Research Associate – Fermentation

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Research Associate, Fermentation

Medford, MA | Full-time
Start Date: April 2024

Position overview: Sunflower Therapeutics is currently recruiting a motivated and highly organized individual to support its mission to deliver protein manufacturing solutions that anyone can use for creating innovative new medicines, food products, and other bio-based products. Sunflower is advancing “right-sized” and efficient approaches to democratize protein manufacturing using strain engineering, integrated process development, and automated small footprint facilities. Reporting to the Technical Project Manager (R&D), the Fermentation Research Associate will be responsible for designing and executing cultivation experiments to test the performance of yeast strains expressing recombinant proteins. This individual will engage in research activities to support the development of processes for benchtop and pilot scale manufacturing platforms, including but not limited to: media development, experimental design, fermentation, and protein characterization. As Sunflower grows, the Fermentation Research Associate will contribute to the continuous improvement of Sunflower’s biomanufacturing capabilities, focusing on perfusion fermentation of eukaryotic microbes.



  • Designs and conducts yeast cultivations across multiple volumetric scales including
    plates, shake flasks and bioreactors
  • Develops and optimizes suitable conditions (including cultivation media) for perfusion
    fermentation in bioreactors
  • Prepares and maintains materials for perfusion fermentation, including cell banks and
    bulk fluids
  • Analyzes protein expression using techniques such as SDS-PAGE, Western blot,
    and/or ELISA
  • Troubleshoots and optimizes strain performance through design of
    cultivation/fermentation experiments and process intensification
  • Assists with design, creation, and characterization of yeast strains expressing
    recombinant proteins using state-of-the-art cloning and gene editing techniques
  • Maintains laboratory equipment, space, and supplies related to fermentation and
    strain engineering
  • Designs, implements and maintains standard operating procedures and data records
    related to fermentation and strain engineering
  • Communicates experimental planning and results with both internal and external
  • Champions innovation and drives implementation thereof to reduce the time and cost
    to develop processes for the manufacturing of proteins for patients and consumers
    around the world
  • Supports writing of reporting documents, technical documents, and any other
    necessary documentations and creates yeast strains expressing recombinant proteins using state-of-the-art cloning and gene editing techniques


Desired Qualifications

We believe the experience and capabilities outlined below will lead to success in this position. We recognize, however, that our mission to enable more proteins to reach patients and consumers worldwide is a significant challenge and will require innovative solutions. As such, we welcome all arguments for how the diversity of your training can help us reach this mission.

  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific discipline (biological
    engineering, chemical engineering, biotechnology, microbiology)
  • 1-2 years of relevant experience in academic and/or industrial lab setting (including lab courses, internships or co-ops)
  • Aligned with Sunflower’s mission and values
  • Prior experience in microbial cultivation (yeast or E. coli) and sterile technique
  • Prior experience with bioreactor operations preferred, including material preparation,
    system set-up, operation, and take-down
  • Knowledge of protein analytical techniques (such as SDS-PAGE, Western blot,
    dot blot, ELISA) preferred
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills, including meticulous attention to
    detail and multi-tasking capabilities
  • Enthusiastic, collaborative, and proactive attitude
  • Excellent verbal and written interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to easily adapt to rapidly changing company and program needs
  • Focused on continued skill building and career development