Research Associate I, Nucleic Acid Sequencing and Assays

  • Pivot Bio
  • Berkeley, California
  • Jan 22, 2022

Job Description

About Pivot Bio:

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 – Nucleic Acid Sequencing and Assays, Location - Berkeley, CA

We are seeking a detail-oriented Research Associate with NGS, qPCR, RT-qPCR, or similar experience to join our Nucleic Acid Sequencing and Assays team. In this role you will work closely with collaborators from multiple teams as part of a research pipeline that provides a wide range of NGS and qPCR/RT-qPCR services to our R&D and Commercial programs. We are looking for someone who is energized to solve 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.


  • Perform routine NGS library synthesis, qPCR, and RT-qPCR methods, often performed on liquid handling robots, followed by sequencing on Illumina and Nanopore instruments or real-time PCR machines, to study bacteria, soil microbiome, and plant samples
  • Optimize and develop various DNA/RNA extraction and qPCR/RT-qPCR methods as needed
  • Provide and present experimental writeups
  • New assay method development and assisting with process automation
  • This is a wet-lab focused role

Qualifications and Experience:

  • BS in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, plant science, or other biological science with 2+ years of full-time laboratory experience or equivalent experience required
  • Comfort with standard molecular biology techniques including DNA/RNA extraction/QC/Quantification, PCR optimization, Sterile Technique required
  • Experience synthesizing multiple types of NGS Libraries and operating Illumina and Nanopore instruments desired
  • Experience performing qPCR and/or RT-qPCR experiments desired
  • Experience troubleshooting above methods Desired
  • Experience with high throughput automation liquid handling robots, especially Biomek and Echo, desired
  • Very strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience mentoring and/or training other researchers
  • Data organization and reporting with Microsoft Suite/Sharepoint, LIMS, Asana, Electronic Notebooks, or similar

*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