Research Associate, Fermentation

San Leandro, CA
Full Time
Entry Level


About ZymoChem


ZymoChem is breakthrough science for a fossil-free future.  We accelerate the transition to a real-zero economy by developing bio-based materials for everyday products.  Our platform is powered by proprietary carbon conserving (C2) microbes that convert renewable feedstocks into high-value materials while radically minimizing CO2 loss during the production phase.  


ZymoChem recently closed a $21 million Series A round of fundraising to support the launch of our first high-performance material and to advance our first partnered product to commercial scale.  In addition to this funding from premier domestic & international venture capital firms, we are also supported by existing revenues from commercial partnerships with world-leading companies and funding from multiple government awards, including a 2023 $4MM grant from the Department of Energy. 


With a plan to double our team in 2024-25, we seek candidates who are motivated by science & innovation and have a passion to push the boundaries of materials performance.  We are collaborative, multidisciplinary, and relentlessly committed to creating a chemicals, materials, and products industry in tune with the 21st century. 


Our Mission: To catalyze a real-zero economy with drop-in, bio-based solutions.

Our Vision: To live in a world in which the goods we depend on every day are bio-manufactured from 100% renewable materials and designed for a sustainable economy - without compromise.

Our Values: Lead with Compassion, Aspire Collectively, Evolve Continuously, Innovate with Impact, Scale Sustainably


Position Summary

The Research Associate, Fermentation position is responsible for assembling and scaling commercially relevant bioprocess workflows by exploring a combination of both established and cutting-edge technologies.  In this role, there is a unique opportunity to work with two different products at two different stages in the development process.  This position solves problems regarding experiments, equipment, processes, and systems to accelerate the scale-up of fermentation and downstream product recovery processes from the bench top to pilot and demonstration levels.  The Research Associate, Fermentation position collaborates with multi-disciplinary internal R&D groups as well as company’s external partners to ensure compatibility in process, design, and scale-up.  



  • Develop commercially scalable processes for the production of microbial fermentation-based products
  • Hands-on set-up, execution, and clean-up of bench-scale bioreactors for both proof-of-concept experiments and benchmarking studies to meet project milestones aimed at achieving product titers, rates, and yields at industrial specifications
  • Assist in the build-out and set up of a new, state-of-the-art fermentation lab with fermentation capabilities ranging from the microliter to pilot plant scale
  • Assist in the development and implementation of high-throughput screening platforms
  • Sampling and sample processing, in addition to establishing new approaches for evaluating process streams
  • Routinely interface with and support the Downstream Processing Group, and also collaborate with CMO partners on fermentation scale-up endeavors
  • Contribute to the expansion of the Fermentation and Scale-up group’s capabilities by exploring new technologies and strategies to improve production and accelerate scale-up efforts
  • Contribute to the development of ZymoChem’s IP strategy & portfolio toward expanding the company’s market position
  • Interface with the company’s data management system to record fermentation-based data and implement statistical analyses on large data sets
  • Support the maintenance of the company’s bioprocessing technologies via hands-on equipment troubleshooting & repair
  • Work in accordance with health and safety guidelines and company policies.  
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Requires BS or MS in (Bio)chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Process Engineering, Chemistry, Material Science, or related field. 
  • Level of Associate is dependent on years of experience with 1-5 years of relevant lab/ industrial/ start-up experience being preferred.  Relevant experience should align with department specific requirements.
  • Ability to operate and troubleshoot laboratory equipment (including basic maintenance and calibration) along with a rigorous attention to details with experimental design, execution, and recordkeeping utilizing good laboratory practices and protocols. 
  • Strong time management skills, effective with multitasking, and an adept ability to improvise work plans while maintaining efficiency
  • Capable of working collaboratively in a team environment
  • Strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and strong computer skills (Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, etc.)
  • Ability to exercise judgment within specifically defined practices and procedures; guided decision making.
  • Ability to incorporate safety concepts in processes and equipment design
  • Flexibility regarding travel to partner sites and work extended days, off hours, and weekends, as needed.
  • Must be able to move up to 50 pounds and move around the lab facility between multiple locations.

Department specific requirements: 

  • Hands-on expertise with microbiology/ fermentations, bioreactors, and bioprocess-related unit operations is required.  
  • Experience with chemical separations equipment and related analytical devices is a plus.
  • Knowledge of biochemical & process engineering principles including mass balance & transport, reactor design, fluid dynamics, and process control preferred
  • Experience with microbial cell cultures preferred
  • Familiarity with scripting tools such as Python, R and/ or with data visualization tools such as JMP is a plus.

Culture and Benefits

ZymoChem offers full-time employees a competitive base salary, a comprehensive benefits package, and a company culture that’s collaborative, multidisciplinary, and committed to a big vision for positively impacting the world. We seek candidates who are motivated by our mission and are equally passionate toward pushing the boundaries to build a sustainable future. Located in the vibrant East Bay area of San Francisco, our headquarters are housed at Gate 510, a state-of-the-facility with many in-house and nearby amenities.

Full-time opportunities at ZymoChem come with: 

  • Competitive salary range of $76,000 to $100,000 depending on experience.
  • Comprehensive benefits package includes company stock options, 401(k) retirement plan (includes a corporate match), medical, dental, and vision healthcare coverage, and life and long-term disability insurance.
  • Additional benefits include FSA, commuter, and supplemental life insurance.
  • Flexible time off policy with 18 days Paid Time Off (PTO) per year and 10 paid company holidays per year.
  • Relocation assistance may be agreed upon as well.

If this opportunity sounds exciting and aligns with your career aspirations, we want to hear from you!  Please send your resume/CV and a cover letter through our website job posting.

Legal authorization to work in the United States is required. ZymoChem may agree to sponsor an individual for an employment visa immediately or in the future if there is a shortage of individuals with particular skills for this job.  In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.



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