Research Associate – Strain Creation and Fermentation

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Research Associate, Strain Creation and Fermentation

Sunflower Therapeutics PBC
Medford, MA | Full-time
Start Date: February 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 Strain Creation and Fermentation
Research Associate will be responsible for designing, creating, and testing 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: molecular cloning, strain
development and characterization, fermentation, and protein characterization. As
Sunflower grows, the Strain Creation Research Associate will contribute to the
continuous improvement of Sunflower’s strain development capabilities to enable
the rapid and extensive evaluation of expressibility and manufacturability for new
protein products in yeast.



  • Designs and creates yeast strains expressing recombinant proteins using state-of-the-art cloning and gene editing techniques
  • Characterizes new strains by PCR and Sanger sequencing
  • Develops suitable cultivation/fermentation conditions (including cultivation
    media) and assays for screening the performance of new yeast strains
  • Designs and conducts yeast cultivations across multiple volumetric scales
    including plates, shake flasks and bioreactors
  • Analyzes protein expression using techniques such as SDS-PAGE, Western blot,
    and/or ELISA
  • Troubleshoots and optimizes strain performance
  • Maintains laboratory equipment, space, and supplies related to strain
    engineering and fermentation
  • Designs, implements and maintains standard operating procedures and data
    records related to strain engineering and fermentation
  • Communicates experimental planning and results with both internal and external stakeholders
  • 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 documentation


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 (biology, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, 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
  • 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