Are you a Drosophila geneticist who is passionate about sustainability? Do you want to optimize the world’s first Drosophila-based expression platform and change the future of food?
At Future Fields, our mission is to unleash the full potential of cellular agriculture.
We create growth factors for the cellular agriculture industry. These are vital components of cell growth media - the liquid nutrients used to grow lab grown meat, milk, leather, and more. The cost of cell growth media remains the biggest barrier to commercialization for cell ag companies. Our bioreactor-free technology reduces the production cost of lab grown meat by up to 90%. In other words - our products let cell ag companies commercialize products at high volumes and competitive price points.
We’re fueling the next agricultural revolution.
At Future Fields, we are continually learning and evolving. We know we don’t have all the answers, but we try to ask all the questions. We believe in “failing forward” and leveraging our mistakes to help us grow. We never want our team to feel constrained by the status quo and we don’t judge ideas based on where they come from. We actively work to foster a culture of collaboration, innovation and psychological safety through transparency, structure, and open communication. We know it sounds cliche, but every employee really is a valued and equal member of the Future Fields team.
Come find your purpose with Future Fields and change the future of food.
We are a young and rapidly growing venture backed startup (with support from awesome investors including Bee Partners, Y Combinator, and Pioneer Fund). Joining our team now means you’ll have the opportunity to shape our culture and products, to lead others, and to influence the direction of our company. Perhaps most importantly - you’ll be joining a team that is genuinely energized by this work and the meaningful potential of cellular agriculture to change the world.
About the role
The Genetics Lead exists to optimize our EntoEngine platform and ultimately create the highest quality recombinant proteins available on the market today. From perfecting transgenic Drosophila strains to building out our genetics dream team, this is a key leadership role on our Research and Development team.
The Genetics Lead will work collaboratively with the R&D unit of our business under the leadership of our VP of R&D, Avi. They will work intimately with our Protein Purification and Engineering Teams and directly supervise one junior scientist (for now). This role will attend weekly science and all-hands meetings and participate in collaborative discussions on Future Fields’ R&D and production strategy and business goals.
This role will own the optimization of our genetic systems for maximal growth factor and recombinant protein expression in Drosophila. They will lead our genetics team as it gets built out, providing mentorship and supervision to junior team members. They will be responsible for leading the development of all transgenic strains used in the production of our recombinant protein products. These products are part of our long-term strategy and can be found within our product roadmap. They will also work with our Protein Purification team to develop the broader production process with each particular recombinant protein product. Specific responsibilities include:
- Molecular cloning of target genes into transposon vectors - primer design, PCR, restriction enzyme cloning, plasmid DNA purification, and DNA analysis
- Investigating and designing novel methods of gene expression within the Drosophila system - designing new plasmids and features for enhanced expression of transgenes
- General fly husbandry - tending to transgenic strains and maintaining existing stocks
- Setting up genetic crosses - planning and designing mating schemes to express transgenes, balancing transgenic strains to prevent expression loss, investigating new transgenic crosses for enhanced expression
- General experimental design and troubleshooting
This role will assist by:
- Supporting our VP of R&D with new product strategy and development
- Guiding our Engineering team to expand relevant transgenic strains into production level stocks for product generation
- Supporting our Protein Purification team in developing protocols for expression testing and upstream protein purification processes
- Helping other members of the genetics team with general fly husbandry and stock maintenance
- Advising our regulatory team as needed and providing information, including written reports, to meet reporting requirements and help us reach critical regulatory milestones
- Participating in the recruiting and hiring process as the genetics team grows
This role requires an advanced degree (PhD or MSc) in genetics or a related field; extensive experience with the Drosophila melanogaster model organism and the associated genetic tools; the ability to manage a team and multiple projects; a positive attitude and passion for sustainability and creating impact through growing a startup; and an innovative mindset with a passion for solving hard problems. We are a startup and value a hunger for learning and improvement, balanced with the need to produce results.
You are a problem-loving scientist with a passion for Drosophila and their immense benefits as a model organism. You live and breathe genetics and have a deep understanding of the nuances of the Drosophila system. You are detail-oriented and can manage multiple projects simultaneously with diligent note taking. You’re a strong team player and enjoy collaborating on a scientific level with other individuals with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. You like managing scientific teams and providing mentorship, but still enjoy getting your hands dirty in the lab with your own experiments. You’re a strong communicator with a proclivity for explaining difficult scientific concepts to laypeople and other scientists. You have a passion for sustainability and want to have a positive impact on the world with your unique skill set.
