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Research Associate: Assay Development

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.


  • 6% Matched 401K program
  • Dental, health, and vision insurance
  • 20 Days PTO
  • Stock options
  • Flexible schedule
  • Maternity and paternity leave

Debut is growing its metabolic engineering team to aid in the creation of novel cell lines to create small molecules. As a research associate in assay development you will develop, optimize, and execute novel enzymatic and cell-based assays in high-throughput screens using conventional approaches and robotics. You will also design and execute lab-based experiments, generate, and interpret data supporting the successful development of new assays and tests. As part of your day-to-day you will learn, apply, and incorporate automation solutions during assay development, execution, troubleshooting, data analysis, and reporting while investigating and identifying new methods and technologies to generate reliable and reproducible data. You will also be responsible for planning and executing experiments, adapt readily to changing project needs and develop sophisticated problem-identification and problem-solving skills.


  • BS or MS in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, pharmacology, enzymology, or equivalent with 2+ years of prior experience in an industry laboratory setting working as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Established capability to design, conduct, optimize and execute on novel biochemical and cell-based assay development efforts in the lab supporting HTS and project deliverables
  • Strong scientific foundation in the understanding and implementation of a wide range of biochemical and cell-based assay readouts for small molecule production such as HPLC, LCMS, GCMS, fluorescence Polarization, Luminescence & Fluorescence-based reporters
  • Broad experience and expertise in molecular reagent & cell line handling in aseptic environments
  • Experience with microbial fermentation at the plate and bench scale
  • Familiarity with setting-up and operation of microplate readers and automated liquid handlers in the development of 384- and/or 1536-well microtiter plate assays is desirable
  • Experience in computational analysis of biological data and large data sets using general-purpose programming language (such as Python, R, or Matlab) is desirable
  • Familiarity with software and statistical platforms for the analysis of large data sets (e.g., JMP, Tableau, Spotfire, or MODDE pro/DoE) is desirable
  • Ability to create and establish priorities, manage work plans, and meet timelines.
  • Demonstrated initiative, teamwork, collaboration, and passion for developing technical expertise across assay development to routine execution
  • Must be detail-oriented and possess strong analytical skills
  • Must be willing to work non-standard hours supporting a 24/7 operation including weekends


  • 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.


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