Lead Scientist I - Discovery (Biotransformations)

Kalsec, Inc
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Commensurate with Experience
May 20 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Other Corporate

Job Summary: Conduct independent applied research leading to the discovery and translation of new products, processes and intellectual property. Primarily achieved through application of biotransformation efforts rooted in biocatalysis and fermentation methodology directed at Kalsec innovation targets.

Specific Job Functions:

  1. Leverage your expertise to develop innovative and sustainable process concepts for new biotransformation processes.
  2. Research efforts focused on product development from bench activity to lab scale and final management and transfer to pilot plant and production scale.
  3. Lead assay development for testing novel enzymatic and/or microbial biotransformations at the bench scale.
  4. Depending on the innovation target, utilize commercially available enzymes, or use literature and public databases to identify and isolate novel enzymes from bacterial, fungal, or plant sources.
  5. Interact closely with other scientists. Network actively with internal and external research groups, strategic planning, and supporting a functional vision focused on continuously improving biotechnological expertise and methods. Review literature and patents, cooperate with universities, and outside companies.
  6. Contribute to the Discovery & Open Innovation strategy at the direction of the Director of Discovery & Open Innovation.

Essential Job Functions:

  1. Serve as principle investigator, planning, designing and independently conducting experiments and associated research activities directed toward identified, strategic business opportunities requiring:
  2. Judgment in the independent evaluation, selection and if necessary, creation and modification of appropriate scientific techniques.
  3. The application of specialized techniques or ingenuity in selecting and evaluating approaches to unforeseen or novel problems.
  4. A thorough understanding of scientific methods, research protocols, assessment instruments, and data analysis and interpretation.
  5. The evaluation and acquisition of new techniques and equipment that improve the capabilities of the lab and expand the possibilities for commercial opportunities.
  6. Careful recording of experimental observations in a laboratory notebook kept in a sufficient manner to protect Kalsec’s intellectual property rights.
  7. Preparation of detailed reports describing research efforts, and when appropriate, presentation of research results to scientific conferences, customers, Kalsec staff and/or other groups.
  8. The transition of promising research work into the application and core Innovation groups for commercial development.
  • To maintain a broad knowledge of state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and/or systems.
  • To explore market trends and identify unique opportunities for Kalsec growth, backed by experimental support.
  • To serve as a mentor to Kalsec staff, including occasional leading, guiding and training of staff, student employees, interns, and/or others performing related work.
  • To develop contacts with outside researchers that further Kalsec’s business objectives.
  • To maintain a safe and clean work area, complying with corporate safety and environmental policies.
  • To participate in training programs deemed necessary to either develop job skills and laboratory capabilities or meet company policies and directives.
  • To be aware of the company’s Q.A. policy and objectives, strictly observing these policy provisions in the fulfillment of this job.



  • PhD in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biological Engineering, or other related scientific discipline.
  • 1-2 years experience
  • Experience with biocatalysis and/or fermentation
  • Strong written and verbal presentation skills


  • Prior experience in food ingredient industry or consumer food products industry.
  • Familiarity with enzyme libraries and searches through public databases.