Senior Research Associate (Synthetic Biology/Fermentation Engineering)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Job Location
Walnut Creek, CA
Job Description

Senior Research Associate (Synthetic Biology/Fermentation Engineering) - 80034
Organization: GN-Genomics

The Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA (a division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) is searching for an experienced Research Associate. Under general supervision, you will serve as part of a research group responsible for understanding the functional genomics of microbial and plant metabolism to help enable the development of biofuels, understand carbon cycling and the impacts of climate change. This position will play an important role in production of natural products using engineered microbes to support the JGI through collaborative projects. This includes optimization, standardization and performance of workflows from instrument setup and maintenance, fermentation, sample preparation, and data analysis. This position directly reports to the Synthetic Biology/Pathway Engineering group lead.

• Perform laboratory scale fermentation for optimal production of desired compounds using genetically engineered bacterial and yeast strains.
• Setup and maintain fermentation equipment (tube/flask – 10L scale).
• Prepare media and other experimentally relevant solutions.
• Perform fermentation for production of desired compounds.
• Develop optimal fermentation conditions for production of desired compounds.
• Sampling, extraction, and sample analyses (dry cell weight, cell viability, plasmid stability, fermentation products and by-products).
• Operate effectively in a laboratory environment through a basic knowledge of microbiological. (including the ability to operate with good sterile technique) and biochemical laboratory principles.


• Bachelor’s degree Biological Science, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering or related discipline plus two to five years experience with increasing responsibility or overall equivalent experience
• Demonstrated experience in related research environment including:
1. Experience operating bench-top fermentation
2. Experience developing and optimizing fermentation conditions
3. Experience analyzing and quantifying various compounds produced during fermentation
• Ability to successfully work in a dynamic team environment (e.g. interpersonal skills, written and oral communication)
• Detail orientation to keep precise and detailed batch records and laboratory notebooks
• Ability to summarize experimental results and present them at the group meetings
• Good analytical skills to effectively evaluate data and make recommendations
• Interest and motivation to contribute to and develop the areas of research under the DOE mission
• Preferred - Experience with basic molecular biology techniques (DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis)
• Preferred - Experience with organic chemistry techniques (extraction, chromatography, mass spectrometry)
• Preferred - Experience with bioreactor operation and maintenance at multiple batch volumes
• Preferred - Master’s degree is preferred

Note: This is a two-year term appointment with the possibility of renewal or conversion to career based successful work performance, continued funding and ongoing need. This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes. The work schedule may include after hours and/or weekends. Work will be performed at the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Production Genomics Facility (PGF) located in Walnut Creek, CA. A background check is required.

About Us
Rapid technological advances in genomics have transformed modern biology. From its inception, the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute has been at the forefront of large-scale sequence-based science. Learn more about Genomic Technologies at the JGI.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Berkeley Lab’s science is a global enterprise. Our scientists work at the frontiers of knowledge to better understand our universe and to address the challenges facing our nation and our planet. Read about our excellent benefits.

Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

How to Apply

How To Apply
Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

For inquiries regarding this search, please contact Yasuo Yoshikuni (YYoshikuni [at] lbl [dot] gov).

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