Scientist (I, II, or Sr.) - Protein Engineering & Biochemistry

At MeliBio, we are reimagining one of the World’s most revered natural superfoods: honey. Honey has been a part of the human diet since ancient times, and is an integral part of many cultures, spanning as far back as the Egyptians and the ancient Maya.

Through our science-driven approach, MeliBio provides a solution for honey that does not rely on the honeybee, so that we can have the same delicious and nutritious product as the one that bees make for thousands of years to come, only without the negative impacts of factory farmed commercial honeybees. By overcoming the use of honeybees in the supply chain, we help support bee and pollinator diversity, thereby helping to create a healthier planet Earth. We invite you to join us in creating this Earth for future generations, an Earth that is both better for humans, and better for bees!

MeliBio is seeking a passionate and experienced Scientist to join our Microbial Design Team as a Protein Engineer with strong experience in molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. This individual will be designing and implementing experimental strategies to further develop current and future products through harnessing the power of microbes.

As a protein engineer, you will optimize the production of desired heterologous proteins and enzymes that are destined for the consumer market. You will contribute to the management and design of our synthetic biology lab space and team. You will also work collaboratively with other scientists, advisors and leadership to create optimal approaches and workflows to achieve scientific milestones. Your work will play a central role in shaping both the current and future of scientific R&D at MeliBio.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a small and dynamic team dedicated to developing microbiology centric food, and to contribute to the growing need for realizing the end of using animals in the production of food for humans. We invite all passionate, driven, and well-qualified individuals to apply. *

This is a full-time position located at our headquarters in Oakland, California.

*If you do not meet all of these requirements but feel that you are well aligned with the responsibilities of this role, please apply! Thoughtful cover letters go a long way and are read carefully.


  • Serve as a technical leader within the MeliBio microbial development team
  • Develop new, and employ existing, genetic and molecular engineering approaches and tools to effectively optimize protein/enzyme production in host microbes
  • Lead projects in molecular cloning and diversity generation for protein targets including enzyme variant selection and engineering (site saturation mutagenesis, domain swapping, combinatorial variant construction, etc.)
  • Execute and advise experiments throughout the design, build, test, analyze and learn life cycle of protein engineering/production (eg. sequence/3-D analysis, molecular cloning, bioinformatics (primer design & sequence analysis) evaluate expression, protein/enzyme function (functional and reporter assays, SDS PAGE, Western blot etc.)
  • Execute molecular biology workflows for generation of libraries of protein variants
  • Evaluate and compare function/activity of protein variants to produce sequence-function relationships and engineering efforts
  • Research, collect, and apply new knowledge and emerging technologies to advance microbial development efforts
  • Bacterial growth and protein expression optimization (including consideration of strain/promoter optimization)
  • Work independently and as part of a dynamic team that exercises excellence in designing and executing experiments, analyzing results, and forming logical conclusions and next-steps based on data
  • Demonstrate strong attention to detail, meticulous record keeping, and excellent organizational skills
  • Manage R&D projects by planning timelines, communicating progress, and presenting updates to team members and upper management
  • Maintain current understanding of relevant research in the field
  • Uphold a high-standard of lab citizenship and safety in the workplace
  • Serve as a mentor and role-model to other team members
  • Maintain flexibility in light of changing priorities as the company evolves


  • PhD in Protein Biochemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Synthetic Biology, Enzymology, or similar discipline
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant industry experience or 5 years of combined Postdoctoral/Academic/Government and industry research beyond PhD
  • Experience with protein engineering, production, kinetics and optimization
  • Experience working with gram-positive bacteria, yeast, and/or fungi
  • Strong knowledge of biochemistry, enzyme catalysis, protein synthesis, protein functionality and mutagenesis
  • Expertise in bacterial engineering for protein production
  • Hands-on experience with common molecular biology methods such as Western blotting, molecular cloning/plasmid construction, fluorescence tagging, protein expression & purification, sample preparation etc.
  • Expertise in construct building and screening of engineered strains for improved protein production
  • Demonstrated comprehension of bacterial physiology, metabolism, gene expression and gene regulation
  • Experience in engineering microbes for the optimal production of natural products and/or secondary metabolites
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with other scientists and non-scientists alike
  • Team player with ability to mentor others and work cross-functionally

Additional Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Experience leading and building scientific teams
  • Experience working with non-model microbes
  • Experience in functional enzyme expression and activity assays
  • Experience working with gram positive bacteria secretory pathways
  • Expertise in classic and precision fermentation techniques
  • Knowledge of protein biochemistry and protein folding
  • Experience working in the alternative protein and/or plant-based food space
  • Computer and scripting skills (Benchling, Geneious, JMP, Python)

What we offer

Base salary in range of $100,000 - $150,000/yr depending on experience. Competitive benefits package, premium medical/dental/vision, 401(k) with company matching, flexible PTO, opportunity to work in an exciting startup environment, opportunities for vertical career growth, wellness stipend, free snacks, coffee and tea.

The culture

MeliBio is a journey into the future. It is a pioneering platform that empowers mindful innovators and brave creators of that future to make it sustainable for humankind and all the keystone species we share our planet with. MeliBio is about allowing science and imagination to integrate and connect. It is a place of diverse thoughts, voices, views, backgrounds, styles, approaches that nourishes its diversity with the belief that diversity empowers innovation. MeliBio is about the synergy of our future with the future of this planet, and believes that this shared future lies at the intersection of sustainability, health, and technological progress.

Our commitment

MeliBio, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We will consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability status, preferred identity, or any other characteristics protected by law.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to demonstrate proof of eligibility to work in the United States, proof of identity, and to complete necessary eligibility verification forms upon hire.

The Details

Oakland, California

About the Company


Plant-based honey made without bees.

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