Research Associate, Upstream Process Development – Media Development | BlueNalu, Inc. | San Diego, CA

BlueNalu, Inc. is a fast-growing, San Diego-based company that is pioneering the production of seafood products derived directly from fish cells. Using proprietary cell biology techniques and engineering processes, BlueNalu’s platform technology can produce a wide array of value-added seafood products, that are healthy for people, humane for animals, and sustainable for the planet.

Job Summary:

The Research Associate will be based at the company’s office(s) in San Diego, CA. The Research associate will work with BlueNalu’s Media development team as well as other team members to help create food grade media formulations for use in manufacturing. This individual will work cross- functionally with R&D, Bioprocess Engineering, Quality, Operations, and other functional areas as needed.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Assist in the design and execution of experiments using sound scientific principles to optimize cell culture media formulations.
  • Develop working knowledge of cell culture raw materials to participate in formulation development and troubleshooting.
  • Influence and assist in the management of efficient experimental designs in order to evaluate and scale-up formulations.
  • Perform statistical analysis on characterization/validation data and prepare and present summary reports.
  • Timely and thorough documentation and completion of laboratory notebooks.
  • Follow Standard Operating Procedures and adhere to all safety and company policies.
  • Independent preparation of reagents and cell cultures for formulation testing experiments.
  • Participate in drafting of experimental documentation and new SOPs.

Jobs Supervised (by title):

Director, Bioprocess Development (temp)

Principal Scientist, Bioprocess Development (future)


Less than 5%.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education and Experience: Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences (i.e. biology, chemistry, bioengineering or biochemistry) with at least 3 years of working experience in relevant areas, or a

M.S. degree in Biological Sciences with at least 1 year of relevant working experience.

  • Experience working in a self-driven, performance/results oriented, fast paced matrix environment with excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Experience in preparation of raw materials for cell culture media and chemicals and proper handling
  • Strong skills in fish or mammalian cell culture maintenance and aseptic techniques; excellent manual dexterity. Preference for experience with both adherent and suspension cell cultures.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with expertise in the use of automated cell culture robotic hardware and software. Training or interest in automation software and hardware systems is a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work in cross functional teams, meet deadlines, and prioritize multiple projects and communicate efficiently.
  • Prior experience with cell line maintenance, general molecular biology work, and generation of culture media stock solutions and complete formulations.
  • Strong scientific and organization skills; ability to perform standard laboratory math calculations for determining cell doubling time, cell concentration, seeding density and concentration, and molarity for making laboratory solutions and media.
  • Strong working experience in culture, cell-based assay, and live imaging and fluorescence microscopy.
  • Strong scientific and technical writing and presentations.
  • Flexibility to work rotating weekend shifts.
  • Legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Sense of humor.

Materials and Equipment Directly Used:

  • Office machinery including computers, printers, copiers, etc.
  • Microsoft Office Suite and other computer systems such as statistical software (JMP, Graphpad).
  • Basic lab equipment such as pH meters, weigh scales, mixing and separation equipment etc.

Working Environment / Physical Demands:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Work Environment:

  • Must understand vague and implicit instructions and react favorably in all work situations.
  • Must be mentally adaptable and flexible in dealing with a variety of people.
  • Emotional stability and personal maturity are important attributes in this position.
  • Must be able to resolve problems, handle conflict and make decisions under pressure.
  • Ability to give, to receive, and analyze information, formulate work plans and prepare written materials and articulate goals and action plans.
  • Must understand people and be able to communicate effectively.
  • Ability to work with and directly handle products containing Major US Allergens and sensitizing agents such as fish, soy, and shellfish.
  • Able to carry up to 50 lbs.
  • On site laboratory, requires exposure to machines, chemicals, and solvents.

Additional Information

BlueNalu, Inc. provides an attractive compensation and benefits package. All applicants must be authorized to work in the US, and willing and able to work a flexible work schedule to meet the needs of the Company. BlueNalu, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. This is an excellent opportunity to join a small but quickly growing company where everybody’s contribution is equally important. BlueNalu is seeking team players that are driven, focused, creative, proactive and productive, with excellent written and verbal communication skills, and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. We are also seeking team members that enjoy and thrive in the atmosphere of a very fast-paced entrepreneurial environment, have a good sense of humor, and are personally motivated to make a difference to humanity and our planet.

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