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Senior 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.
Brightseed seeks an experienced biological scientist with a background in discovery and characterization of small molecules that address human health. This lab-based role will organize and oversee small molecule screening and characterization projects, driving collaborative research from the bench into preclinical translation. The ideal candidate will lead a team in developing next-generation high-throughput screening strategies, generating evidence to support translation of molecules to clinical outcomes and ultimately, commercialization. If you're passionate about natural molecule research, join our multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers to advance human health. This role will report to the Director of Discovery, and is based in South San Francisco.


  • Develop, source and implement robust high-throughput screening biological assays representing bioactivities of interest, including phenotypic, target-based, biomarker, and other functional assays for hit finding, lead identification, optimization, and mechanistic characterization.
  • Design, conduct, and analyze in vitro experiments to characterize the biological activity of natural plant compounds and their potential to address a variety of health conditions.
  • Oversee and build upon Brightseed’s molecular biological capabilities and workflows in collaboration with functional teams covering computation, natural products chemistry, metabolomics and translational and clinical research, ensuring the discovery pipeline is populated with high-potential lead compounds.
  • Build strong working relationships across cross-functional teams, effectively present scientific data, and ensure seamless program coordination.
  • Provide scientific mentorship to the Biology team, support multiple projects with biological science services, and oversee research activities with external collaborators and CROs.
  • Meet program/project deliverables on time and within budget, offering practical solutions to problems and contributing to program scoping through Technical Feasibility Documents.


  • Normally requires a PhD in cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or related biological field; may include post-doctoral experience.
  • Senior Scientist - PhD with 6-8+ years related industry experience, or MS with 10+ years related industry experience.
  • Individuals who inspire excellence in themselves and those around them.
  • Demonstrated success in designing and implementing small molecule screening strategies in early-stage and hit-to-lead discovery programs, with strong experience in cell-based assay development and mechanistic target biology research.
  • A comprehensive background in developing, optimizing, and troubleshooting robust functional and binding-based biochemical assays (such as HTRF, luminescence, and fluorescence) is essential.
  • Requires experience in working independently in the lab, hands-on experience in operating state-of-the-art analytical systems like MSD, liquid handler, automation system, plate readers and FLIPR.
  • Demonstrated leadership in cross-functional collaborations and program management, coupled with the ability to provide analytical and process design skills and root cause analysis within teams.
  • Proficient in independently leading research from discovery to early development stages, managing program priorities, and multitasking in rapidly changing environments.
  • Capability to integrate, analyze, and interpret extensive scientific datasets to identify lead molecules, alongside a keen attention to detail and a commitment to rigorous data review.
  • Self-starter with strong organizational and planning skills, demonstrating critical and creative thinking, and the ability to work independently and efficiently.
  • Strong listening, writing, and communication skills.
  • Provide technical leadership by training and mentoring junior team members.
  • Management experience is highly valued as this role could expand into managing a small team of scientists.


  • 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 $160,000 - $185,000.
  • 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.