Program Director, Organism Engineering

Ginkgo Bioworks

Job Description

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 talented Program Director to manage a team of three to six OEs in developing finely engineered bacterial and/or yeast strains to produce commercial products for Ginkgo’s customers. With your depth of experience in metabolic engineering, you’ll be responsible for identifying and implementing sound technical strategies and project plans that will lead to successful, newly engineered strains. Plus, as a technical leader in your field, you will use your expertise to provide critical insight into the evaluation of strain performance and pathway optimization in Ginkgo’s world-class foundry, while leveraging the unique capabilities of our automated workflows to maximize efficiency.

    • Provide technical direction and guidance on metabolic engineering to your team to ensure project success
    • Support resource management and project planning across your metabolic engineering team
    • Measure and evaluate team performance with respect to the technical success of team projects, as well as the continued development of your high-performing team
    • Communicate project and team performance to executive leadership and external customers
    • Identify new technologies in metabolic engineering to increase the efficiency of constructing improved 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 team
    • Partner with our Business Development Team to identify and evaluate new project opportunities from both a technical and commercial perspective, and communicate Ginkgo’s unique offerings to current and potential customers
    • Assist with shaping Ginkgo’s overall direction as a company and support its evolving needs, as necessary
Desired Experience and Capabilities
    • PhD in metabolic engineering, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, microbiology, or related field
    • At least four years of industrial experience in engineering microbial hosts for the production of enzymes or chemicals, and at least two years of experience in a director-level role
    • 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 successful teams and mentoring multiple team members
    • 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

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