofermentation and protein engineering techniques. The proteins you create will be selected for and identified via an innovative computational platform that integrates machine learning, protein modeling and design, and food functionality data capable of identifying high value proteins from plants, microorganisms, and animals for a wide variety of food applications. Ultimately, your work will result in a library of validated, high value protein ingredients with unique and tailored functionality capable of replacing traditional animal-based proteins for food. 

Together with Shiru’s computational team you will curate protein libraries with enhanced food functionality and produce these functional proteins through leveraging the native machinery of microflora. You will also evaluate their performance as functional food ingredients. Your work will be critical to bringing sustainable, functional protein ingredients to market through meticulous product development that relies on deep knowledge of protein chemistry and an appreciation for the complex interactions of proteins within foods. Your role at Shiru will be varied, with clear communication critical to your success. Ensuring that your workflow is fully integrated and well-aligned the work of other teams, as well as sharing your findings in an articulate manner, will guide you towards success in this position.

About you
You’re a seasoned protein scientist with ownership of workflows involved in creating proteins spanning design to characterization with a passion for food innovation for the betterment of the planet. You might be transitioning from academia into the start-up world, or you may be coming from a large company where you’ve worked to bring commercially valuable recombinant proteins from bench to application. You are detail oriented and find your “flow” creating, executing, and troubleshooting at the bench. You thrive on multi-disciplinary work and have an endless hunger for knowledge, learning, and growth.

Responsibilities

    • Apply rational protein engineering, directed evolution, and other approaches for protein design with the goal of improving expression yields and overall product profile
    • Design and procure plasmids containing target gene sequences for proteins
    • Apply a broad range of molecular biology techniques for construction, expression, and screening of protein libraries
    • Transform and express proteins in microflora at bench scale
    • Generate high quality recombinant proteins in different expression systems
    • Innovate on, develop, and optimize protein expression protocols for quality, yield, cost and automatability/scalability
    • Protein purification and characterization using a variety of biochemical and chemico-physical methods 
    • Maintain detailed and accurate record of lab work and support IP filings
    • Lead troubleshooting and other production related issues associated with data quality and protein expression

Attributes

    • You are generally flexible, self-motivated, resourceful, calm, and adaptive
    • You are comfortable with a rapid pace of work in a dynamic environment
    • You are equally comfortable challenging as you are with being challenged
    • Ability to master new research techniques quickly with superb problem solving skills
    • Excellent communication skills and meticulous data management 
    • You expect work to be meaningful and to be part of a business dedicated to having a positive impact on the planet

Requirements

    • PhD or MS in Protein Biochemistry, Materials Chemistry, Biophysics, or related field 
    • 3+ years of academic or industry research experience in one of the above fields
    • Deep experience in recombinant protein expression in several systems including E. coli and yeast
    • Experience in protein engineering or directed evolution as well as in design and construction of expression plasmid constructs, site-directed mutagenesis and library generation, and recombinant protein vector design
    • Skilled at routine protein biochemistry techniques including but not limited to SDS-PAGE, Western blotting
    • Hands-on experience with multi-step protein purification techniques including refolding insoluble proteins, FPLC purification, Ni-NTA, and His-tag purification
    • Independent experimental design and execution, data analysis, and troubleshooting is required
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Experience with technology transfer, writing SOPs, and high-throughput laboratories is a strong plus
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 and 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.