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Fermentation Engineer I, Late Stage R&D



New York, NY, USA · New York, NY, USA · United States
Posted on Sunday, November 5, 2023
Helaina is a VC-backed biotech startup creating a new category of functional food products.

Our vision is to bring the functional properties of human proteins to food. Helaina will be the first company to put human milk proteins into food, defining a new category of consumer nutrition products focused on supporting immunity. We will initially launch a first-of-its-kind infant formula – the only infant formula with immune-nourishing proteins found in human milk. We also see a range of opportunities to use our breast milk proteins to enhance other types of functional foods for all segments of the population.

Helaina is backed by top VCs in the industry including Spark Capital, Siam Capital, Primary Venture Partners, and Plum Alley. We are a team of change-makers looking for our next team member who is intensely passionate about advancing synthetic biology for food and beverage products and redefining the future of nutrition.

About the Team:

Helaina's bioprocess team focuses on scaling our precision fermentation process to produce key ingredients for our final product. We are a collaborative team driven by our passion for science and innovation.

About the Job:

In this role, you will work in our NYC lab to strategize, plan, and perform experiments on the bioprocess team. The successful candidate will be a hands-on, motivated self-starter with a strong sense of initiative and attention to detail. You will be responsible for contributing directly to Helaina's company milestones by supporting our fermentation development and scale up optimization for the bioprocess team.

What You'll Do:

  • Design and conduct scalable fermentation experiments to optimize the growth and productivity of various microbial strains.
  • Operate various bioreactors at various scales on a regular basis.
  • Support strain screening, media development, and metabolite characterization.
  • Generate detailed SOPs and batch records for fermentation operations.
  • Prepare technical transfer documents and communicate with CMO partners.
  • Willingness to troubleshoot and optimize equipment when necessary.
  • Record and manage data in an electronic lab notebook.
  • Prepare technical reports, protocols, and scientific presentations
  • Work in a fast paced, highly collaborative, cross-functional team

About You:

  • You have a BS/MS in biochemical, chemical engineering, or related disciplines
  • You have hands-on experience with operating fermenters
  • You are knowledgeable of bioreactor control hardware/software
  • You understand of fermentation optimization for scale up development
  • You are eager to troubleshoot through lab/experimental issues and discover new findings.
  • You are an effective communicator, both within a collaborative scientific team and in communicating science to non-technical audiences.
  • You are willing to be a mentor and role model to junior scientists
  • You are able to work evenings and weekends.
  • Bonus points if you have start-up or industry experience!

Compensation is market-competitive with a yearly cash base of $90k - $115k plus equity.


Helaina was founded on the belief that families should have freedom of choice. We are committed to providing an inclusive workplace that does just that, supporting our team's health, wellbeing and professional development at every stage and milestone. We are proud to offer comprehensive health care, generous parental leave and childcare reimbursement, equity packages and more to our Full-Time employees. A few highlights include:

  • Full medical, vision and dental coverage
  • Short and long term disability insurance coverage
  • 401k match (up to 3%)
  • Unlimited vacation days, including an all-company holiday between Christmas and New Year
  • Paid Parental Leave for both parents + flexible return to work program
  • Childcare reimbursement program
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Leadership Development coaching through BetterUp

Helaina is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Don't meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Helaina we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you're excited about this role but your past experience doesn't align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may just be the strongest candidate for this or other roles. For more information, please contact

Learn more about Helaina: