Program Director, RNA Therapeutics

Ginkgo Bioworks Inc.
Full Time
Boston, Massachusetts
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Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms.

Ginkgo’s mission is to make biology easier to engineer. We are constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. Today, our foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Ginkgo is continuously crossing new frontiers of biological engineering, and we have a record of delivering to our partners what was (until recently) thought impossible. Now, our expansion into mammalian cell engineering promises to push our boundaries even further, and so we’re looking for curious, creative, and driven pioneers in this field. This is an exciting time, and new Mammalian team leaders have a great opportunity to impact the direction and growth of the team.

We’re searching for a remarkable Program Director to lead programs to deliver success to our partners in the area of RNA therapeutics. The successful applicant will have  a deep technical background in RNA biology and understands how to deploy various toolkits including cell engineering, genetics and functional genomics, NGS, and high-throughput screening approaches to design better RNA sequences that support long-term or tissue-specific translation. Expertise is required with how RNA secondary structure and topology affects both its generation (in vitro or in vivo) and its function. Knowledge of in vitro transcription methods for generating RNAs and familiarity with RNA-associated immunogenicity is important. Demonstrated experience managing interdisciplinary teams to deliver technical milestones on timelines is a requirement. Internal title Senior Mammalian Engineer 3.

Is this the role for you? Your deep technical understanding should enable you to offer technical solutions to potential partners’ challenges and then work to deliver those solutions. As a driven and organized team member, you will need to be flexible and able to re-prioritize with the changing demands of a fast-paced environment. Team members will be inspired by your commitment to technical excellence and delivery.

Please note:  this role could be based in either our Seaport or Cambridge locations, but requires some flexibility to occasionally be present at the other location.


  • Provide technical direction and guidance on improving partner RNA therapeutics to insure project success
  • Support resource management and project planning across the broader project team
  • Communicate project and team performance to leadership and external customers
  • Identify and help develop new technologies to drive next-generation RNA platform development
  • Provide technical support, including scientific strategy and messaging, to Ginkgo’s Commercial Team, and directly interface with current and potential external partners
  • Provide feedback on feasibility of various approaches to senior management and key internal stakeholders
  • Grow, supervise, and mentor a small team of researchers working on RNA therapeutic-specific challenges
  • Coordinate efforts across interdisciplinary teams within Ginkgo’s foundry and 3rd party vendors
  • Assist with shaping Ginkgo’s overall direction as a company and support its evolving needs, as necessary

Minimum Requirements

  • PhD or equivalent experience in molecular biology, bioengineering, synthetic biology, or related field
  • 8+ years of research experience post-PhD
  • Direct experience and technical leadership in projects investigating RNA sequence-structure-function relationships in the context of translation, stability, catalysis, interference, or any other RNA process.Excellent project management skills, with the ability to oversee multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and collaborate with cross-functional teams
  • Proven track record of leading successful teams and mentoring multiple team members
  • Strong molecular biology expertise, with significant experience in mammalian cell culture and familiarity with next-generation sequencing technologies
  • Ability to work with interdisciplinary teams in a fast-paced, high-growth environment
  • Excellent communication and organization skills, with the ability to effectively convey project plans and complex technical information to a wide range of internal teams, executive leadership, and external partners

Preferred Capabilities and Experience

  • 3 years of industry experience in RNA biology (need not be directly therapeutics) preferred
  • Direct experience and technical leadership in generating and screening large libraries of RNA elements to elucidate sequence-structure-function relationships between those elements and RNA processes (ie catalysis, translation, stability, interference, etc)
  • Experience with ribosomal profiling a plus
  • Computational background in RNA structure / function
  • Ability to effectively interface with custom and commercial LIMS systems, and utilize software tools for sample and workflow managemen


To learn more about Ginkgo, visit or check out some curated press below:

We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  

We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees, employment applicants, and EOE disability/vet.

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