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Molecular Discovery Scientist

Location: San Diego, CA
Position Type: Full Time
Required Education: Ph.D. degree or equivalent
Job Code: MB2016


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 reduce 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 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 Molecular Discovery Scientist who can help us to revolutionize plant breeding and trait development using our unique, patent-protected RTDS™ gene editing technology platform 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 relevant experience in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Enzymology, Structural Biology, or related field. The Scientist level requires a Ph.D. with minimum of 1-2 years’ experience working in a R&D environment, or MA/MS degree with 7+ years or a BA/BS with 10+ years of relevant research experience.

The successful candidate will be responsible for building and applying state-of-the-art molecular discovery and protein engineering capabilities to identify next-generation gene editing targets. The Molecular Discovery Scientist will use functional complementation and HTP screening to identify new editing candidates, and then characterize and validate the physical and chemical properties of screening hits through enzymatic assays. This position offers an excellent opportunity for a motivated self-starter to grow in a dynamic, biotechnology-driven environment and have an impact on trait and product development programs in commercial crops.


  • Expertise building functional complementation and phenotypic selection assays in model microbe, plant, and/or other systems. Strong capability to translate functional complementation assay discoveries to chemical and physical protein properties using enzymatic assays and biochemical methods.
  • Demonstrated experience with a wide range of Molecular Biology and Genetic protocols for DNA/RNA manipulations, PCR, qPCR, etc.
  • Hands-on experience with any of the following is highly desired: HTP screening for protein engineering, directed evolution, molecular modeling, QSAR.
  • Demonstrated understanding of protein structure-function relationships, evolutionary and phylogenetic analysis, and optimization of a wide range of protein properties, including activity, specificity, and/or gene expression.
  • An independent problem solver with a demonstrated ability to identify creative solutions to complex challenges and to improve process efficiency.
  • Leads by example, using positive strategies to establish a professional environment of trust, respect, and collaboration. Demonstrated ability to positively influence others.
  • Proactive communicator with demonstrated success using oral and written strategies to communicate project proposals, status, and direction.
  • Strong organizational skills and capable of identifying and managing external interactions with service providers and other vendors.
  • Capable of achieving success in a dynamic and fast-paced 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 referencing job code: MB2016.