Industrial Microbes
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Head of Fermentation: Industrial Microbes, Alameda, CA

Industrial Microbes (iMicrobes) is hiring a head of fermentation to lead our scale-up work and build our first fermentation lab in Alameda, CA. We are looking for someone who has both leadership experience and the interest to roll up their sleeves to do whatever is needed. This is an opportunity to create and lead the team that develops a first-of-a-kind fermentation process. You will have a direct influence on the company direction and success while working with smart, passionate people.

At iMicrobes, we believe there are opportunities for biology to solve our biggest problems. We are a 9-person synthetic biology startup backed by Y Combinator and Silicon Valley investors. We are also funded by grants from the EPA, ARPA-E, DOE, USDA, and NSF. Our mission is to use novel raw materials and recycled waste for chemical production, polymers, agriculture, and space exploration. We have built the world’s first synthetic methanotroph, an E. coli strain that converts methane into chemicals. The iMicrobes founders previously developed strains at LS9 (acquired by REG Life Sciences) for renewable biodiesel and fatty alcohol production for clients including P&G and Chevron.

What you’ll do:

Select and set up fermentation equipment for methane-fed fermentations

Hire, mentor, and lead the founding members of the fermentation team

Design and run the first runs scaling up our process from batch-fed bottles

Suggest new directions and improve existing processes

Work closely with the founders and the synthetic biology team

Support commercialization and partnership activities

Work with external engineering consultants to refine techno-economic models

Maintain safe practices and a supportive work environment

The ideal candidate will have some of these experiences:

Worked at an industrial biotech company commercializing commodity or specialty chemicals

Developed a fermentation process for E. coli bacteria

Run gas-based fermentations or aerobic fermentations

Used off-gas analysis to close mass balance or calculate product yields

Our values:

Ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is central to our culture. We value people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a positive and supportive place to work.


Health, dental, and vision insurance, 401k plan

5 weeks of paid vacation and a flexible schedule

12 weeks of paid leave for new parents

Daily lunches and snacks

To apply: Email with the subject line: Head of Fermentation

Please tell us about your interest in building a fermentation team

Include a resume

Let us know if you need assistance or accommodation

About us:

iMicrobes is developing bio-manufacturing methods that can produce sustainable materials that have both reduced costs and reduced environmental impacts. Our processes use custom microbes with metabolic abilities not found in nature. We work with partners to scale our microbes to get products into the market where they can make a real impact. See

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