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Senior Program Director, Actinomycete Engineering: Ginkgo Bioworks – Boston, MA

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. Today, our foundry is developing over 40 different organisms to make different products across multiple industries.

Our team of Organism Engineers (OEs) is the core of Ginkgo’s strain engineering platform. We believe biology is a unique engineering substrate that comes pre-loaded with startlingly brilliant code we didn’t write. Enabled by our high-throughput foundry, we study and design the most efficient way to create a new organism using the most advanced molecular biology techniques. We also employ various -omics technologies for understanding, troubleshooting, and debottlenecking our designed systems.

We are looking for a highly motivated Senior Program Director to lead multiple teams in engineering both model and non-model Actinomycete strains for novel molecule discovery, as well as improving the efficiency of producing these molecules in commercial Actinomycete strains. With your depth of experience in Actinomycete pathway analysis and strain construction, you will be responsible for leading projects tasked with both identifying novel metabolites and enabling their commercial production. You will also be responsible for implementing new enabling technologies for Actinomycete metabolic engineering across the teams you lead and throughout Ginkgo’s foundry. Plus, as a technical leader in your field, you will use your expertise to interact with Ginkgo’s analytical and synthetic chemistry functions as they identify and further improve these novel metabolites.


  • Provide technical direction and guidance on metabolic engineering to your teams to ensure project success
  • Effectively interact with Ginkgo’s synthetic and analytical chemistry functions to identify and tailor unique metabolites of interest for improved or additional functionality
  • Support resource management and project planning across multiple metabolic engineering teams
  • Measure and evaluate team performance with respect to the technical success of team projects, as well as the continued development of high-performing teams
  • Communicate project and team performance to executive leadership
  • Identify new technologies to increase the efficiency of engineering Actinomycete strains within Ginkgo’s foundry
  • Collaborate with customers and internal process development teams to establish commercial-scale processes based upon novel strains developed by your teams
  • Partner with our Business Development Team to identify and evaluate new project opportunities from both a technical and commercial perspective
  • Assist with shaping Ginkgo’s overall direction as a company and support its evolving needs, as necessary

Desired Experience and Capabilities:

  • PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, microbiology, or related field
  • At least 10 years of industrial experience in small molecule discovery and production by microbial hosts, with a particular emphasis on Actinomycete, and at least three years of experience in a director-level role
  • Strong background in medicinal chemistry a strong plus
  • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to oversee multiple simultaneous projects, meet deadlines, and collaborate with cross-functional teams
  • Proven track record of leading multiple teams and mentoring individual team members to achieve success
  • Superb communication skills, with the ability to effectively convey project plans and complex technical details to a wide range of internal teams, executive leadership, and external customers
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities and pivot as needed in a fast-paced environment

We also feel it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry and it needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. We hope to continue to build a company whose culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with engineers from all walks of life. Making biology easier to engineer is a tough nut to crack – we can’t afford to leave any talent untapped.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.



Lio Tariman

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