Birch Biosciences

We recycle plastic using engineered enzymes

Research Associate/Senior Research Associate

Portland, OR
Job Type
1+ years
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Neil Assur
Neil Assur

About the role

Birch Biosciences is a startup company based in Portland, Oregon that engineers enzymes for plastic recycling. Engineered enzymes act as “molecular scissors” to break down plastic polymers in a high yield, circular process that enables manufacture of high quality, 100% recycled plastic products. Our bio-enzymatic recycling process is low cost, high yield, and reduces CO2 emissions by > 50%. Plastic demand is expected to triple by 2050, so our plastic problem is only going to get worse unless we do something about it!

We’re looking for a research associate to help support Birch scientists as we develop a novel protein engineering strategy to enable iterative development of high performance enzymes.

Specific job responsibilities include:

  • Culture and characterize microbes isolated from environmental samples
  • Perform standard molecular biology techniques including PCR, DNA cloning using Gibson or Golden Gate or similar techniques, and E. coli transformation
  • Perform Sanger and next generation sequencing and analyze sequencing data
  • Perform protein engineering and protein expression experiments
  • Operate analytical assays to characterize proteins of interest
  • Collect experimental data, perform data analyses, and write experimental reports to document findings
  • Order lab supplies, make laboratory media and buffers, and maintain laboratory equipment

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering, Biochemistry, Biology, or a related field
  • 1+ year of laboratory experience
  • A good understanding of bioinformatics, with programming (Python) and working knowledge of statistics
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Passion for solving hard technical problems

We’re committed to creating opportunities for applicants from diverse backgrounds that can contribute to our mission. If you don’t have all of the pre-requisite skills, experience or degrees, please send us an application—we’d love to evaluate your skills and see if there is an opportunity for us to work together!

Why you should join Birch Biosciences

Today, only 9% of plastic is recycled. We want to change this.

Birch is on a mission to advance the circularity of plastic products by engineering enzymes to recycle plastic more effectively. Our bio-enzymatic recycling process will produce clean, high-quality recycled plastic that is equivalent or lower in cost than other recycled plastic. We also expand the variety of plastic products that can be recycled, empowering plastic circularity.

In addition to Y-combinator, Birch is supported by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Our partners include several of the largest plastic manufacturers and producers in the world.

Birch Biosciences
Team Size:6
Location:Portland, OR
Neil Assur
Neil Assur
Johan Kers
Johan Kers