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Research Associate - Synthetic Biology

Location: Skokie, IL

Department: Synthetic Biology

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

  • 4 Weeks Annual Vacation
  • Fantastic Benefits Package
  • Skokie, Greater Chicago

LanzaTech’s award winning technology is revolutionizing the way the world thinks about waste carbon by treating it as an opportunity instead of a liability. LanzaTech’s unique process provides a sustainable pathway to produce platform chemicals that serve as building blocks to products that have become indispensable in our lives such as rubber, plastics, synthetic fibers and fuels.

Named one of America’s most promising companies by Forbes Magazine in 2013, LanzaTech has received numerous sustainability awards including being listed on the Sustainia 100 in 2013 and the Global Clean Tech 100 for the past 3 years. LanzaTech currently holds the #2 position and the #4 position in Biofuel’s Digests’ Hot 50 rankings for bioenergy and Hot 30 rankings for renewable chemicals production. LanzaTech was also named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer for 2013. The 23 Technology Pioneers are made up of the world’s most innovative technologies recognized for their potential to transform the future of business and society.

LanzaTech has a number of global commercial partnerships including with oil majors Petronas and the Indian Oil Corporation, steel industry giants Harsco and Siemens VAI, chemical companies INVISTA and Evonik, and Virgin Atlantic in the aviation sector. These partnerships cut across the full supply chain – from resources through to end users, positioning LanzaTech to become a global leader in low carbon commodity fuels and chemicals.

About The Role

This position is to assist and support the Synthetic Biology team with their research projects developing advanced genetic tools and genetically engineering of LanzaTech’s proprietary bacteria for production of novel products. Types of activities include setting up and conducting laboratory experiments applying defined protocols and procedures as assembly of DNA, genetic modification, growth studies, enzyme assays and preparation of reagents and media. Generate re-producible and reliable results with great attention to detail.

Key Duties

  • Genetic modification of LanzaTech’s proprietary anaerobic bacteria and E. coli;
  • Assembly of DNA constructs for development of genetic tools and metabolically engineering;
  • Design and execution of multi-fragment cloning experiments;
  • Isolation, PCR and sequencing of DNA;
  • Preparation of libraries and screening of colonies of E. coli and LanzaTech’s proprietary anaerobic bacteria;
  • Cultivation, sampling, and growth studies of E. coli and LanzaTech’s proprietary anaerobic bacteria using sterile techniques;
  • Protein and DNA electrophoresis and purification; Enzymatic assays;
  • Loading and routine operation of liquid handling robots;
  • Preparation of sterile anaerobic and aerobic lab ware, media, buffer solutions and reagents as necessary to support the group, including quality control checks;
  • Maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment  and organization of laboratory areas to maintain an efficient laboratory setting;
  • Routine preparation and maintenance of a growing seed cultures;
  • Working with lab manager on re-stocking of lab ware, kits and enzymes used in the lab;
  • Compiles records and maintains data on results of analysis and communicates results to supervisor;
  • Analysing results and preparation of reports, presentations and text for patents and publications;
  • As required by supervisor, searches, reads and comprehends relevant scientific literature;
  • Attends seminars and participate in in group and project meeting as required;
  • Clearly document and maintain detailed laboratory notebooks and records computer files and into the LIMS software;
  • Contributing to and adhering to all safety standards and practices;
  • Participate in other lab activities as assigned;


Education & Experience


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology or related field
  • 1+ year of work experience in a laboratory environment in addition to course work;
  • Hands-on experience with multi-fragment cloning of DNA and sterile cultivation of bacteria is minimum requirement;
  • Experience working with proteins and bioinformatics tools and resources (e.g. Geneious, BLAST);
  • Experience in design of experiments, data analysis and statistics;
  • Proficient in standard computer/software programs (i.e. MS Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint);
  • Demonstrated ability to operate laboratory equipment (including basic maintenance and calibration);
  • Attention to details and the ability to work consistently and accurately;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Demonstrated working effectively in a team environment, organizational and prioritization skills;
  • Capable of time-management to complete tasks efficiently and within stated timelines;
  • The ability to keep a record of current projects in a well-organized lab notebook;
  • Experience working in accordance to good laboratory practices and adhere to safe standards and practices;


  • Industry experience in biotech;
  • Hands-on experience with cutting edge DNA assembly and cloning methods (e.g. SLIC, Gibson, CPEC, Golden Gate, etc);
  • Experience working with Clostridium or other anaerobic or Gram-positive bacteria is strongly preferred;
  • Understanding of bacterial metabolism and biochemistry;
  • Experience in metabolic engineering of bacteria or biofuels research;

This position is open to candidates authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for any employer. LanzaTech is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 






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