Food Science Lead

Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston, MA


Motif makes ingredients for the next generation of plant-based and healthy foods.  Launched in February 2019 from Ginkgo Bioworks’ breakthrough platform for biological engineering, we use fermentation to brew vital proteins and nutrients that power your body and please your palate.  We collaborate with chefs, health experts, and food visionaries to create new building blocks for tomorrow’s food revolution. Motif combines tradition, innovation, and biotechnology to help build a more sustainable future, for everyone.

The Food Science Lead will serve as a subject matter expert on proteins and small molecule based food ingredients.  Reporting to the Head of R&D, this individual will be responsible for building and managing the database of Motif's ingredients and their associated functionalities.  He/She will play a key role in developing new product applications by working closely with our application development team. This individual will also assess the capabilities of other food science labs and establish constructive working relationships with them.


  • Design experiments to test the food functionality of Motif’s ingredients
  • Build a network of internal and external expertise to conduct research and characterization programs
  • Generate and analyze data to make product advancement decisions and create scientific insights for future food ingredient discoveries
  • Present data internally and externally
  • Develop intellectual property strategies for new ingredient discoveries
  • Write manuscripts and publish results to build Motif’s scientific credibility

Pivotal Experience & Expertise

  • PhD in Food Science or related field
  • 10+ years of relevant experience in an industry setting
  • Superior knowledge of protein functionality in food and food applications
  • Experience in developing testing and characterization models for protein food ingredients
  • Strong network of collaborators in the food science space both academic and industrial
  • Experience in transitioning food science discoveries into commercially viable ingredient and food products
  • Understanding and experience in food functionality beyond proteins
  • Experience in working collaboratively with scientists and applied product developers
  • Understanding of sensory science and the use of testing to advance best candidates
  • Knowledge of the economics of the food industry, so as to focus efforts on commercially viable projects and programs
  • Ability to write manuscripts and patents, and prepare presentations

Leadership Capabilities

  • Is a self-starter
  • Can work effectively in a team setting
  • Is biased to action
  • Is data-driven and grounded in analytical thinking
  • Is culturally sensitive and promotes diversity of all kinds
  • Is able to derive value in promoting others
  • Is team over self-motivated
  • Can communicate at multiple levels
  • Is comfortable with discoveries occurring externally

Culture Fit & Impact

  • Understands how to work in a rapidly growing start-up
  • Able to deal effectively with ambiguity and changing priorities
  • Thrives under pressure and desires to learn and grow
  • Mission-driven and interested in transforming the food industry 
To learn more about Motif Ingredients, click on the links below:

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is the organism company. We design custom microbes for customers across multiple markets. We build our foundries to scale the process of organism engineering using software and hardware automation. Organism engineers at Ginkgo learn from nature to develop new organisms that replace technology with biology.

Want to learn more about Ginkgo Bioworks? Visit Ginkgo Bioworks's website.