Research Associate I/II – Strain Analytics (In vitro Assays)

  • Pivot Bio
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Oct 15, 2021
Biology Data Analyst Data Scientist Research

Job Description

About Pivot Bio

Company Description:

Fueled by an innovative drive and a deep understanding of the soil microbiome, Pivot Bio is pioneering game-changing advances in agriculture. Our first commercial product harnesses the power of naturally-occurring microbes to provide nutrients to crops. We are dedicated to providing new sustainable ways for farmers to improve yield as they work to help feed the world’s growing population. Read/Hear more about Pivot Bio on Forbes or PBS News Hour.

Position: Research Associate I/II – Strain Analytics (In vitro Assays), Berkeley, CA

We are seeking a detailed-oriented Research Associate to join our Strain Analytics group. This role is instrumental in identifying targets for strain improvement and predicting strain performance in the field. This candidate will conduct high-throughput assays to assess phenotypic variation and help develop novel assays to scale. They will also provide quantitative data on important bacterial growth metrics (OD600, pH, carbon utilization) and other performance indicators as required. We are looking for someone who is energized by solving creatively and excited to tackle a key agricultural challenge in a fast paced and supportive environment. Must be able to work independently and as a part of a dynamic team.

Responsibilities include:

  • Using biochemical assays to measure N-fixation related activities for a diverse range of microbes in the lab
  • Developing, implementing and scaling medium to high throughput lab-based assays
  • Analyzing and communicating data to our collaborating research groups & projects
  • Mentoring & training other researchers
  • Collaborate closely with stakeholders on assay needs
  • Keep detailed records of all experiments
  • Identify opportunities for, and contribute to, ongoing development of internal processes, databases and LIMS

Required Skills and Experience:

  • AS/BA/BS in chemistry or biological science with 2+ years full-time laboratory experience or MS in chemistry, biological science or biotechnology with 1+ years of full-time experience or 7+ years of related experience
  • Strong experience conducting quantitative instrumental analysis (e.g.: UV-Vis spectroscopy, LC/GC-MS, HPLC).
  • Familiarity with standard microbiology techniques including culturing of non-model bacteria and/or fungi.
  • Very strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Data organization and reporting with Microsoft Excel, SpotFire, R, Tableau or similar.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • A strong understanding of bacterial growth and metabolism
  • Experience with one or more of the following:
  • High throughput, plate-based culturing and assay techniques
  • Laboratory automation
  • Steady state culturing approaches
  • Experience culturing anaerobic or microaerophilic microbes and/or microbes with unusual nutritional requirements.

*Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

What we offer:

  • Competitive package in a disruptive startup
  • Stock options
  • Health/Dental/Vision insurance with employer-paid premiums
  • Life, Short Term and Long Term Disability policies
  • Employee Assistance Program with free referrals and discounts
  • 401(k) plan, 3% Match
  • Commuter benefits
  • Annual Training & Development support
  • Flexible vacation policy with a generous holiday schedule
  • Exciting opportunity to work with a talented and fun team

Organization Type


Organization Size



Food & Agriculture

Drawdown solutions

Nutrient Management