Scientist, Enzyme Catalysis


About Debut

Debut is a high-growth company located in sunny San Diego, CA. At the heart of our ethos is the ability of synthetic biology to create over 60% of the material inputs for society to provide a sustainable future. While many have attempted to achieve this goal using traditional fermentation, no platform can convert low-cost renewable feedstocks into ANY material; our advanced biomanufacturing platform will be the first. At Debut, we promise that your day-to-day innovation will drive us closer to realizing this critical vision and that failure is OK when shooting for the stars; if you’re not failing, you’re not pushing hard enough. We genuinely believe that Debut will be THE biomanufacturing company and the vision for a better tomorrow motivates our team. If you are passionate, like fast-paced innovation and close-knit teams, then Debut is for you.

The Role

Debut Biotech is hiring a full-time Scientist for our rapidly growing team. You will work closely with other project team members and our external partner to advance the science. This project focuses on creating biotherapeutics with our proprietary cell-free platform. Specifically, you will utilize the cell-free enzyme platform to create specific post translational modifications on biotherapeutics alongside a world leading partner. You will have the opportunity to expand your technical skill set while working on cutting-edge core technology on this team. We are looking for candidates with a sense of urgency, contagious optimism, and a can-do attitude. They must lead by example and hold themselves and others accountable while maintaining productive and professional relationships within the team.

What you will be doing

  • Design and develop activity assays specific enzymes used in biotherapeutic modification.
  • Work with our Gene Discovery team to identify candidate enzymes and homologs.
  • Establish protein expression and purification conditions for R&D.
  • Lead troubleshooting efforts for protein expression and enzyme activity assays.
  • Optimize biocatalysis reactions for specific products and produce material for analysis.
  • Writing technical documents, which include standard operating procedures, detailed lab notebooks, and monthly update presentations.

What you bring to the table

  • A Master’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or other disciplines with 3+ years’ experience, or a Ph.D. in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry or other associated disciplines.
  • Broad molecular biology experience, including DNA manipulation, protein purification, enzyme activity assays.
  • Previous work with heterologous expression systems.
  • Previous work on enzymes used in post translational modifications of monoclonal antibodies.
  • Previous work on enzyme screening in high throughput is welcomed.
  • Strong collaborative skills and ability to excel in a fast-paced environment.
  • May be required to stand for long periods while performing duties. 
  • Must be flexible to work varying schedules and hours as needed. 
  • Must be able to work safely with chemicals and hazardous materials.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous agents (up to BSL2).
  • Work requires sufficient hand, arm, and finger dexterity to operate computer keyboard and office equipment. Laboratory operations require dexterity and care to perform studies as required.
  • The R&D laboratory will result in exposure to hot and cold temperatures, noise, fumes, limited dust, and oily coolants.
  • Requires walking, climbing stairs, bending and occasional lifting of material up to fifty (50) pounds.
  • The performance of this position will present exposure to an industrial environment and requires support and compliance with the published Company PPE policy including but not limited to the use of personal protective equipment such as safety glasses with side shields, appropriate attire, safety shoes, hard hat, hearing protection, etc.
  • Must be willing to work non-standard hours supporting a 24/7 operation including weekends.
  • Debut Biotech is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $110,000.00 - $120,000.00 per year


  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible schedule
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Referral program
  • Relocation assistance
  • Vision insurance

Supplemental pay types:

  • Bonus pay


  • Master's (Preferred)

Work Location: One location

To learn more about Debut please see:

DSM Agrees to Evaluate Debut’s Scalable Cell-Free Manufacturing Platform (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News):

Next gen cell-free biomanufacturing could unlock opportunities to synthesize natural ingredients (Food Navigator-USA):

Debut Biotech Awarded $1M from Air Force Research Lab for aerospace applications of cell-free biomanufacturing (PRWeb):

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