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Research Associate, Metabolic Engineering

Debut is a San Diego company leading the biomanufacturing revolution for a cleaner and healthier world. Our platform technology development focuses on researching and producing the next generation of natural ingredients and functional molecules. We offer a fast-paced, exciting environment where our people contribute at all levels toward the company’s success.

As a Research Associate of metabolic engineering your primary responsibilities will be to engineer bacterial hosts to produce valuable small molecules. You will work in a team of 7 scientists to meet the needs of Debut’s rapid strain engineering and optimization. You will routinely perform genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 tools and other molecular biology techniques such as PCR, Gibson assembly, DNA transformation, and DNA sequencing analysis. It is important that you work well with the other team members to coordinate strain improvement priorities and timelines. You will be expected to collaborate closely with other functional groups to ensure improved strains are tested in a timely manner.


  • Experience in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, microbiology, synthetic biology, or a related field
  • Excellent sterile technique when handing microbial organisms
  • Familiar with common molecular biology techniques such as PCR and DNA transformation
  • Experience in the use of CRISPR/Cas9 systems for genetic modifications is a plus
  • Experience with metabolic pathway engineering is a plus
  • Ability to learn quickly in a fast-paced startup environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous agents.
  • 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

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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