Ginkgo Bioworks

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer.

Sr. Scientist I, RNA Purification & Characterization

Boston, MA, US
Job Type
3+ years
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About the role

Team Introduction

The Biomolecule Purification and Characterization (BPC) team is composed of experienced protein and nucleic acid scientists and biochemists. We develop purification and characterization methods for a wide range of modalities (e.g. recombinant proteins, enzymes, AAVs, VLPs, RNA), from several different expression hosts (microbial, mammalian, fungal, etc.), to support cell engineering programs at Ginkgo. Our team operates at the intersection of protein and nucleic acid engineering, high-throughput screening, fermentation, and downstream processing to help purify and assess biomolecules that are central to the mission at Ginkgo. We utilize the latest software and automation to develop low, mid, and high throughput methods for protein and nucleic acid purification, enzyme kinetics and biophysical characterization.

Job Description

We are looking for a highly skilled and motivated Sr.Scientist with expertise in RNA biology - specifically RNA purification and characterization. Your role at Ginkgo will require you to work collaboratively with scientists across different teams focused on designing, screening and purifying RNA constructs for therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes. Your primary responsibility will be to develop methods for RNA purification (chromatography and non-chromatography based) and characterization of engineered RNA constructs (mRNA, circRNA, etc). Prior experience in large-scale RNA purification and production will be strongly favored. We also value prior experiences with in vitro or cell-based experiments for the purpose of engineering RNA with durable, tissue-specific expression. Additionally, you will also have the opportunity to work on the purification and characterization of other biomolecules such as proteins, enzymes, AAVs, VLPs, etc.

Specific Role Description

Your primary responsibility is to perform hands-on development of purification and characterization methods for nucleic acids such as mRNA and circRNA, with the ultimate goal of generating therapeutic grade material for in-vitro downstream assays and pre-clinical in-vivo studies.


  • Your primary responsibility is to perform hands-on development of purification and characterization methods for nucleic acids such as mRNA and circRNA, with the ultimate goal of generating therapeutic grade material for in-vitro downstream assays and in-vivo studies.
  • Work with liquid handlers such as the FPLC and HPLC systems to develop chromatography based purification methods
  • Executing in vitro assays in high throughput format to support process development activities (e.g. in-vitro transcription scale-up, biochemical characterization of RNA, gel electrophoresis, ELISA, etc.)
  • Author, review, and approve protocols, SOPs, technical documents, and reports for RNA production
  • Independently plan and execute experiments, perform data analysis and interpretation
  • Maintain thorough electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) and documentation records, and present findings to internal and external Ginkgo partners
  • Work with teams with diverse scientific backgrounds and varying biochemistry experience levels

Minimum Requirements

  • PhD with 2 years of experience or Master’s with 6 years of experience or equivalent. Educational training in Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or a related field.
  • Strong knowledge of nucleic acid chemistry, nucleic acid structure-activity relationships; RNA biology, synthesis, purification and characterization.
  • Expertise in in vitro transcription, characterization of RNA (gel electrophoresis, enzymatic reactions, chromatography, ELISA). Quantitative and statistical analysis of data
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience in small and large scale nucleic acid (RNA) purification methodologies including chromatography separation (anion exchange, hydrophobic interaction, mixed-mode) and buffer exchange methods. Familiar with AKTA FPLC system and HPLC systems.
  • Desire to work in a team-first, fast-paced environment, learn new technologies and skills, and to efficiently solve problems.
  • Enthusiasm to learn new techniques and strong curiosity of areas of biology previously unknown to you

Preferred Capabilities and Experience

  • Prior experience in nucleic acid synthesis, protein-nucleic acid interactions or nucleotide modifications
  • Understanding of molecular biology, recombinant protein expression and construct design for protein chromatography methods; familiarity with standard expression hosts such as mammalian, microbial, and yeast
  • Hands on experience in biochemistry techniques such as protein expression, gel electrophoresis, protein quantification assays, and enzyme kinetics
  • Interest in high-throughput methods for protein purification and characterization
  • Prior industry experience in RNA purification methods

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is the organism company. We design custom organisms for customers across multiple markets. We build our foundries to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware automation. Organism engineers at Ginkgo learn from nature to develop new organisms that replace technology with biology.

Engineering biology isn't easy. It is frustratingly, painfully difficult. It's programming without a debugger, manufacturing without CAD, and construction without cranes. At Ginkgo we are building a team that can build debuggers, write CAD, and operate cranes. We are looking for the best engineers, scientists, and hackers.

Ginkgo Bioworks
Team Size:641
Barry Canton
Barry Canton
Austin Che
Austin Che
Jason Kelly
Jason Kelly
Tom Knight
Tom Knight
Reshma Shetty
Reshma Shetty