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Research Associate: Cell Free

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.

Debut Biotech is hiring a full-time Research Associate for our rapidly growing team. As a member of the Cell-Free team, you will work closely with Scientists and other Research Associates to advance our platform. You will perform protein expression, purification, and downstream protein characterization. Proteins are critical to our Cell-Free work, and we are always trying to understand the optimal activity and conditions to improve enzyme performance. You will have the opportunity to expand your technical skill set and communication skills while working on cutting-edge core technology on this team.

We are looking for candidates with a sense of urgency, contagious optimism, and a can-do attitude. They must lead by example and hold themselves and others accountable while maintaining productive and professional relationships within the team.


  • Express recombinant proteins from microorganisms and carry out routine protein purification
  • Analyze purified proteins by SDS-PAGE and other quantitative methods
  • Perform small-scale assays with purified proteins to test enzyme activities and other characteristics
  • Work alongside Scientists in the Cell-Free team to support one of the many ongoing projects at Debut
  • Maintain equipment, product inventories, and related records as assigned
  • Write technical documents which include standard operating procedures and manufacturing records

Preferred Experience and Capabilities

  • A Bachelors degree in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or other related disciplines with 3+ years of experience. Or a master’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or other related disciplines with 1+ years of relevant experience.
  • Understanding of molecular biology as it relates to protein expression, purification, and characterization
  • Hands-on experience in biochemical techniques such as protein expression, electrophoresis, and enzyme assays
  • Experience with fast protein liquid chromatography systems (FPLC). Familiarity with the AKTA system is a plus
  • Comprehension of standard chromatography methods (ex: affinity, ion-exchange, size exclusion) is a plus
  • Cloning and other molecular biology experience is a plus
  • Strong collaborative skills and is energized working in a fast-paced environment
  • Enthusiasm to learn new approaches and techniques and apply your expertise to solve problems
  • Regularly required to lift up to 20 pounds. May be required to lift 45 pounds or more, with assistance and/or with equipment on occasion.
  • May be required to stand for long periods of time while performing duties
  • Must be flexible to work varying schedules and hours as needed
  • Must be able to work safely with chemicals and hazardous materials
  • 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


  • 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.
  • Must be willing to work non-standard hours supporting a 24/7 operation including weekends
  • 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
  • Maternity and paternity leave

To learn more about Debut please see:

DSM Agrees to Evaluate Debut’s Scalable Cell-Free Manufacturing Platform (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News):

Next gen cell-free biomanufacturing could unlock opportunities to synthesize natural ingredients (Food Navigator-USA):

Debut Biotech Awarded $1M from Air Force Research Lab for aerospace applications of cell-free biomanufacturing (PRWeb):

Our website:


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