Bucha Leather, Inc. is hiring a scientist to work in New York City on projects to improve the material characteristics and reproducibility of our animal & plastic-free leather made from bacterial nanocellulose using bacteria & yeast strain culture selection & isolation, growth media adjustments, post-treatments, and material science. Bucha Leather currently produces dense mats of bacterial nanocellulose using bacteria and yeast commonly found in commercial Kombucha scobies such as Gluconacetobacter xylinus and yeasts such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Brettanomyces/Dekkera. Changes to the biotextile must contribute to one of Bucha Leather, Inc.’s established material science goals: Tensile Strength, Hydrophobicity, Durability/Longevity, or another novelty feature that differentiates Bucha Leather’s biomaterial from other leather alternatives on the market (ex. “glow in the dark” cellulose-binding fluorescent proteins).

You will determine the quickest and most scalable path to improve material characteristics, foresee potential points of failure to design, derisk, and execute laboratory experiments, maintain detailed and accurate records, analyze quantitative data, and communicate strategy, progress, and results to Bucha Leather, Inc. management & their investors through presentations and meetings. Work is to be completed either by the candidate themselves as benchtop work or working with contract laboratories to implement changes.

We are seeking a scientific partner to join us in building Bucha Leather into the next big biomaterials company.

What we offer:

  • Salary and equity in Bucha Leather commensurate with experience. 
  • Opportunity to work with leading experts in the field of biomaterials.
  • Opportunity to come in on the ground level on a company that is growing the future.

Major Duties / Responsibilities

  • Design, derisk, implement, and deliver R&D solutions with applications to improving Bucha Leather’s biotextile material properties & reproducibility of bioproduction combining both microbiology and material science approaches to achieve desired results.
  • Select, culture, plate, and isolate strains of acetobacter that will form a system of microbes best suited to consistency in scaling the bioproduction of our textile.
  • Research and source green chemicals, oils, resins, & finishes for post-treatment in addition to synergistic composite materials to be added to improve the textile’s material properties.
  • Work with contract laboratories and external consultants for genetic manipulation of bacteria that requires resources or talent external to Bucha Leather, Inc.
  • Present results both informally (e.g., in internal meetings) and formally to investors.
  • Mentor less experienced staff members, students, or interns.
  • Participate in project planning and execution.
  • Maintain detailed and accurate records.
  • Acquire and analyze data in keeping with project scheduling.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D., Post-Grad, OR a talented individual with industry experience at successful startups/companies working in microbiology, bioengineering, chemical engineering, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, or a related field is required.
  • Understanding of systems microbiology and bioproduction.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with complex interactions between microorganisms, preferably in non-model bacteria
  • Experience with multiple modes of bacterial genetic manipulation
  • Experience scaling bioproduction from the bench to industrial capabilities
  • Effective writing, communication, and presentation skills
  • Desire to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Knowledge of polymer chemistry, material science
  • Excellent sterile technique and contamination-prevention skills

We recognize that all of these qualifications are difficult to meet, and we will always prioritize enthusiastic and entrepreneurial candidates with a clear vision over academic or industry qualifications.

Interested candidates should reach out directly to Bucha Leather, Inc. CEO Zimri Hinshaw: zimrihinshaw@buchaleather.com 

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