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Application Scientist

Debut Biotech is a high-growth company located in sunny San Diego, CA. At the heart of our ethos is the ability of synthetic biology to create over 60% of the material inputs for society to provide a sustainable future. While many have attempted to achieve this goal using traditional fermentation, no platform can convert low-cost renewable feedstocks into ANY material; our advanced biomanufacturing platform will be the first. At Debut, we promise that your day-to-day innovation will drive us closer to realizing this critical vision and that failure is OK when shooting for the stars; if you’re not failing, you’re not pushing hard enough. We genuinely believe that Debut will be THE biomanufacturing company and the vision for a better tomorrow motivates our team. If you are passionate, like fast-paced innovation and close-knit teams, then Debut is for you.

We are currently looking for an Application Scientist with a passion for innovation and deep understanding of ingredient functionality in cosmetics, food and beverage applications. The successful candidate will examine and optimize ingredients’ formulation characteristics, lead pre-clinical and clinical testing and validation of ingredients, collaborating with in-house business/marketing teams and external R&D partners. A successful candidate thrives on working independently, also works well in a cross-functional environment comprised of our business and scientific units, and delivers on high-revenue, profitable ingredient launches.


  • Lead commercialization of novel ingredients, providing project plans, status updates, and risk mitigation.
  • Develop ingredient testing protocols and capabilities for exploring and validating ingredient application to cosmetic, food and beverage and nutrition.
  • Conduct hands-on, day-to-day ingredient development and application activities, alongside establishing and managing an external R&D partner network.
  • Design and conduct experiments to test the functionality of Debut’s ingredients in appropriate product model systems.
  • Analyze and interpret data to understand relationships between ingredient structure/function and applications performance and makes recommendations.
  • Prepare and deliver research findings, technical presentations and sample formulation demos to our business unit.
  • Conduct prior art searches, captures scientific insights for future product discovery to support creating of Debut’s intellectual property.
  • Supports marketing in ingredient positioning and material development.
  • Work collaboratively with our ingredient R&D and commercial teams to identify and prioritize ingredient pipeline and new ingredient opportunities.


  • B.Sc. with 5 years post degree experience in the ingredient industry, or M.S. with 3 years post degree experience in the ingredient industry.
  • Experience in testing ingredients for cosmetic, food and beverage application.
  • Experience in hands-on application testing of ingredients.
  • Experience in experimental design, statistical data analysis, and interpretation of results.
  • Experience in prior art searches, invention disclosures, and giving presentations.
  • Experience in working collaboratively with both R&D and business teams.
  • Experience in common ingredient testing methods for cosmetic and nutrition end use such as pre-clinical, clinical, safety, and solubility tests.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous agents (up to BSL2).
  • Work requires sufficient hand, arm, and finger dexterity to operate computer keyboard and office equipment. Laboratory operations require dexterity and care to perform studies as required.
  • The R&D laboratory will result in exposure to hot and cold temperatures, noise, fumes, limited dust, and oily coolants.
  • Requires walking, climbing stairs, bending and occasional lifting of material up to fifty (50) pounds.
  • The performance of this position will present exposure to an industrial environment and requires support and compliance with the published Company PPE policy including but not limited to the use of personal protective equipment such as safety glasses with side shields, appropriate attire, safety shoes, hard hat, hearing protection, etc.
  • Debut Biotech is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.


  • 6% Matched 401K program
  • Dental, health, and vision insurance
  • 20 days PTO
  • Stock options
  • Flexible schedule



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