Research Associate, High Throughput Screening
Emeryville, CA /
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 a research associate to join our team to support our high-throughput screening platform to identify protein ingredients with exquisite functionality. Your work will enable the selection of proteins from curated libraries with promising applications in food. This role sits at the interface of microbial physiology, protein biochemistry, and high-throughput operations by developing and executing high-throughput assays to characterize strain and protein performance. Routine statistical analysis of assay and operational variance will be critical toward continuous improvement of our processes. Improving robustness of the high-throughput platform to the natural variation of biological systems is central to accurately assessing strain and protein behavior.
This role will assist in maintaining our platform, generate novel insights toward strain behavior relevant to protein production, and provide the ‘first look’ at our computationally identified protein targets. Your work 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.
You are a detail-oriented researcher with a passion for food innovation for the betterment of the planet. You will support Shiru’s scientists in the lab by developing high-throughput methods and executing experiments to characterize heterologous proteins and microbial strains. This will also involve developing and improving SOPs related to high-throughput screening, including quantification of cell growth and productivity, protein abundance, protein stability, and additional metrics with relevance to behavior in foods. You find yourself “in the flow” when you are working at the bench to execute on experiments and you are meticulous with your work. You’re excited to tackle new challenges and help develop processes that lead to great results at the bench and beyond.
- Assist in the development and operation of high-throughput methods for production, quantification, and characterization of proteins
- Execute and improve existing SOPs in support of high-throughput screening of protein properties
- Design methods for and operate liquid handling robots in support of high-throughput process development
- Carefully capture and analyze structured data to quantify protein properties
- Interpret experimental data and generate reports summarizing key findings and process robustness
- You are flexible, self-motivated, resourceful, calm, and adaptive
- You have the ability to master new methods quickly with superb analytical and problem-solving skills
- You have a high level of technical aptitude and a keen eye for detail
- You have the ability to work independently and troubleshoot resourcefully
- You have excellent communication skills and a demonstrated ability to thrive in a dynamic cross-functional team environment
- You expect work to be meaningful and to be part of a business dedicated to having a positive impact on the planet
- BS or MS in (bio)chemistry, chemical engineering, bioengineering or a related field
- Solid foundation in fundamental biological, physical and chemical principles; familiarity with protein biochemistry required and microbial physiology a plus
- Assay development experience using micro-titer plates with absorbance and/or fluorescence signal readouts is a big plus, including one or more of the following: analytical assay kits for small molecule quantification, enzyme catalytic characterization, microbial growth characterization (OD600), immunological assays (ELISA)
- Previous hands-on experience with protein quantification and characterization, including SDS-PAGE, FPLC (AKTA), western blot, and others
- Experience consulting and summarizing technical literature (academic papers, operating manuals, etc.) and programming skills (e.g. Python) are highly desirable
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.