Sr Research Scientist

Job ID
Research & Development
Location : City
San Luis Obispo
Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Job Description

PRIMARY PURPOSE: This candidate will be focused on the chemistry of protein modification and surface immobilization, joining a team of chemists focused on inventing new molecules and materials as part of the Chemistry Discovery Group at Promega Biosciences in San Luis Obispo, California. This inventor will be an integral part of a multifunctional team of biologists and chemists that drive the discovery and development of new technologies for our life science research product portfolio. We seek a candidate to be the subject matter expert for enzyme immobilization and protein functionalization for the entire group, adding additional capabilities to the world class enzyme/substrate tools that we develop at Promega. A blend of organic synthesis, protein analytical chemistry and understanding of surface functionalization and characterization will be used to execute on this mission. This candidate will work on multiple projects simultaneously, creating additional value across our portfolio of technology platforms.

Interest in a broad range of scientific topics along with the drive and creativity to invent new materials and methods within a team is expected. Will work within cross-functional teams to foster innovation, quality and productivity, uphold high standards of scientific performance, and advance corporate objectives and strategies. We seek a candidate that nurtures a collaborative environment through the courage of independent thought, the empathy of listening to diverse perspectives, and the drive to individually demonstrate the proof of concept within a team context.




⦁ Ph.D. in Chemistry or a Chemistry related discipline with 5+ years experience.

⦁ Broad knowledge and hands-on experiences in a chemistry laboratory and synthetic chemistry.

⦁ Must show technical proficiency, independent thought and creative problem solving. Strong knowledge of scientific principles and concepts required. Must be a subject matter expert in at least one area of relevance to Promega research.

⦁ Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

⦁ Experience with standard analytical chemistry characterization techniques required.

⦁ Ability to present research results to others in group, senior management, outside customers.




⦁ Chemical biology with a particular emphasis on current bio-orthogonal labeling and bio-conjugate chemistry techniques.


⦁ Ability to work both independently and in teams to develop fit for purpose bioconjugation and surface modification strategies.


⦁ A fundamental understanding of biophysics to evaluate and optimize interactions at interfaces of dissimilar materials.




⦁ Good computer skills, including working knowledge of relevant computer software applications such as Word, Excel, and Chem Draw.


⦁ Statistical and data analysis. 


⦁ Protein visualization and characterization, particularly of modified proteins. 




⦁ Create and characterize novel materials that will ultimately enhance our customer’s experience. As appropriate, file and defend IP on inventions arising from these efforts.

⦁ Apply knowledge and experience to solve complex scientific problems working within an internal team of chemists and biologists. Strive for synergistic co-creativity within that team.

⦁ Independently organize, develop, and execute research plans for projects. With the team, create internal and external alignment for the project.

⦁ Maintain accurate research documentation sufficiently detailed for reproducibility. Prepare project status reports and other management reports.

⦁ Present results to and elicit information from outside scientific collaborators as appropriate within each project.

⦁ Interface with highly valued internal and external customers with professionalism.

⦁ Maintain high level of knowledge related to current developments in protein functionalization and immobilization, chemical biology and life science tool development.




⦁ Must be able to create eloquent research summaries and compelling presentations.

⦁ Must be fully competent in basic chemistry, arithmetic, algebra and basic statistical analysis.

⦁ Must be capable of executing complex experimental protocols with accuracy and consistency. Requires good organizational skills.

⦁ Should embrace the challenge of risky, long-term, highly collaborative research projects that may not succeed. Should be comfortable with accepting when those projects don’t work out.

⦁ Focus on the success of the team and the company in addition to personal success.

⦁ Other essential skills: Decision‑making, perception and analysis, comprehension and memorization.




⦁ Ability to work at lab bench or fume hood for extended period of time.

⦁ Ability to wear protection gear (gloves, lab coat, safety glasses, etc.



The primary work area is the Discovery laboratory, where there is the possibility of exposure chemicals that are used in the development of products and potential new products. Because all processes are conducted according to safety and environmental procedures, exposures will be minimal and below OSHA levels as found in SDSs for the compounds. Proper protection and safety training (i.e., fume hoods, breathing air, gloves, safety glasses) will be required and provided. Exposure to cold, freezing and sub-freezing temperatures may occur. Exposure to high temperature may occur. Exposure to noise from equipment used in manufacturing processes may occur.


Errors in judgment regarding development, implementation and evaluation of research may impede completion and/or successful outcome of corporate goals and objectives. Failure to provide timely and satisfactory results, or lack of professionalism and diplomacy would negatively impact relations with intra-company customers and highly valued outside customers.

Must follow all established safety procedures to avoid any risk of harm or hazardous exposure to the person or others. Must investigate safety protocols for use of materials which have not been used at PBI before, and ensure that a safe working environment is maintained. Many federal and state regulations could be compromised if poor judgment is exercised, including the regulations of OSHA and the local Fire Department. Misuse of equipment may result in damage and undue economic loss and may also promote undue safety hazards. Must also adhere to strict regulations on confidentiality with regard to experimental results, research objectives, and overall corporate goals.


Expected to assist in deciding the direction of research programs. Would propose new technologies or technical products. Responsible for conducting a search of relevant scientific literature, and development of a series of experiments to test new technologies or technical refinement. Would oversee and implement all necessary research related to new technology or technical improvement.  Has the opportunity to pursue unexpected opportunities arising from existing research projects.




Promega Biosciences, located in San Luis Obispo, blends innovative research in chemistry with excellence in manufacturing to meet the rapidly changing needs of the scientific community. We synthesize and manufacture essential reagents to help Promega succeed as a life science leader.

Our areas of expertise include synthesis, process design and scale-up, and commercial manufacturing (grams to kilograms) of modified luciferins and coelenterazines. These pro-bioluminescent products aid in life science research. We bring pride, passion, and purpose to our work and the products we provide.

Promega Biosciences offers its employees a work environment that encourages creativity, work-life balance, and personal and professional growth. We support community involvement and are committed to being good stewards and reducing our impact on the environment. Promega fosters a positive, fun, and warm family culture. To learn more about our values, please visit our Corporate Responsibility website.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package including comprehensive medical insurance, dental and vision insurance, 401k matching, company-paid life insurance, time-off benefits, and more.

Our San Luis Obispo facility is at the heart of California’s beautiful central coast. San Luis Obispo is a destination for wine aficionados, nature lovers, and pleasure-seekers alike. You might enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean from one of our scenic Nine Sisters, a chain of volcanic peaks that run along the coast. Or, spend a day gallivanting around the many wineries, local boutiques, and renowned restaurants in the area. Proclaimed as the “happiest town in the USA”, our community provides a rich and rewarding place to live and play. To learn more about San Luis Obispo, check out the VisitSLO website.


Diversity is important at Promega. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer, and make employment decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class.


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