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Research Associate - Microbial Strain Engineering

At C16 Biosciences, we believe that palm oil doesn’t have to be a problem. Our team is building a sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to “conflict palm oil,” which relies on tropical rainforest deforestation and emits over 1 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. C16 Bio’s technology platform harnesses naturally-occurring biological processes, improved by the latest innovations in strain engineering, fermentation, and low-cost lipid extraction to produce a better kind of palm oil.

Please note: This is a posting for general consideration of future Research Associate roles at C16 Biosciences. At present, we are not actively looking to fill this position, but intend to be in the coming months. All candidates will hear back regarding next steps upon review of their application. 

As a Strain Engineering Research Associate, you will be at the forefront of our R&D team. You will utilize your microbiology skills to generate new strains to meet C16 Biosciences’ goal of producing a truly sustainable palm oil alternative. Your projects will range from improving the productivity of C16’s strains, modifying strains for greater resilience and tolerance, and developing new molecular biology tools to enhance C16’s engineering capabilities. Key activities include creating new genetic constructs, assisting with genetic transformation, and evaluating generated strains. We seek a diligent, curious individual passionate about microbiology. Candidates for this position should possess a Bachelor’s degree and excellent communication, documentation, and time management skills.

Major responsibilities:

  • Support the Strain Engineering team by executing core components of the workflow: design and molecular cloning of new genetic constructs, transformation of microbial strains, and evaluation of transformant libraries
  • Assist with the development of new molecular biology tools
  • Maintain the integrity and quality of C16’s strain library
  • Document and present experimental data to broader R&D team
  • Manage inventory and organization for lab consumables and tools
  • Ensure cleanliness and operational readiness of laboratory instruments
  • Prepare and autoclave reagents and media required for laboratory experiments

Minimum education and experience:

  • BA/BS degree in Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or related field
  • Research experience in a biological wet lab setting
  • Comfort with basic laboratory techniques, including aseptic technique, microbial cell culture, agar plate preparation, and microscopy
  • Experience with basic engineering techniques such as: plasmid preparation, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and DNA transformation into microbes
  • Excellent verbal, written, and scientific documentation skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • True, proactive team player: As a member of a small team, you will sometimes need to volunteer and contribute to activities outside your responsibilities
  • Independent, inquisitive thinker: You will be asked to present your findings on executed experiments and draw conclusions and recommendations for the broader R&D team
  • Self-motivated and independent operator, willing to proactively pitch in on work outside of core responsibilities

Preferred qualifications:

  • 1+ years of wet lab experience, industry experience preferred
  • Previous experience with molecular cloning, relevant supporting techniques (e.g., plasmid design), and relevant computation and software tools (e.g., SnapGene, BLAST)
  • Experience with data analysis and scientific computing (e.g. MATLAB, Python, R, JMP, etc.)
  • Prior experience handling/modifying eukaryotic microbes
  • Prior experience with microbial fermentation

C16 offers:

  • Competitive salary within the industry
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Medical, dental & vision insurance coverage
  • Access to well-being tools and development opportunities (e.g. mental health, CitiBike memberships, and more)
  • 401(k) retirement plan options


  • We celebrate diversity in all its forms. We are committed to EEO regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, national origin, gender, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, disability, veteran status, and more.

Legal authorization to work in the U.S. is required. 

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.