Scientist/Senior Scientist, Synthetic Biology

Birch Biosciences
Portland, OR

About the role

Scientist/Senior Scientist, Synthetic Biology

Birch Biosciences is a startup company based in Portland, Oregon that engineers enzymes for plastic recycling. Engineered enzymes act as “molecular scissors” to break down plastic polymers in a high yield, circular process that enables manufacture of high quality, 100% recycled plastic products. Our bio-enzymatic recycling process is low cost, high yield, and reduces CO2 emissions by > 50%. Plastic demand is expected to triple by 2050, so our plastic problem is only going to get worse unless we do something about it.

We’re looking for a synthetic biologist to help us build and operate a novel protein engineering technology stack that enables iterative development of high performance enzymes.

Job responsibilities

• Design and construction of complex enzyme variant libraries using oligo and gene based-assembly methods

• Single cell genome/transcriptome amplification and sequencing

• Apply next generation sequencing as a tool for library design verification and microbiome RNAseq

• Screen large protein variant libraries using microfluidics, FACS, or similar methods

• High-throughput protein expression and characterization

• Protein modelling and analysis of large protein variant data sets to assist in the training of statistical models

• Design, construct, and optimize in vivo reporters to detect enzyme activity


• MSc or Ph.D. in bioengineering, molecular biology, or a related field

• 6+ years of laboratory experience

• Excellent attention to detail

• Excellent communication skills

• Passion for solving hard technical problems

We’re committed to creating opportunities for applicants from diverse backgrounds that can contribute to our mission. If you don’t have all of the pre-requisite skills, experience or degrees, please send us an application—we’d love to evaluate your skill set and see if there is an opportunity for us to work together!

Why you should join Birch Biosciences

Today, only 9% of plastic is recycled. We want to change this.

Birch is on a mission to advance the circularity of plastic products by engineering enzymes to recycle plastic more effectively. Our bio-enzymatic recycling process will produce clean, high-quality recycled plastic that is equivalent or lower in cost than other recycled plastic. We also expand the variety of plastic products that can be recycled, empowering plastic circularity.

In addition to Y-combinator, Birch is supported by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Our partners include several of the largest plastic manufacturers and producers in the world.

Remote Position
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