Birch Biosciences

We recycle plastic using engineered enzymes

Scientist/Senior Scientist, Synthetic Biology

$80K - $110K
Portland, OR
Job Type
6+ years
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Johan Kers
Johan Kers

About the role

Scientist/Senior Scientist, Synthetic Biology

Today, only 9% of plastic is recycled, and plastic demand is expected to triple by 2050, so our plastic problem is only going to get worse unless we do something about it.

Birch Biosciences is a startup company based in Portland, Oregon that engineers enzymes for plastic recycling using synthetic biology and machine learning. 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%.

We’re worried about climate change, and are building a team of individuals who share our passion for solving this problem through close collaboration and a sense of urgency.  We’re building a different kind of company, where employees think like owners, act with authority, and collaborate closely with one another.

We are seeking a driven Scientist/Senior Scientist to join our growing Synthetic Biology team.  In this role, you will play a key part in the development and optimization of our core technology at Birch which will allow us to make a significant impact on plastic recycling and climate change.  You will apply your expertise in library generation, cloning, and strain engineering to further expand our in house screening capabilities.  If you are a self-starter who is interested in helping to build a company from the ground up, we’d love to hear from you!


Design and construct complex enzyme variant libraries using oligo and gene based-assembly methods Single cell genome/transcriptome amplification and sequencing Apply next generation sequencing as a tool for library design verification and microbiome RNAseq Screen large protein variant libraries using microfluidics, FACS, or similar methods High-throughput protein expression and characterization   Protein modeling and analysis of large protein variant data sets to assist in the training of statistical models Design, construct, and optimize in vivo reporters to detect enzyme activity


MS or PhD in Bioengineering, Molecular Biology, or a related field 2+ years of laboratory experience directly related to the responsibilities of this position 2+ years of experience in a high throughput laboratory setting 2+ years of experience with library design and generation Expertise with modern molecular cloning methods such as Gibson or Golden Gate Understanding of protein structure and biochemistry Hands on experience with sequencing and analysis of sequencing data Excellent attention to detail Excellent communication skills Passion for solving hard technical problems

Nice-to-haves (but not required):

Experience with NGS Programming experience; ideally Python Understanding of analytical chemistry and hands on experience with analytical instrumentation Understanding of bioprocessing and fermentation scale up Passion for laboratory organization and management

Title and compensation will be based on level of experience with requested qualifications and may range from Senior Research Associate to Senior Scientist.

Compensation and benefits at Birch Biosciences include:

Base Salary and Equity Generous paid time off policy that includes: 3 weeks, approximately 1 additional week during year end holidays, and 5 federal holidays of your choice Health Reimbursement Accounts 401(k) retirement savings plan with employer match

Birch Biosciences is an equal opportunity employer promoting diversity and inclusion in the workspace. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding), genetic information, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, or any other basis protected by law.

Legal authorization to work in the United States is required. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

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
Johan Kers
Johan Kers