Environmental Microbiology Scientist

Boost Biomes is using the powerful social networks among microbes to provide novel, sustainable solutions to feed and heal people everywhere. Harnessing the power of microbiomes will be imperative to a sustainable future. Boost’s core technology is a proprietary discovery platform that uses high throughput sequencing, selective enrichment and advanced informatics to identify microbial products with important commercial roles. Boost is uniquely positioned at the leading edge of a quickly expanding field looking to tap into the value offered by understanding and engineering microbiomes. Our technology differentiator is the development of a causal understanding of microbial interactions powerful enough to allow the rational construction of designer functional consortia.

Our first products seek to reduce the enormous waste in agricultural products due to crop loss to fungal pests in the field and post-harvest. There is significant need for new biological, organic, safe biopesticides for crops; current chemical products have many challenges, such as regulatory burden for growers and safety concerns of consumers. The company operates in South San Francisco, the heart of west coast biotech. Boost has a deeply experienced founding team, and licensed IP protecting the platform.

Boost is looking for an outstanding candidate able to bring their experience in the study of natural microbial communities through a combination of culturing development and next generation sequencing. You will be tasked with implementing new and innovative methods for revealing and interpreting species-level interactions within diverse arrays of environmental microbial consortia. You will be expected to track advances in automation-integrated, high-throughput cultivation and cell sorting technologies, as well as to propose the application of new technologies, internally and/or through collaboration.

The collective work produced at the available position will enable Boost to fully realize the potential of its Interactome Discovery Platform by transforming technological concepts into a product pipeline with highly efficient microbiome culturing and automated NGS sequencing analysis protocols, which in turn will provide rapid, clear decision-making in support of client delivery and internal product development.

ou have expertise in and are passionate about researching microbiomes and their manipulation for product discovery. Your exceptionally strong hands-on laboratory microbiology skills are complemented with expertise in NGS sequencing methods and analysis. You will appreciate that experimentation must be designed to generate actionable outcomes that can be leveraged to accelerate product discovery and development. You are an independently motivated, enthusiastic self-starter, who through the use of innovative sourcing, enrichment and culturing methods proactively delivers technical insight, experimental recommendations, and creative solutions. This will enable you to provide analysis and feedback about results to supervisors that highlights important data and defines next steps for project and product development.

You are someone with demonstrable knowledge of specialized scientific techniques in areas of expertise who is also capable of coordinating and cooperating with peers and supervisors on research activities and direct reports. You find it rewarding to train colleagues on aseptic microbiology techniques, while concurrently assuming primary responsibility for developing complex, novel workflows that will become widely adopted company SOPs. You are someone with a broad understanding of instrumentation and scientific principles who also communicates and collaborates effectively through listening, documentation, and presentation. You are comfortable with and have experience providing oral and written reports on experimental results in order to enable stakeholders to make appropriate decisions based on scientific outcomes. You understand how your team fits into the overall company structure, and you aspire to grow into an effective manager. Having a positive, can-do attitude, you thrive on motivation towards being presented with diverse technical challenges and mentorship opportunities. Junior team members look to you for leadership and direction.

You are excited by the opportunity to work in a fast-paced start-up environment with many moving parts. Agility and flexibility are some of your key attributes; you are able to react and trouble-shoot in real time.

Experience performing aseptic laboratory cultivation and enrichment studies with diverse microbiomes

-Experience handling and harvesting microbiome consortia from a variety of environmental samples, including for culture inoculation and nucleic acid extraction

-Experience with increasing culturable diversity obtained from an environmental source, including through media and process development

-Knowledge or experience of plant – microbe interactions is an advantage.

-Broad understanding of scientific principles with an ability to conceptualize, design, and execute experiments that address research questions

-Able to communicate near- and long-term strategies across levels and audiences

-Proficiency with experimental design (e.g. DOE) and statistical analysis (e.g. JMP, R)

-Proven ability to handle, manipulate, and visualize large data sets efficiently

-Understanding of key bioinformatics concepts and algorithms, e.g., BLAST, sequence alignment, primer design, microbial community analysis (16S/ITS sequencing, shotgun metagenomics), phylogenetics/phylogenomics

-Ability to generate NGS sequencing libraries, and familiarity with a broad range of sequencing technologies (i.e. short and long read sequencing platforms)

-Comfortable collaborating with computational biologists and running bioinformatics pipelines

-Familiarity with at least one high-level programming language (R, Python, etc.) and unix shell

-Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to prioritize and execute tasks in a complex and agile environment, and drive results within set timeframes

-Commitment to self-development and that of team members and to learning new tools, techniques, and skills

-Preferable if familiar with automation (e.g. liquid handlers), data/sample tracking software (e.g. LIMS systems) and electronic laboratory notebooks (e.g. Benchling)

-Either a PhD in Biology, Microbiology, Microbial Genomics, Microbial Ecology or related field or equivalent MSc with six or more years of industry experience

-Experience working in an industry setting preferred


  • Biotechnology

Employment Type

Full Time

How to Apply

Email [hr@boostbiomes.com](hr@boostbiomes.com "hr@boostbiomes.com") your resume and a short cover letter that includes why you’d like to obtain this position.

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