Senior Scientist, High Throughput Screening

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
In this role, you will design, express, and characterize Shiru’s functional food proteins using biofermentation and protein chemistry techniques. You will combine your knowledge of fermentation and protein chemistry to design small-scale (microtiter plate) methods to produce and screen thousands of proteins using standard and custom automation platforms.  You will guide selection of the necessary capital infrastructure to conduct these screens. You will bring industry-leading expertise to bear on the challenges of conducting biochemical screens across a multitude of fermentation hosts, assay conditions, and food application areas. You will work closely with an interdisciplinary team of computational wizards and protein experts. You will have the independence to design, execute, analyze, and report your experiments, while working in a fast-paced, collaborative environment with teammates who support you when challenges arise. 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.

Your role at Shiru will be varied, with clear communication critical to your success. Ensuring that your workflow is fully integrated and well-aligned with the work of other teams, as well as sharing your findings in an articulate manner, will guide you towards success in this position.

You will be joining the founding team of a startup that has long-term stability due to significant funding, and yet is very much in formation. A lot can change in this early and exciting phase, providing many opportunities for significant impact. You will work closely with a very talented team, learn a broad range of skills, and help shape Shiru’s culture, strategic direction, and outcomes.  

About you
You’re a seasoned scientist (PhD + several years industry experience) with ownership of workflows involved in creating and characterizing biological products spanning design to characterization with a passion for food innovation for the betterment of the planet. You have worked with multiple hosts to produce proteins through fermentation and have experience automating workflows. You enjoy strategy and planning and find your “flow” creating and executing strategic experiments and increase efficiency in doing great science. You thrive on multi-disciplinary work and have an endless hunger for knowledge, learning, and growth.

Responsibilities

    • Apply a broad range of molecular biology techniques for construction, expression, and screening of protein libraries
    • Design, execute, analyze, and report experiments focused on protein expression and characterization
    • Design and procure instrumentation to deploy automated screening pipelines
    • Collaborate with Shiru’s data team to identify and capture meaningful data from screening via our LIMS system 
    • Apply DOE methods to optimize and scale down assays
    • Lead troubleshooting and other production related issues associated with data quality and assay development

Attributes

    • Internal motivation. You expect work to be meaningful and to be part of a business dedicated to having a positive impact on the planet. You are generally flexible, self-motivated, resourceful, calm, and adaptive. 
    • Creativity. You come up with creative solutions to complex issues with enthusiasm, relying on a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, and physics that enables you to go beyond piecing together off the shelf solutions. 
    • Statistical intuition. You're comfortable dealing with data and forming and testing hypotheses. You have a developed sense of whether analysis lacks rigor and how to improve it.
    • Tends towards ownership. You do anything necessary to solve the problem at hand.
    • Maturity in the face of ambiguity. You help define questions instead of just answering them. You work to resolve ambiguity, comfortably making decisions by relying on trusted resources.
    • Crisp communicator. You excel at crisp, concise written or spoken communication. You love learning and teaching others in a cross-functional team (we're chemists, computational folks, and more).

Requirements

    • PhD in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, or related field, or MS with equivalent work experience
    • 3+ years post graduate academic or industry research experience in one of the above fields
    • Previous success in assay development and/or high-throughput screening
    • Prior experience with microtiter and/or bench-scale fermentation
    • Familiarity with laboratory automation and/or statistical analysis of large datasets a plus
    • Previous experience in a wide range of industrially-relevant microorganisms for production of recombinant proteins
    • Seasoned in experimental design and execution, data analysis, and troubleshooting
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.