Director, Fermentation Process Development

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About Willow Biosciences:

Our multidisciplinary team of world-leading discovery biologists, biochemists and geneticists is dedicated to harnessing the therapeutic potential of plants. We have developed a fully integrated synthetic biology solution for cannabinoid biosynthesis.

Job Listing: Director, Fermentation Process Development

We are seeking an experienced Director, Fermentation Process Development to lead projects developing, optimizing, advancing, and scaling fermentation processes within Willow and with our partners. The successful candidate will have expertise in microbial fermentation (yeast), experimental design, and a deep understanding of scale-up and scale-down processes. The Director is responsible for working with our strain engineering group, development collaborators and operations group to develop commercial manufacturing process with our production partners. 

Education: Advanced degree in Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Chemistry or a related field. 

Experience: 7+ years of industry experience is required and experience in fermentation technology, process development, and scale-up in an industrial research setting is preferred. We prefer candidates who are familiar with bench-scale, pilot scale and ideally, manufacturing scale fermentation development.

Position: This position is for a highly motivated and experienced individual with a strong desire to work in a fast-paced, collaborative startup environment. Responsibilities will include: the development of a robust and cost-effective yeast fermentation process involving optimization, advancement, and scale-up of fermentation processes for a number of different yeast strains.

Job Description: 

  • Lead the design, execution, and analysis of critical fermentation process development experiments to advance corporate projects and goals. Experiments will be conducted at a variety of scales, ranging from bench to manufacturing scale.
  • Work with internal and external teams to develop and optimize yeast fermentation processes
  • Address critical issues in fermentation. Set and execute the strategic direction for process development
  • Work with partners to troubleshoot and improvement processes through novel and creative scientific approaches
  • Contribute to the strain engineering R&D efforts by providing guidance on optimal fermentation conditions
  • Actively participate in fermentation development process to improve robustness, performance, and cost-effectiveness by suggesting and implementing process improvements
  • Manage technical relationships with development, production and commercial partners
  • Lead internal and external technology transfer projects

Required Skills: 

  • Experience working with various microbes, fermentation processes, and product types
  • Strong understanding of the connection between microbial physiology and process performance
  • Strong data analysis and statistical skills
  • Outstanding team player with strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Capable of high-performance work in an independent and team setting 
  • Attention to detail and good laboratory practice
  • Strong desire to grow, learn, and adopt new technologies and techniques for process improvements

Position Type:

  • Full-time position


  • Yes.  Travel to other R&D sites, technology and production partners as needed

Work Authorization:

  • Authorized to work in the US


  • Healthcare Benefits – medical, vision, dental
  • Vacation + Paid Holidays
  • 401k
  • Life / AD&D, Short-term and Long-term Disability Insurance

Equal Opportunity Employment:

  • Willow Biosciences is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.  We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics.  All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need.
Location: Mountain view, CA
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