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Scientist II, Biology



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024
Brightseed®, the bioactives company is a World Economic Global Innovator that illuminates nature to restore human health. Brightseed’s proprietary AI, Forager®, accelerates bioactive discovery, biological validation, and ingredient formulation from years to months, rapidly revealing new connections between nature and humanity. Brightseed produces clinically proven bioactives for dietary supplements, food & beverage CPG, specialty nutrition and medical foods to power proactive health worldwide. Learn more at brightseedbio.com.
Bioactives are compounds found in plants, fungi, and bacteria that also benefit human health. They are an important part of a nutrient dense diet, and their health impact often goes beyond basic nutrition. For example, the bioactive lycopene found in tomatoes has been found to lower the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease. In addition, there are multitudes of other bioactives that are only accessible through complex interactions within the gut microbiome. One example is the compound salicin found in willow bark, which transforms into salicylic acid when it interacts with gut microbes. Science has long known that bioactives are critical to human health, yet the vast majority remain unknown and are often referred to as the “dark matter” of nutrition.
At Brightseed, you will be a part of building out an innovative biological investigation capability to uncover the health benefits of natural molecules isolated from major domains of life including plants, fungi, and microbes. As part of your work, you will develop our internal capabilities to perform high-throughput screening in collaboration with our computation and chemistry teams and design research strategies for lead compound validation. Ultimately, your work will result in the human health knowledge base as a crucial part of our Forager® platform and a portfolio of novel discoveries. This role will report to the Director of Discovery, and is based in South San Francisco.


  • Develop high-throughput screening biological assays to discover and characterize small molecule compounds from plants and/or microbes.
  • Design, develop, and deploy assays representing bioactivities of interest, including phenotypic, target-based, biomarker, and other functional screening assays.
  • Prepare, maintain and manage appropriate cell lines, biological tools, reagents, and other experimental resources supporting active biological investigations.
  • Team with in-house natural product chemists and computational biologists to perform bioactivity-guided screening of natural plant compounds.
  • Mentor team members in best practices and laboratory/data norms.
  • Deliver in vitro validated lead compounds for targeted bioactivities in discovery programs on time and within budget.
  • Lead innovation efforts to increase quality and efficiency of high throughput screening pipeline.
  • Contribute to project design and problem solving.


  • Degree in Molecular or Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Bioengineering, or related biological fields.
  • Scientist II: Requires a PhD in a scientific discipline with 2+ years related industry experience, MS with 4+ years related industry experience, or BS with 7+ experience. May include post-doctoral experience.
  • A track record of achievements in designing or working in high throughput screening laboratories, managing projects independently and delivering robust results and data packages in time and on spec.
  • Excellent computer and quantitative skills, including scientific record-keeping and technical document management as well as technical proficiency with MS Office, CRM’s, and virtual meeting tools.
  • Ability to effectively analyze and communicate complex concepts, data, and interpretations, both in writing and speaking/presentation, and effectively present scientific data across a wide range of audiences.
  • A broad skill set in mammalian tissue culture, proficient in molecular biology techniques: qPCR, RNA isolation, Western Blotting, ELISA assays (MSD), and cell-based reporter assays.
  • Experience with automated liquid handling and high content screening is a plus.
  • Ability to think logically and make connections between observations, research results, and existing knowledge to provide practical solutions.
  • Ability to work well with and build strong relationships across multiple teams.
  • Self-starting, entrepreneurial orientation a must.
  • Strong attention to detail and safety.


  • This position will consist of approximately 20% desk work, and 80% lab work.
  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer in an office environment.
  • Must be able to lift up to 20 pounds at one time.
  • Prolonged periods of sitting and standing in a lab environment.
  • Wearing PPE during work in lab environment.


  • The salary range for this position is $136,000 - $151,000.
  • Compensation for this position is commensurate with relevant qualifications and work experience, academic credentials, job related skills, employment location and other factors.
As a lab based company, where in person collaboration is key to drive innovation, we encourage all team members to be in our office most days each week. However we appreciate and honor the need and desire for flexibility and have implemented a hybrid working model for some positions which will be outlined on the job description. Our property provides a professional gym onsite, plenty of free parking, weekly tenant events and a state-of-the-art lab and office.
We offer a competitive total rewards package with team-first benefits programs for full-time employees, including medical, dental and vision coverage, unlimited paid time off, life insurance, employee assistance programs, 401(k) plan, a mental health platform, employee discounts, payroll credits for cell phone and commuter costs and a paid parental leave program.
We are committed to making transformative discoveries with a team-first mentality. Successful team members are truth-seeking and trusting, with the tenacity required to trail-blaze in uncharted territory. We are a collaborative team that actively seeks input and values differing perspectives. And we produce tangible results, holding ourselves accountable in the process.
We are also committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of connectedness and inclusion. We grow and learn together, respecting professional and personal experiences, areas of expertise, and types of self expression.
In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that each one of us brings in terms of education, opinions, culture, color, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, different abilities, sexual orientation and beliefs.
Brightseed requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. If hired we will require you to provide proof of vaccination.