PL VS Network


Scientist, Molecular Biology/Synthetic Biology



Watertown, MA, USA
Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2023
Cultivarium is a Convergent Research focused research organization with a mission to accelerate the adoption of new organisms for biotechnology. We are looking for experts who can contribute both individually and as part of a team to create tangible solutions for a ‘moonshot’ project. This is a great opportunity to be part of a close-knit, driven team of scientists and engineers that are building technological infrastructure for non-model microorganisms, to open new avenues for science, technology, medicine and agriculture.

We are looking for a synthetic biologist to join our Molecular Libraries team. The successful candidate will develop and perform library-based screens to facilitate the genetic modification of non-model microbes. We’re searching for a candidate with extensive knowledge of synthetic biology, molecular biology and/or genome engineering. You will perform hands-on wet lab experimentation and work with computational biologists and automation specialists. This is a full-time experimental role and must be on-site.


  • Devise, implement and optimize high-throughput screens to solve major challenges in non-model microbe genetic engineering, such as: identifying functional genetic tools, avoiding restriction-modification systems and developing novel strain engineering methods
  • Perform cloning of genetic libraries using methods such as Golden Gate assembly, DNA synthesis and Gibson assembly
  • Develop and perform end-to-end assays from molecular tools development, to microorganism screening, through to NGS library preparation and/or fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)
  • Work in collaboration with internal specialists in computational biology, automation and next-generation sequencing
  • Leverage high-throughput technologies (laboratory automation, next-generation sequencing, oligonucleotide microarrays) to accelerate domestication of non-model microbes
  • Engage with the wider research community to identify key obstacles to the domestication and utilization of non-model microbes
  • Produce open-access materials, data reports and protocols to maximize the impact and reach of Cultivarium’s tools and resources
  • Maintain high standards of reproducible and rigorous science, with meticulous documentation
  • Prepare internal reports and manuscripts, and present results at internal or external scientific meetings as appropriate
  • Write protocols and SOPs for manual and automated experiments
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness through actions, interactions, and communications with others


  • PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology or a related field or equivalent working experience and track record
  • Passion for impactful research aligned with the Cultivarium mission
  • Extensive experience in the development and implementation of advanced genetic tools - such as genome editing, CRISPR systems, transposons and DNA assembly - with particular emphasis on the challenges associated with applying these tools in non-model microbes
  • An appetite to break new ground and take on a complex, multi-faceted challenge
  • Excellent communication skills, collaboration skills, record keeping ability and attention to detail
  • Ability to ensure quality experimental design and follow protocols
  • Comfortable with using and learning lab automation tools
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Strong quantitative and analytical skills, proclivity for reasoning from first principles
  • Creative thinking, problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, set priorities and meet deadlines and to adapt to changing projects and goals
  • Proficiency to stay up to date with new technologies/literature related to the field
  • Authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship

Advanced Qualifications

  • Industrial experience and/or significant postdoctoral experience
  • Extensive experience with high-throughput screening, lab automation, next generation sequencing or oligonucleotide microarrays

We offer

  • An opportunity to change the world and work with some of the smartest and the most talented experts from different fields
  • Excellent medical, dental, and vision insurance through a PPO plan; parental leave
  • Generous time off + paid holidays
  • Wellness allowance for fitness and wellness activities

The Company aims to help fill a structural gap in today's R&D system. We enable fundamental research that requires unusual levels of scale and coordination yet is not rapidly monetizable by industry. We’re bringing together top talent from academia, industry, and startups to build a new model for innovative R&D. As an incubator within the Schmidt Futures Network, we identify high-impact scientific or technical research and development opportunities, ultimately defining and launching these projects as Focused Research Organizations.

The Company is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state, or federal law or Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.