Microbial Strain Engineer – Alternative Food Technology @ Aqua Cultured Foods

About the job

Aqua Cultured Foods is an innovative food technology company disrupting the alternative protein space with the world’s first whole-muscle cut seafood alternatives created through the process of microbial fermentation. Our novel technology produces a sustainable complete protein source using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. As our global challenges with overfishing, climate change and feeding the world’s expanding population grows, our mission is to create delicious, nutrient-rich foods to feed our growing population and protect our oceans. Join our team and your contributions will make an impactful difference.

We are actively seeking a seasoned, passionate, driven, and ambitious Microbial Strain Engineer to join us as a full-time team member.

Position Summary

We are recruiting an experienced microbial strain engineering scientist to join our team. The successful candidate will be responsible for building cell factories using genetic engineering methods. Specifically, this scientist will be testing the metabolic and physiological performance of microbes for the bioproduction of next generation sustainable materials and food products. This is a high impact position within a fast-paced and growing group. Individuals with hands-on experience in genetic engineering for microbial product synthesis are encouraged to apply.

Position Responsibilities

  • Identifying, evolving and/or engineering of Aqua Cultured Foods’ proprietary strains for the production of a biomass protein product
  • Identify metabolic pathways in strains to drive characterization and growth improvements
  • Develop suitable cultivation conditions and assays for screening the performance of your microbes
  • Develop, communicate, and execute strain development plans to ensure delivery of engineered strains
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of strain engineering methods
  • Routinely use software for sample tracking and data management
  • Regularly provide technical updates and share findings with team members and project stakeholders
  • Contribute to a team-oriented, positive, safe and inclusive work environment

Position Requirements

  • Ph.D. or Master’s degree in biotechnology, molecular biology, bioengineering, chemical or biological engineering (or related field)
  • 2 years of recent industrial research experience engineering microbial metabolism or developing new synthetic biology tools preferred
  • Previous success engineering multiple microorganisms selected from yeasts, bacteria and/or filamentous fungi
  • Hands-on experience with strain engineering techniques (preferably of non-model fungi, yeast or bacteria)
  • High proficiency with DNA design, manipulation, and analysis methods
  • High proficiency in bioinformatics with the ability to generate, organize, analyze and interpret next-gen sequencing (NGS) results
  • Previous success engineering multiple microorganisms selected from yeasts, bacteria or filamentous fungi
  • Self-motivated by problem solving in highly ambiguous situations
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment and influence technical direction


Selected candidate will work on-site with our team in the Chicago Office. Remote work is not available for this role.



We offer a comprehensive benefits package including paid time off, healthcare and 401K with company match.



To express your interest, please provide a short cover letter telling us why you’re perfect for this role, along with a resume detailing your experience.

Qualified Applicants will not require employer sponsored work authorization now or in the future for employment in the United States.

At Aqua Cultured Foods, we are committed to building a diverse, respectful, and inclusive workforce. We take being an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer seriously and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act), or any other applicable characteristics protected by law.


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Keith McAleer