Sound seeks Research Scientist, Sequencing

Posted on September 3, 2021
Sound seeks Research Scientist, Sequencing
Position Title                                                                                                                                     sound-agriculture-seo-image
Research Scientist, Sequencing
position Description 
The Research Scientist, Sequencing will collaborate with the Data Science and Synthetic Biology teams to test plant tissue samples, analyze sequencing, and design experiments.

Sound is an innovator of bio-inspired chemistry and plant genetics. We leverage natural plant diversity to grow crops more sustainably and create differentiated, nutritious food. Sound is a Series C startup funded by leading investors in food and agriculture such as S2G Ventures, Fall Line Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Cavallo Ventures and Syngenta Ventures.


We are looking for a Research Scientist, Sequencing to enhance our sequencing core team and implement new sequencing technologies to accelerate growth of our on-demand breeding platform. The Research Scientist, Sequencing will collaborate with the Data Science and Synthetic Biology teams to test plant tissue samples, analyze sequencing, and design experiments. The successful candidate will onboard new sequencing technology to operationalize and scale-up existing sequencing workflows (e.g. implementing liquid handling automation, equipment, software tools, etc). This is an opportunity to work with a company which is developing dramatically faster ways to deliver valuable agronomic traits. The Research Scientist, Sequencing will report to the Molecular Foundry Manager and will be based in our laboratory in Emeryville, California. This position will be mainly onsite.


  • Collaboratively implement, operationalize, and improve new and existing high-throughput workflows to advance the on-demand breeding platform.
  • Characterize methylation patterns in genomic plant tissue samples and optimize workflow for new crops.
  • Develop methods for library prep for multiple applications (e.g.WGS, Methylation Analysis, RNAseq).
  • Work with and optimize short and long-read sequencing technologies (including nanopore) for innovative applications
  • Develop and optimize gDNA extractions for various crops.
  • Oversee our sequencers, troubleshooting as needed.
  • Work with an automation engineer to develop protocols on automated liquid handlers for high throughput sample execution.
  • Design and execute experiments to test hypotheses and mine scientific literature to guide experimental design.
  • Use statistical analysis software to analyze datasets and communicate results to diverse audiences.
  • Provide mentorship and train more junior researchers (may include direct line management responsibilities depending on experience).
  • Maintain safe practices in the laboratory.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and strong record keeping skills.
  • Promote a positive and inclusive work environment.


Skills & Experience
  • A PhD, or equivalent experience with 1 – 2 years of relevant industrial experience in molecular biology, biochemistry, plant biology, or related fields.
  • Molecular biology techniques including :PCR, DNAand RNA extraction, RT-qPCR, and NGS.
  • Competent in using statistical tools to strengthen experimental design and enable data analysis (Excel ,JMP, Spotfire, R, Python, etc).
  • Understanding of plant genetics and gene regulation preferred but not required.
  • Experience with laboratory automation (Tecan, Beckman, Hamilton, etc.) to enable process scale-up preferred but not required.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Proven track record of collaboration and teamwork in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Self-motivated and passionate about your work.
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects and tasks.
  • Desire to be part of a rapidly evolving organization, which requires flexibility and a willingness to learn new techniques and concepts.


Our Offer 
  • Opportunity to work in an early-stage, disruptive startup with a talented, experienced, and growing team of dedicated individuals
  • Competitive compensation package
  • Performance bonus structure
  • Comprehensive health care plans that include Medical, Dental and Vision coverage
  • Flex Spending Account (Healthcare, Dependent Care & Commuter Benefit)
  • 401k Plan
  • Generous vacation policy
  • Regular team events and engagement activities (we actually like hanging out with each other!)



Sound is based in Emeryville, CA with a number of employees working remotely. We have a mission driven culture and a fast-paced, collaborative work environment. We are looking for someone to join the team who will bring a passion for sustainability along with a deep expertise in the business of food and agriculture.


View the full announcement for details here.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We seek a diverse pool of applicants and consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, ancestry, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, Veteran status, marital status, or any other protected status.