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Scientist, Fermentation



San Leandro, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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 Scientist, Fermentation leads critical projects as an Individual contributor in the company's bacterial fermentation team focused on bench-scale development and contributing in scale-up for production with optimization for the manufacturing of high-performance bioproducts. The role will coordinate with the strain development team to identify strains for continued development, provide the scientific and technical expertise required to support the fermentation team in developing bench-production scale processes with their deep insight in bacterial physiology and biochemical process development by designing efficient (DoEs to improve understanding of biological and operational processes.


  • Manage projects as a scientific lead to drive success for fermentation engineering team and build upon our mission and values
  • Provide technical guidance for bacterial fermentation development at micro, bench, and scale-up levels, focusing on optimal workflows, safety and quality
  • Routinely partners with other R&D teams mainly strain engineering and enzyme engineering, for strain development/ selection including for developing high throughput platforms and successfully transitioning the process to fermentation tanks
  • Summarize complex technical information from different technical groups into more simplified communications
  • Coordinate with external vendors, CMOs and collaborating organizations to oversee the execution of process scale-up campaigns and manufacturing efforts
  • Lead fermentation process of new biomaterials as the material portfolio of the company grows
  • Routinely partners with the company’s other groups including materials development, product development, analytical teams and external collaborators
  • Work with project management partners to manage functionally integrated project timelines, work plans, interdependencies, and budgets
  • Work to establish integrated workflows and solutions, build out the company’s core competencies by introducing new technologies, identify technology bottlenecks plus drive for their resolution, and expand the company’s IP strategy by adding to its IP portfolio
  • Help manage project milestones, KPIs, and align status of upcoming deadlines with company management & external parties needs and expectations
  • Coach, mentor and guide others in the fermentation development team as the SME
  • Other related responsibilities as needed


  • PhD in (Bio)chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Process Engineering, Chemistry, Microbiology, Biotechnology or related field.
  • 3-5 years experience post-graduation, including at least 3 years leading projects in a fermentation team in the industry being highly preferred
  • Expertise in strain development fermentation process development especially interfacing with strain development teams, including strategy, process improvement, troubleshooting, and problem solving desirable
  • Understanding of bacterial metabolic pathways is required.
  • Experience in independently managing projects, with a comprehensive understanding of the various stages of R&D and their unique needs.
  • Previous experiences with cross-functional teams and customer requirements and taking products from lab scale to commercial scale manufacturing is highly desirable.
  • Experience developing data platforms for automated data processing is desirable.
  • Adaptable, self-motivated and curious, excited to build teams and infrastructure in a fast-growing company.
  • Excellent communication skills, effective multitasking, and an adept ability to optimize work plans/teams while maintaining efficiency.

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, Gate 510 is a state-of-the-facility with many in-house and nearby amenities.

Full-time opportunities at ZymoChem come with:

  • Competitive salary range from $130,000 to $160,000 depending on experience.
  • Comprehensive benefits package that includes company stock options, 401(k) retirement plan, medical, dental, and vision healthcare coverage, and life and long-term disability insurance.
  • Additional benefits including FSA, commuter, and supplemental life insurance.
  • Flexible time off policy with 18 days Paid Time Off per year and 10 paid company holidays per year.
  • Implementing an employee training program.
  • 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.