Lab Manager Posted Dec 22, 2020
Genomatica , San Diego, CA
Lab Manager
Full Time Regular Full-Time
San Diego, CA, US

Position Summary

Genomatica develops commercial biobased processes to make widely-used chemicals that enable better, more sustainable everyday products. That enables our partners and leading brands to offer better food packaging, auto parts, clothing, tires, carpets, and more.

We’ve commercialized processes for bio-BDO (for plastics) and for biobased butylene glycol (for cosmetics); and our technology drives the world’s first commercial-scale biobased plant for a major intermediate chemical. We’re working on polyamide intermediates (nylon) and on butadiene (tires); and we’re helping numerous companies with their bioprocesses. We have more on the way.

We’re looking for a highly motivated, collaborative, organized, detail-oriented individual with a background in Life Sciences and experience in an operational role to support R&D activities. This person will hire, train, and manage a small team of Lab Assistants who perform basic lab support duties such as glassware, autoclaving and media preparation. They will also be the main purchasing resource for the lab by maintaining inventory levels and fulfilling order requests from lab personnel, distributing supplies as they are received and some light shipping/receiving functions. They will also serve a key role in the maintenance, calibration, and repair of lab equipment. This role serves as the main point of contact for any lab related issues apart from scientific discovery activities.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

-Regularly communicate with vendors and actively maintain positive relationships with vendors to ensure the smooth flow of supplies and competitive pricing.
-Experience working with UPS and FEDEX to ship out non-hazmat shipments such as lab equipment and computer equipment, both domestically and internationally.
-Troubleshoot and perform light equipment repair. Work with OEM tech support to diagnose problems and arrange for on-site repair or ship back to vendor for depot repair.
-Work with 3rd parties to arrange for annual calibrations for pipets and balances.
-Perform daily oversight and management for 1-3 Lab Assistants. Must be able to perform all Lab Assistant duties to prevent disruptions during any Lab Assistant absences, if needed.
-Coordinate with Facilities Dept. for any service occurring in the lab space, such as: cold room PM, freezer PM, autoclave PM, BSC certifications, floor waxing, etc.
-Manage off-site strain collection, including driving backups to local facility and shipping milestone strains to East Coast backup facility.
-Manage off-site storage location, including transporting small equipment to/from storage and lab.
-Work with IT department to keep lab computers patched and updated, ensuring patching process doesn’t interrupt any data collection.
-Manage service contracts and service visits for lab equipment
Work closely with EH&S staff to ensure all safety regulations are being followed, including internal policies and procedures

Qualifications & Experience

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required in order satisfactorily perform in this role.


Bachelor of Science from an accredited 4 year university with a degree in Biology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Enzymology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or similar


-Must have direct experience in an R&D role, either in academia or industry. Prokaryotic strain engineering would be ideal but most types of research would be acceptable. Targeting 1-4 years of experience in a research role. Although this background is required for perspective, it will not be a typical part of this role.
-Must have experience in a lab support operational role: ordering supplies, managing calibration and service of equipment, supervising lab assistants or other basic support functions, cleaning and organizing of a lab, etc. This aspect accounts for the full scope of this position, although other duties may be assigned such as participation on the Safety Committee, interacting with Facilities and EH&S, etc.

Knowledge Requirements

-Experience with standard lab equipment, such plate readers, PCR machines, spectrophotometers, electrophoresis apparatus, pipets, etc.
DOT/IATA certified for receiving hazardous materials
-Technological literacy with an emphasis on Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and Word
-Familiarity with separations equipment, analytical equipment and fermentation equipment a strong advantage.
-Safety Regulations, as they relate to lab work, such as: fire department regulations, department of environmental health regulations, wastewater regulations, etc.


-Strong mechanical aptitude. Should be able to perform basic equipment repair such as replace fuses, replace broken drive belts, lubricating rails, etc.
-Comfortable presenting to large audiences and contributing in discussions
-Excellent organization, prioritization, time management and planning skills
-Excellent written and oral communication skills
-Team player committed to success and getting the job done well
-Approachable, solutions-oriented, and able to maintain composure
-Desire to learn new things, positive attitude, and enthusiasm

Work Environment/ Physical Demands

The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Must be able to stand for extended periods. Must be able to frequently lift 50 pounds unassisted. Must be able to transport equipment with a dolly (freezers, incubators, etc.). Must be able to scrape and defrost freezers.

Genomatica is committed to providing exciting career opportunities in an environment that values trust, respect, openness, teamwork, creativity, enthusiasm, and diligence. We strive to create a culture that enables and encourages everyone to bring their whole selves to work. We are committed to be a company where everyone feels they have equal opportunity to reach their potential. Everyone is accepted and appreciated for who they are and what they bring to Genomatica.

We promote the continued development of an inclusive environment that values diversity through Geno4All, our employee led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. We are looking for innovative, highly motivated, and collaborative people who enjoy the challenges and rewards of a company devoted to commercializing cutting-edge sustainable technology.

Check us out on our LinkedIn Life page. Genomatica is an equal opportunity employer.

Qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by law.

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