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Group Leader – Molecular Screening

Location: San Diego, CA
Position Type: Full-Time, Temporary Contract
Required Education: Ph.D.
Area(s) of expertise desired: Molecular Biology, Molecular Screening, NGS, Gene Editing
Job Code: 1820


Cibus is a biotechnology company with advanced technologies to precisely target and direct a plant’s natural gene-editing processes. This approach accelerates natural plant breeding that has been a staple of farming for thousands of years and has resulted in a rapid, versatile and low-cost way to improve nutrition, increase crop yields, and reducing waste.

The company has a worldwide presence, with subsidiaries in Europe and North America and a state-of-the-art research and development center in San Diego. Cibus has launched its first commercial product, SU Canola™, and has a pipeline to traits for canola, rice, flax, and potato. The broad applicability of Cibus’ technologies is highlighted by the company’s strain-advancement program, which develops sustainable products in microbial platforms for the food, flavor and fragrance, and personal care markets.

We have an immediate opening for a Group Leader – Molecular Screening who can help us to revolutionize plant breeding and trait development using our unique, patented RTDSTM gene editing technologies to produce sustainable industrial and agricultural products and improve human health by safely harnessing Nature’s own genetic diversity. The position requires a Ph.D. degree or equivalent in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, Bioinformatics, Plant Biology, or related field with a minimum of 8+ years of experience working in a research and/or development environment; post-doctoral work may serve as experience. Alternatively, a BA/BS degree with 15+ years of experience or a MA/MS degree with 12+ years of experience is required.

The successful applicant will lead Cibus’ automated high-throughput molecular screening platform supporting its patented RTDS™ gene editing technology. The Group Leader – Molecular Screening will oversee a team of 8-10 researchers, ranging from entry level Research Assistants to Ph.D. level Scientists, who provide molecular screening support for all Cibus R&D activities from the laboratory to product development, including breeding and commercial QA/QC production. Responsibilities of the group leader include ensuring all day to day screening and resource requirements are met, defining and implementing team objectives, managing external interactions with service providers and collaborators, enabling career development success for both direct and indirect reports, helping to prepare regulatory related documents and data packages, as well as building and implementing a long-term technology vision for the screening platform. The group leader will integrate with other functional teams to assess project needs, determine scientific direction, and ensure milestone achievement. This position offers an excellent opportunity for a motivated individual to broadly influence at all levels of the company from project conception to commercial production.


  • Demonstrated ability to manage and lead a dynamic team to achieve both technical and professional growth success. Leads by example, using positive strategies to establish a professional environment of trust, respect, and collaboration. Has a strong sense of enablement and accountability with a demonstrated ability to achieve success through both direct and indirect supervision.
  • Broad scientific capabilities with a demonstrated ability to collaborate across functional teams, providing scientific guidance and direction to achieve success.
  • A skilled motivator, capable of influencing at all levels of an organization.
  • Expertise with a range of molecular screening technologies such as targeted amplicon resequencing, whole genome sequencing (WGS), and other NGS, PCR, and qPCR based SNP detection and RNA expression workflows. Can oversee all aspects of assay development from design to validation, including bioinformatic workflow development and statistical analysis.
  • Prior experience building or overseeing automated high-throughput workflows is beneficial.
  • Deep theoretical understanding and practical experience with a broad suite of modern Molecular Biology protocols. An understanding of modern Gene Editing technologies and/or Molecular Breeding applications is also beneficial.
  • Strong proactive communicator, demonstrated success using both oral and written strategies to communicate project proposals, status, and direction.
  • An independent problem solver with a demonstrated ability to identify creative solutions to complex challenges and to improve process efficiency.
  • Strong organizational skills and capable of identifying and managing external interactions such as service providers.
  • Capable of achieving success in a dynamic and fast-pasted R&D environment, is a strong promoter and implementer of change.
  • Prior experience working in an agricultural biotech and/or plant biology environment is desired, but not essential.

Cibus provides an attractive compensation and benefits package that includes medical/dental/vision, flexible spending, 401(k) plan, vacation and sick leave. If you enjoy working as part of a team and want to participate in this exciting research, please e-mail resume to and put down job code: 1820.