ZBiotics

ZBiotics makes genetically engineered probiotics.

Senior Product Scientist at ZBiotics

Location
San Francisco
Job Type
Full-time
Experience
3+ years
Connect directly with founders of the best YC-funded startups.
Apply to role ›
Zack Abbott
Zack Abbott
CEO

About the role

Senior Product Scientist

FULL-TIME / CONTRACT-TO-HIRE | SAN FRANCISCO, CA

About ZBiotics

ZBiotics is a consumer health startup pioneering the category of genetically engineered probiotics. Our team of PhD scientists takes traditional probiotics and enhances them – giving them powerful new functionalities that improve human health and enrich daily life. We incorporate these new probiotics into our own branded products and sell them direct-to-consumer (DTC).

Our first product – the world’s first ever genetically engineered probiotic to go to market – helps people feel better the day after drinking alcohol by breaking down acetaldehyde, one of alcohol’s toxic byproducts. We launched this product in August 2019, and since then we’ve closed a Seed Round of funding and successfully developed product #2, which will launch within a year. We’re backed by Y Combinator (W18) and several angel and venture capital investors, including Oyster Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

About the role

ZBiotics is seeking a motivated scientist to expand and lead verticals within Research and Development. This team member will be the first hire devoted to product and formulation and will be charged with building improved formulations, developing assays for efficacy, managing pasteurization process design, optimizing ingredient quality for existing and upcoming products, and managing a robust external testing pipeline. Work is intended to be split between the office and the lab and will require part-time wet-lab benchwork.

The role will report directly to the VP of R&D and will work closely with the Director of Supply Chain and the CEO (PhD scientist, Head of Product). This role is required to be onsite at our San Francisco laboratory location. Depending on the candidate’s qualifications, we may consider contract-to-hire preferable to immediate employment.

Producing the world’s first consumer GMO microbes is opening up opportunities for novel probiotic products and the chance to innovate in food production processes. Help ZBiotics create new probiotic food technologies through an essential growth role.

What we’re looking for

This role requires a scientist generalist that combines operational and analytical excellence with an understanding of consumer product design and regulation. Previous experience with managing quality compliance in a food production chain is a plus. Scientific background in Bacillus endospore microbiology is a plus. Experience with microbiology wet-lab and scientific method is essential.

The ideal candidate will be highly systematic and come with a firm executional understanding and passion for using scientific principles to deliver outcomes in a real product. They will be excited about conducting lab experiments at the bench as well as working with outsourced expertise. They will have an interest in current affairs related to future food production and a desire to be an expert in regulatory and de facto requirements in the field. They will communicate well with a wide range of personalities in 3rd party contractors, developing close relationships and ensuring exceptional work.

Above all, they will be smart, motivated, and willing to learn. They will be thrilled by the detailed work required to produce dependable, high-quality designer food products and the opportunity to literally define quality control and analysis in the new category of genetically engineered probiotics. They will also have the opportunity to hire and manage a scientific and applied team over time.

Responsibilities

  • Working closely with the VP of R&D to develop and validate new probiotic formulations and processes.
  • Working closely with ZB R&D to develop QAQC and efficacy assays that match the needs of each new product (ingredient and formulation).
  • Acting as resident expert on pasteurization processes, process authority regulations, and formulation questions in discussions with co-packers.
  • Curating and building formulation data, probiotic ingredient testing data, and specification documentation.
  • Finding and organizing contractors for outsourcing routine assays or sourcing expertise.
  • Monitoring and improving probiotic ingredient quality (leveraging R&D for analytics).
  • Being an informed expert on current practice, innovation, and competition in probiotic formulation across the industry.
  • Working closely with the Director of Supply Chain to support an uninterrupted supply of consumer-ready product at a high safety, quality, and efficacy level.
  • Ensuring all QAQC metrics (safety and efficacy) are met for each SKU.
  • Presenting data and insights to the team in regular meetings.
  • Participating in hiring and management as the team expands.
  • Rolling up sleeves to accomplish what needs to be done.

Requirements

  • Education:
    • Ph.D. in microbiology or related discipline with 2+ years of experience in an industry setting; OR
    • Bachelors of Science with 6+ years experience in food product development operations and a strong background in microbiology.
  • Ideally two notable previous food development positions, at least one of which preferably was as a product scientist or food safety compliance expert.
  • An exceptional ability to multitask, take initiative, and execute.
  • Experience working independently and managing own schedule.
  • Clear learning style and willingness to adapt to new methods and approaches.
  • Passion for the power of science to improve our lives.

About our team

We’re a team of deep thinkers who care about the future of the world and the role of science in that future. Our mission at ZBiotics is to help people live healthier, richer lives using science, while at the same time pioneering a new vision for genetic engineering as transparent, responsible, and consumer-first.

While this passion drives our work, we never forget that work is just one aspect of our lives. That’s why we prioritize building a healthy and inclusive culture where people thrive by being themselves and are inspired to do their best work every day.

Read more about ZBiotics in the press: Forbes , TechCrunch , Food Navigator , Scientific Inquirer .

We provide attractive benefits, salary, and equity compensation, along with a flexible schedule and vacation policy.

Why you should join ZBiotics

ZBiotics is a consumer health startup pioneering the category of genetically engineered probiotics. Our team of PhD scientists takes traditional probiotics and enhances them – giving them powerful new functionalities that improve human health and enrich daily life. We incorporate these new probiotics into our own branded products and sell them direct-to-consumer (DTC).

Our first product – the world’s first ever genetically engineered probiotic to go to market – helps people feel better the day after drinking alcohol by breaking down acetaldehyde, one of alcohol’s toxic byproducts. We launched this product in August 2019, and since then we’ve successfully developed product #2, which will launch within the next year.