Your browser cookies must be enabled in order to apply for this job. Please contact if you need further instruction on how to do that.

Scientist - Microbial Metabolic Engineer

Startup | Berkeley, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Perlumi, Synbio Photosynthesis Startup Overview:

The enormous task of feeding the world population takes up half of the earth’s habitable land. We can’t make more land, but we can make plants more productive. More bountiful harvests can balance competing land needs for food and timber production, and preserve biodiversity and store carbon. 

Surrounding crop plants with an abundance of water and fertilizer already increased yields as much as it can. The next frontier is improving how plants build biomass itself. 

Leading synthetic biologist Dr. Chris Eiben, and UC Berkeley Prof. Jay Keasling, a founding figure in the synthetic biology field, have a new approach to balance competing land needs at Perlumi. Perlumi is engineering lush harvests by transforming the efficiency of how plants grow. 

Perlumi has demonstrated a proof-of-concept of our proprietary novel carbon fixation pathway. In addition, Perlumi has just received 18 months of funding to support three positions to further develop the tech in microbes. We are growing the team to include a microbial metabolic engineer, an enzyme engineer, and a laboratory technician.

Microbial Metabolic Engineer Position Overview:

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual passionate about food security for all. This person will be joining an early team, taking on major responsibilities shaping tech development, influencing company culture, and performing mission critical work. 

Specific Responsibilities Include: 

  • Leading metabolic pathway implementation efforts in microbes

  • Metabolic engineering to increase pathway flux

  • Coordinating tech development with an enzyme engineering team

  • Designing, building and integrating DNA constructs

  • Designing and performing assays


  • Ph.D. in the life sciences or related fields (Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, etc.)

  • Strong command of metabolism and metabolic engineering

  • Detail oriented with clear communication skills

  • Strong bias towards action

  • Enjoys wet lab science

Bonus Points:

  • Experience engineering many different microbes is a bonus but not required

  • Startup or industry scientist experience is a bonus but not required