TITLE: Biomanufacturing Group Lead
TYPE: Full-time, Salaried Exempt
REPORTS TO: Director Laboratory Operations
LOCATION: RNAissance Ag St. Louis, MO
We will offer an attractive compensation and benefits package commensurate with experience to the successful candidate. To apply, please download the Position Questionnaire (https://www.rnaissanceag.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Questionnaire-for-Bmfg-Lead.docx) and send your responses, with cover letter and resume to:
Via email to:
RNAissance Ag LLC (a subsidiary of TechAccel, LLC) is an early-stage startup company developing RNA interference (RNAi)-based agricultural products. We are seeking a Biomanufacturing Group Lead for a small dedicated team responsible for developing and demonstrating upstream and downstream fermentation process performance at bench scale, and performing microbial production of interfering RNAs to support R&D. The successful candidate will have previous experience in leading a microbial fermentation team, will be able to quickly learn new concepts that are specific to our technology and approach, and will be an exceptional team player. This position will be located in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri region. The Biomanufacturing Group Lead reports to TechAccel’s Director of Laboratory Operations.
The Biomanufacturing Group Lead works in a laboratory environment, leading microbial fermentation process development activities and producing RNAi products at laboratory scale (1-10 L) to support R&D activities. The Biomanufacturing Group Lead will contribute to the development of exciting new products and to the expansion of the company intellectual property estate. The candidate should have experience growing and recovering various microbial species at scales from small shake flasks to pilot scale fermenters. Experience with downstream processing of microbially-derived products is strongly preferred. The candidate should have a strong background in developing, troubleshooting and analyzing data. We are looking for an individual with strong, creative problem-solving skills to troubleshoot and innovate novel research methods to address project objectives and meet timelines. This person should have a passion for defining and meeting tangible research objectives in an efficient and rapid fashion.
The successful candidate will work closely with TechAccel and RNAissance Ag scientific staff, consultants, and colleagues focused on marketing & sales, finance, and operations. The Biomanufacturing Group Lead will help recruit additional team members and will train and supervise junior team members. This is an exciting opportunity for the right individual to leverage their knowledge and creativity to make a real and tangible impact on translating innovation to commercial reality and have a significant influence on the trajectory of the company.
• Provide scientific leadership for our growing biomanufacturing team. This is a hands-on position, and the successful candidate is expected to both perform research activities as well as manage junior staff.
• Execute and/or oversee the execution of fermentation (stirred bioreactor) experiments with a high level of excellence to ensure precise and accurate data.
• Contribute to the development of bench scale downstream processing operations and infrastructure installation required to produce RNAissance products.
• Lead or co-lead innovative research projects to increase production efficiency and product yields to support lab-scale (1-10 L) microbial fermentation process development, improvement, and validation.
• Train and oversee junior staff in general fermentation operations such as bioreactor building/sterilization, cleanup, and turnover of bioreactors to maintain a set run schedule.
• Oversee manufacturing campaigns to ensure yield and quality requirements of microbial-produced interfering RNAs are met to support R&D including deployment into trials.
• Provide technical insight into experimental design and perform data analysis.
• Work cross-functionally to integrate downstream fermentation processes with formulations and entomology aims.
• Identify and work with partners to develop scale-up models and COGs of fermentation processes and products.
• Manage resources, materials, and logistics required to design and execute complex biological experiments primarily in the area of bioprocessing.
• Determine specific technical approaches to be implemented to successfully deliver project goals on a startup timeline and budget.
• Conduct research in accordance with or exceeding all relevant Health, Safety and Environmental guidelines.
• Communicate experimental progress and provide well-reasoned recommendations future work.
• Draft detailed technical reports, summary updates, scientific manuscripts, and presentations for internal and external use.
• Coach and develop junior personnel.
• Work with Laboratory Operations Director to build the staff into a highly effective team that demonstrates trust, shared priorities, accountability, and a commitment to results.
• Stay up to date on developments within the field to make recommendations for application of new technologies to improve current processes.
• Ph.D. in Microbiology, Biochemical Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or related field and 8+ years post-graduate experience. A master’s degree in one of the listed fields with 13+ years relevant experience will also be considered. Ideally a portion of that experience will be in an industrial lab.
• Fermentation experience with a focus on biomolecule expression, such as protein or dsRNA.
• Experience with lab (1-10 L), pilot scale and/or commercial fermentation equipment (stirred bioreactors), and microbial techniques.
• Demonstrated understanding of fermentation equipment operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance
• Expertise in fermentation principles relevant to bioprocess development and improvement.
• Strong knowledge of downstream processing techniques for microbially-made products.
• Experience with general molecular biology techniques applicable to the growth and improvement of production microbes, as well as methodologies applicable to the quantification and analyses of dsRNA.
• Work well both independently, and as part of a team.
• Strong communication skills; ability to synthesize research results & report to technical & non-technical audiences.
• Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability: copes effectively with change and is comfortable with ambiguity
• Demonstrated strengths in organization, prioritization, planning & project management.
• Prior experience with leading projects and managing technical staff.
TechAccel LLC (Technology Acceleration Partners) is a development company focused on advancing innovation in Agriculture and Animal Health. Our partner relationships with Global Industry Strategics leverages their strong technical expertise, regulatory infrastructure and the global distribution network. TechAccel co-funds the development, de-risking and advancement of technologies that fill partner portfolio gaps or addressing new adjacencies. Technologies typically are focused on the many technical paths address to the rapidly growing food and animal health demands. Partner companies utilize TechAccel to accelerate time to market. TechAccel also provides R&D services to meet partner surge needs as well as technology sourcing services.
In addition to our strong technology advancement relationships with Global Industry Leaders, TechAccel partners with leading Agriculture and Animal Health Venture Capital firms in advancing emerging technologies found in aggressive and innovative industry start-ups. TechAccel brings a unique Science Advancement role to these relationships in addition to our invested commitments. This dual commitment adds to the enterprise value creation as well as the breadth of potential innovation derived from each integrated relationship.
TechAccel is an equal opportunity employer. All employees are hired, compensated, promoted, disciplined and evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, status as a qualified individual with a disability, military status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. TechAccel strictly prohibits any and all discrimination and harassment based upon an individual's race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, status as a qualified individual with a disability, military status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. Any incident of such harassment or discrimination must be immediately reported to the appropriate management level employee.