In-Vitro Assay Development Scientist

  • Pivot Bio
  • Berkeley, CA
  • May 21, 2020
Full Time

Job Description

About Pivot Bio

Fueled by an innovative drive and a deep understanding of the soil microbiome, Pivot Bio is pioneering game-changing advances in agriculture.  Our first commercial product harnesses the power of naturally-occurring microbes to provide nutrients to crops. We are dedicated to providing new sustainable ways for farmers to improve yield as they work to help feed the world’s growing population.  Read/Hear more about Pivot Bio on OneZero or CNN.

Pivot Bio is seeking an In-Vitro Assay Development Scientist to develop assays that are predictive of microbial performance in-planta. The ideal candidate will have expertise in biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, and microbial physiology. We are looking for someone who is energized by solving creatively and excited to tackle a key agricultural challenge in a fast-paced and supportive environment. 

Location: Berkeley, CA Headquarters


  • Develop & scale in-vitro assays that are predictive of microbial performance in-planta (establishment, proliferation, activity) and in complex microbiomes (fitness, niche). 
  • Collaborate with our Isolation and Strain Optimization teams to adapt existing assays to novel microbes. 
  • Work with our Plant and Data Science teams on small scale plant assays.
  • Develop dashboards and reports to communicate strain performance. 
  • Write standard operating procedures, process transfer documents, and provide training and guidance to research staff. 
  • Contribute to identifying, validating, and managing CROs for offsite analyses.

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Must have a Ph.D. in microbiology, biological engineering, biochemistry, or a related field with at least 5 years of industrial experience or an M.S. with at least 8 years of industrial experience 
  • Strong understanding of microbial physiology and common plant-model systems (cereal crops preferred)
  • At least 2 years of experience developing and scaling assays for non-standard microbes
  • Exceptional organizational, communication (written and oral), interpersonal and customer service skills 
  • Experience with tech transfer and training
  • Strong experience with data visualization and analysis tools including: Python, R, SpotFire, and JMP 
  • Prior experience mentoring or directly supervising junior researchers preferred
  • Experience with fluorescence and/or confocal microscopy desired

*Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

What we offer:

  • Work that makes an impact on food sustainability and climate change
  • Competitive package in a disruptive startup
  • Stock options
  • Health/Dental/Vision insurance with employer-paid premiums
  • Life, Short Term and Long Term Disability policies
  • Employee Assistance Program with free referrals and discounts
  • 401(k) plan, 3% Match
  • Commuter benefits
  • Annual Training & Development support
  • Flexible vacation policy with a generous holiday schedule
  • Opportunity to work with a talented and fun team developing a revolutionary product

Will sponsor Visa



51-200 employees  


Food & Agriculture

Climate Solutions

Nutrient Management