Research Associate I, Enzyme Catalysis


About Debut

Debut is the unconventional innovation lab spearheading the next generation of big business. Only Debut has a scalable, integrated, climate-positive creation model powered by biotechnology that puts human wellbeing at the center of everything we do—setting the new standard for profitable business and a new pace for an ever-changing world.  Our hybrid biotechnology approaches unlock latent markets, providing access to sustainably produced, natural ingredients with health benefits that cannot be obtained through other methods. We are committed to traversing the entire process, from ingredient discovery to the scaling of these products, for consumer markets. If you are passionate, enjoy fast-paced innovation and collaborative teams, then Debut is for you.  


Debut Biotechnology is seeking a Research Associate I to aid in the development of enzymatic processes and engineering of biocatalytic proteins. This work will encompass optimizing cell-free enzymatic processes, as well as engineering enzymes for applications in cell-free processes or multi-step pathways in microbial strains. The Research Associate I will work collaboratively with other team members and with functional groups across Debut R&D.  

Essential Functions 

  • Ability to execute complex experimental workflows and interpret complex data.  
  • Write technical documents, including detailed lab notebooks, standard operating procedures, and regular research update presentations. 
  • Detail-oriented, self-motivated, and enjoy taking on complex challenges. 
  • Excellent collaborative and communication skills, and ability to excel in a team environment. 
  • This position is fully on-site in San Diego, and is centered on work in the laboratory. 

Education and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s Degree; OR Associates Degree + 2 years of experience; OR HS Diploma/GED + 4 years of experience in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or related discipline 
  • Experience with DNA manipulation, protein expression and purification, and enzyme activity assays is preferred. 
  • Experience with high throughput enzyme screening is welcomed.  
  • Experience developing cell-free or fermentation processes is welcomed.  

Essential Physical Characteristics 

The physical characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a job, on a case-by-case basis. 

  • Continuous upward and downward flexion of the neck.  
  • Frequent: sitting, repetitive use of hands to operate computers, printers and copiers.  
  • Frequently uses hands to feel objects or control tools (e.g. pipetting).  Laboratory operations require dexterity and care to perform studies as required. 
  • Occasional: walking, standing, climbing stairs, bending and twisting of neck, bending and twisting of waist, squatting, simple grasping, reaching above and below shoulder level, and occasional lifting and carrying of files or material weighing up to 50 pounds. 
  • Must be willing to work with biohazardous agents (up to BSL2) and chemicals. 
  • The R&D laboratory will result in exposure to hot and cold temperatures, noise, fumes, limited dust, and oily coolants. 
  • 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. 

Condition of Employment 

As part of Debut’s pre-employment process, prospective candidates will undergo a background check prior to beginning employment. Additional types of background investigations may be conducted based on the job-related activities of the position. 

Debut 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. 


Salary: $70,000 - $85,000 

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