- PhD or MSc with 4+ years experience in Genetics or a related field
- Extensive experience with Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism and its associated genetic tools
- Supervisory experience of other junior scientists
- Strong collaboration and interpersonal skills
- Previous experience with recombinant protein expression
- Experience with population genetics
- Previous experience with GMP production
Your future (with Future Fields)
- Within 1 month, you develop a comprehensive plan to optimize and boost expression of key growth factors and recombinant proteins within our Drosophila expression system. You will also develop a plan to effectively balance existing stocks to prevent and decline in expression.
- Within 3 months, you will begin to implement said plan with new or existing targets, having cloned relevant features or sites into new vectors for transgenesis. You will also have balanced existing stocks for long-term expression of production stocks.
- Within 6 months, you will have the new transgenic strains built with initial expression tests completed. You will have begun to iterate and troubleshoot the new expression system to ensure optimal results.
- Within 1 year, you have developed a robust system for enhanced expression of recombinant proteins, fully implemented into our production system with at least 1 product with new products initiated in the process. You will have worked with the Engineering team to have integrated newly developed strains into the production process.
About our founders
Our story and approach to science is anything but conventional. Lejjy (co-founder/CPO) is a self taught entrepreneur who left home at 14, who worked his way up in the business world. Matt (co-founder/CEO) was a touring punkrock musician who dropped out of University before returning to complete his PhD in cell biology. Jalene (co-founder/COO) is a social researcher by training, previously working on issues from the right to affordable housing to harm reduction for injection drug users. The spark of an idea for our technology came from one of our founders (with no technical background) while waiting in line for tiny, Canadian donuts. We truly credit our diverse team and founder experiences as the key to our success - and we encourage candidates of all identities and backgrounds to apply.
Where is Future Fields located?
Our headquarters (office and lab space) is located in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, in a beautiful, freshly renovated warehouse. From the exposed brick to our rooftop patio - it’s not your average lab space. It is central, close to transit and bike lanes, and walking distance to some of the city’s best coffee shops, restaurants and Edmonton’s incredible river valley.
I don’t live in Edmonton. Why would I want to relocate there?
Because it’s great! For starters, Edmonton is one of Canada’s sunniest cities with 2299 hours of bright sunshine per year. It’s consistently ranked one of Canada’s most affordable cities to live in and was recently described as Canada’s most exciting culinary city. There’s a festival almost every weekend, North America’s largest mall and the longest stretch of urban parkland on the continent (over 160km of trails!). There’s something for everyone in Edmonton, and it will be even better with you in it.
Any other perks?
Many! Some include: equity in our company; comprehensive health, dental and vision benefits; flexible paid time off policy; and the office is always stocked with snacks and all the coffee you can drink.
Will I like working for a startup?
Great question. Startup life is definitely not for everyone. We move quickly. Projects and priorities shift fast. There is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty at times and we’re not immune to the growing pains of an early stage startup. You could also probably get paid more somewhere else. The risk is high, but so is the reward. We promise you will never get bored. You will have fun and learn a lot. You will grow personally and professionally in ways you never imagined (alongside our company). You will be part of something much bigger than yourself and contribute directly to the mission of a team who cares deeply about changing the world for the better. Oh, and equity!
Sound like something you are interested in? Here are the next steps:
Submit your name, e-mail, and a document with your resume and cover letter through the file submission below.
If it seems like a good fit, next steps will look like this:
- We will contact you for a casual 30 minute call with one of our founders.
- We will set up an interview with 1 founder and a member of the R&D team to dive into your skills and motivation.
- We’ll arrange another interview to figure out how you fit with our team and culture, and better understand your career trajectory.
- We will set up a coffee chat with you and a team member. This is your chance to dig in and find out what it’s really like to work for Future Fields. This is for you!
- We will speak with two of your references to confirm our assumption that you are, in fact, our next great hire.
- We offer you a job!
As only one file can be uploaded, please ensure your resume and any other related documents are submitted in one file using the following suggested naming convention: Lastname,Firstname_Gen