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Research Associate: Biopolymers and Plant-Based Scaffold Functionalization

Wild Type

Wild Type

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 3, 2023

About Wildtype

Wildtype is on a mission to create the cleanest, most sustainable seafood on the planet, starting with sushi-grade salmon. We’re pioneering cellular agriculture to protect wild species and our oceans, and to reverse trends of global food insecurity. Wildtype will provide consumers with a new option for real seafood that provides the same nutritional benefits as the most pristine wild-caught fish, without common contaminants such as mercury, microplastics, antibiotics, or pesticides.

We were founded in 2016 by Aryé Elfenbein, a cardiologist and molecular biologist, and Justin Kolbeck (CEO), a former US diplomat who served in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in an effort to solve one of the world’s biggest problems: how to feed a growing population without stripping the earth of its natural resources and biodiversity. Investors include L Catterton, Jeff Bezos, Spark Capital, CRV, Temasek, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, among others.

Come join us in transforming our food system for good!

What you will own at Wildtype

  • Design and develop next-generation biopolymer scaffolds for cultivated seafood
  • Work with cell integration and tissue engineering team to improve biopolymer scaffolds through functionalization of plant/algal/fungal proteins and polysaccharides
  • Carry out experiments with the guidance of our scientific leadership, maintain accurate notes, present data, engagement in product development, and planning

What we’ll teach you

  • How to apply your skills in the context of cultivating next-generation sustainable meat
  • Novel product development process from conceptualization to final marketing
  • Scale up of benchtop volumes of scaffolds to commercial production volumes
  • How to culture and characterize novel marine cell lines with functional and molecular in vitro assays
  • Techniques such as advanced confocal microscopy, rheology, texture, and sensory characterization
  • How to continue growing as a scientist with outside-the-box thinking, creative experimental design, execution, and analysis.

What you bring to Wildtype

  • PhD with 0-1 years, M.S. with 0-2 years or B.S with 2-4 years experiences in Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Polymer Science, Food Science, Food Process Engineering, Food Chemistry, or related fields
  • Knowledge and hands-on experience in one of the following fields; more are preferred:
    • Biopolymers, such as edible polysaccharides and carbohydrates
    • Plant/algal/fungal protein chemistry and functionalization
    • Food processing and/or R&D experience (experience in plant-based or cultivated meat is a plus)
  • The ability to overcome technical obstacles/difficulties with a positive attitude
  • A hunger for learning, growth, and being part of a fast-moving, interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers
  • Strong attention to detail and excellent organization skills
  • Ability to learn quickly and excel in a fast-paced work environment
  • Self-starter, willing to take initiative to accomplish key tasks.

Impact Plan

  • Within 1 month you’ll have carried out your first experiments on your own, with the support of your scientific mentor. We’ll rely on you to test different formulations without supervision. You will have performed a few advanced analyses on the samples you have produced. You will have defined your professional development goals for the next twelve months.
  • Within 3 months you will be independently carrying out routine activities such as sourcing, formulation preparation, and polymer and/or protein functionalization and characterization without supervision. You will have contributed to the design of several experiments.
  • Within 6 months your professional skills will have developed to the point where you can independently train junior crewmates on Wildtype’s scaffold fabrication process. Your work will be organized effectively to achieve tasks on time at a high level of quality. You will have executed your first independently designed experiments with controls, and presented your findings at a company-wide research meeting.
  • Within 12 months you’ll be managing and carrying out multiple experiments simultaneously. You will be able to articulate how your work directly impacts the company’s milestones. You will routinely take the initiative to research topics independently and volunteer new ideas or approaches.
Compensation range is listed below, in addition we offer 90th percentile equity.

Location: This position is an onsite role based in San Francisco.
Compensation (per year)
$70,000$120,000 USD

To learn more about Wildtype and see our newest updates, check out our blog!

Wildtype is committed to building a diverse workplace spanning multiple dimensions including race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, and veteran status.