Senior RNAi Biologist

TITLE: Senior RNAi Biologist
TYPE: Full-time, Salaried Exempt
REPORTS TO: Chief Science Officer
LOCATION: RNAissance Ag St. Louis, MO
TRAVEL: 10-20%
RELOCATION: Assistance available

We will offer an attractive compensation and benefits package commensurate with experience to the successful candidate. Important Note: Candidates for this position must be either a US citizen or have permanent resident status and a valid green card. We are unable to provide work visa sponsorship.

To apply, please send a cover letter and your curriculum vitae or resume with QUESTIONNAIRE via email to: Or send via US Mail to:

TechAccel, LLC
6811 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Suite 215
Overland Park, KS 66202

Position Summary:

RNAissance Ag, LLC, (a subsidiary of TechAccel, LLC) is an early-stage startup company developing RNAi-based biopesticides for control of important agricultural pests. We are seeking to expand our team by adding a RNAissance Ag Senior RNAi Biologist. This is a mid-level bench science position located in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri, region. The Senior RNAi Biologist reports to TechAccel’s Chief Science Officer or designee.

The Senior RNAi Biologist conducts research and development activities in laboratory, greenhouse, and field environments. This role will be integral to our RNAi-based biopesticide development pipeline team and will be involved in functions ranging from biopesticide discovery through product development. RNAissance Ag is an exciting and growing early-stage company, and the Senior RNAi Biologist will occupy a position near the ground floor of the organization with excellent opportunities for advancement potential. We are a small, highly collaborative company. Our team functions with a high level of mutual respect to inspire openness and innovation from all levels of the organization.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right individual to leverage their knowledge and creativity to make a real and tangible impact on translating innovation to commercial reality and have a significant influence on the trajectory of RNAissance Ag. RNAissance Ag’s dsRNA manufacturing platform can produce dsRNA at a dollar or less per gram – a low cost that opens up commercial opportunities for RNAi products in the agriculture, home and garden, and animal and aquaculture health industries. Our current leading products are RNAi biopesticide sprays for control of important agricultural pests. The Senior RNAi Biologist will have opportunities to contribute to the development and commercialization of products across our portfolio.

We are seeking candidates with experience in RNA interference (RNAi) biology. We are particularly interested in candidates who have studied RNAi as a means for pest control. Preferably, the candidate has direct experience studying uptake and/or processing of dsRNAs in insect pests. The candidate should have extensive experience with general molecular biology techniques. A basic understanding or competencies in the application of bioinformatics tools for analyzing genomics data is strongly preferred. Ideally, the candidate will have both academic training and industrial experience. However, we will also consider candidates that are fresh from a Ph.D. program or a postdoctoral research fellowship.

The successful candidate will have strong, creative problem-solving skills to troubleshoot and innovate approaches that address project objectives and meet timelines. This person should have a passion for defining and meeting tangible research objectives in an efficient and rapid fashion. The candidate should be able to work independently and as part of a collaborative team. The successful candidate will work closely with TechAccel scientific staff, RNAissance biomanufacturing and entomology scientists, consultants, and colleagues focused on marketing & sales, finance, and operations.

The Senior RNAi Biologist shall:
• Contribute scientific acumen and leadership to our growing research team. This is a hands-on position, and the successful candidate is expected to perform research activities, collaborate with other team members, and help manage and guide junior staff.
• Drive forward RNAissance Ag’s RNAi biopesticide discovery pipeline by:
    o Validating existing RNAi targets using molecular and/or physiological methods.
    o Contributing to the identification of new RNAi targets through literature curation, collaborations, and experimentation.
    o Identifying and working with external collaborators to expand or accelerate biopesticide development
• Work closely with RNAissance Ag’s RNAi biomanufacturing and entomology teams, and external collaborators to:
    o Lead studies characterizing dsRNA uptake and primary degradation pathways and by-products of RNAi biopesticides.
    o Contribute to the development and testing of practical, cost-effective RNAi biopesticide formulations.
• Collaborate with the broader RNAissance Ag and TechAccel teams to define, plan, and execute additional commercial avenues for leveraging our RNA manufacturing platform.
• Manage resources, materials, and logistics required to design and execute experiments.
• Design specific technical approaches to be implemented to successfully deliver project goals on a startup timeline and budget.
• Strive for continuous improvement in methods and procedures executed in daily work.
• Communicate and collaborate cross-functionally in clear and impactful ways to drive forward RNAi product development.
• Coach and develop junior personnel.
• Conduct research in accordance with or exceeding all relevant Health, Safety and Environmental guidelines
• Stay up to date on developments within their field through methods such as reading academic journals, attending training programs and attending conferences within their field.

Minimum Requirements:
• Ph.D. in Entomology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, or related field. A master’s degree in one of these areas combined with strong relevant experience will also be considered. Industrial experience is a plus, but not required.
• Strong knowledge of the biology of insect RNAi including mechanisms of dsRNA uptake and/or molecular mechanisms of small RNA processing pathways. In-depth knowledge of challenges associated with deployment of RNAi biopesticides preferred.
• Strong knowledge of insect physiology and toxicology.
• Experience developing molecular and/or physiological methods (RT-PCR, qRT-PCR, use of fluorescent dyes, or microscopy, etc.) applicable to the analyses of dsRNA fate and gene expression.
• Experience using insect bioassays to evaluate lethal and sublethal effects of insecticides.
• Willingness and ability to work in lab, greenhouse, and field environments.
• Strong knowledge of experimental design, and statistical analysis methodologies.
• Strong communication skills including the ability to synthesize research results and report to both technical and non-technical audiences.
• Demonstrated strengths in organization, planning and project management; the ability to achieve R&D objectives through specific and measurable actions, and in a fast-paced, milestone-driven company.
• Results-oriented, strong work ethic, able to follow-through, and can work under pressure with associated deadlines.
• Self-starter with high level of initiative and resourcefulness. Think creatively to develop new methods and solve complex problems.

The ideal candidate has at least some of these additional skills:
• Good experience in bioinformatics with experience writing or modifying code in a relevant programming language such as Python, R, and/or Perl
• Experience in analyzing high-throughput biological data, such as genomics, epigenomics, or transcriptomics data.
• Solid understanding of agriculture markets and trends.

TechAccel LLC (Technology Acceleration Partners) is a development company focused on advancing innovation in Agriculture and Animal Health. Our partner relationships with Global Industry Strategics leverage their strong technical expertise, regulatory infrastructure and the global distribution network. TechAccel co-funds the development, de-risking and advancement of technologies that fill partner portfolio gaps or addressing new adjacencies. Technologies typically are focused on the many technical paths address to the rapidly growing food and animal health demands. Partner companies utilize TechAccel to accelerate time to market. TechAccel also provides R&D services to meet partner surge needs as well as technology sourcing services.

In addition to our strong technology advancement relationships with Global Industry Leaders, TechAccel partners with leading Agriculture and Animal Health Venture Capital firms in advancing emerging technologies found in aggressive and innovative industry start-ups. TechAccel brings a unique Science Advancement role to these relationships in addition to our invested commitments. This dual commitment adds to the enterprise value creation as well as the breadth of potential innovation derived from each integrated relationship.

TechAccel is an equal opportunity employer. All employees are hired, compensated, promoted, disciplined and evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, status as a qualified individual with a disability, military status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. TechAccel strictly prohibits any and all discrimination and harassment based upon an individual's race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, status as a qualified individual with a disability, military status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law. Any incident of such harassment or discrimination must be immediately reported to the appropriate management level employee.

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