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Scientist I, Fermentation

Debut Biotech

Debut Biotech

San Diego, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 8, 2024

Scientist I, Fermentation


As a fermentation scientist you will optimize fermentation processes and media to maximize small molecule production of our engineered cell lines and scale up the production to pilot and commercial scale. You will work closely with other functional groups to thoughtfully design fermentation runs and execute them with precision. You will support process troubleshooting, provide detailed observations of experiments, record data, analyze results, identify deviations, and seek appropriate advice to resolve. You must be able to operate bench scale fermentation equipment independently, including operational support for fermentation over weekends. You must be capable of preparing media, buffers, and solutions for fermentations at 2L and 100L scale, and perform routine procedures of moderate complexity, such as kit assays and gravimetric analysis of solids and washed solids. You must work in a close team framework, with both individual responsibility and the support of other staff.

Essential Functions

  • Design, plan, and execute fermentation experiments across multiple volumes and bioreactor systems.
  • Mentor and lead research associate team throughout execution of fermentation experiments.
  • Process, analyze, and interpret fermentation data to maximize the understanding of strain performance and tested process parameters.
  • Formally present experiment findings to multidisciplinary teams.
  • Follow, propose, and prioritize lines of research based on established goals.
  • Optimize fermentation operations and laboratory workflow.
  • Lead setup and maintenance of bench-scale bioreactors.
  • Evening/nights and weekend work may be required on occasions.

Education and Experience

  • PhD OR MS with 6 years experience OR BS with 8 years experience in microbiology or fermentation or relevant field
  • Experience with fermentation equipment at bench and pilot scale
  • Experience with media and process optimization to improve fermentation titers
  • Experience with E. coli is a plus
  • Experience in batch control and QA/QC
  • The ability to work in a team-oriented environment
  • Demonstrated track record of working on teams cross-functionally to exceed goals
  • Analytical, detail-oriented, self-motivated, and adaptable
  • Motivated by a sense of urgency, attention to detail, and an engrained penchant for professional development of themselves and their co-workers
  • Must be willing to work non-standard hours supporting a 24/7 operation including weekends

Essential Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a job, on a case-by-case basis.

  • Continuous upward and downward flexion of the neck.
  • Frequent: sitting, repetitive use of hands to operate computers, printers and copiers.
  • Frequently uses hands to feel objects or control tools (e.g. pipetting). Laboratory operations require dexterity and care to perform studies as required.
  • Occasional: walking, standing, climbing stairs, bending and twisting of neck, bending and twisting of waist, squatting, simple grasping, reaching above and below shoulder level, and occasional lifting and carrying of files or material weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous agents (up to BSL2).
  • The R&D laboratory will result in exposure to hot and cold temperatures, noise, fumes, limited dust, and oily coolants.
  • The performance of this position will present exposure to an industrial environment and requires support and compliance with the published Company PPE policy including but not limited to the use of personal protective equipment such as safety glasses with side shields, appropriate attire, safety shoes, hard hat, hearing protection, etc.

Condition of Employment

As part of Debut’s pre-employment process, prospective candidates will undergo a background check prior to beginning employment. Additional types of background investigations may be conducted based on the job-related activities of the position.

Debut is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.

Salary: $90,000 - $120,000

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