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Now Hiring: Research Assistant

TITLE:     Research Assistant

TYPE:                  Full-time, Salaried Exempt
REPORTS TO:     Chief Science Officer or designee
LOCATION:         St. Louis, MO
TRAVEL:             0-10%
RELOCATION:     Relocation package is not available

 Please send cover letter, resume, and response to questionnaire to either: 

Via US Mail to:
TechAccel, LLC
6811 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Suite 215
Shawnee Mission, KS 66202
Via email to:

jobs@techaccel.net

 

 No walk-ins or recruiters.

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 Research Assistant to our team located in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri region. The Research Assistantreports to TechAccel’s Chief Science Officer or designee.

The Research Assistant will help develop new, more sustainable pesticides that can make farms more productive while preserving biodiversity. The Research Assistant works in a laboratory environment, conducting research and development. This role will participate in manufacturing biopesticides by microbial fermentation and testing their function, working routinely with bacteria, plants, and insects.

The ideal candidate will have hands-on experience with general molecular biology techniques, and sterile technique as it pertains to the culture and maintenance of bacterial cultures.  Any experience using benchtop fermentation equipment is a benefit.

We are looking for an individual with good problem-solving skills, and a strong desire to learn new techniques. 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 the company.

Responsibilities:
The Research Assistant shall:

  • Support a laboratory that manipulates industrial fermentation strains of bacteria. This will include growing and analyzing bacterial cultures, and performing typical molecular biology tasks such as PCR, minipreps, vector construction, bacterial transformations, and molecular analysis of transformed bacteria.
  • Learn how to operate bench-scale fermentation equipment.
  • Assist in insect bioassays as required.

 

 

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, molecular biology, or a related field.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Results-oriented and self-motivated with excellent attention to detail.
  • Academic and practical experience in performing molecular biology skills including general cloning, DNA/RNA extractions, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and bacterial mini-preps.
  • Basic sterile technique.
  • Basic competency at statistics and data analysis.
  • Able to follow established protocols and assist with development of new protocols.
  • Experienced in a laboratory environment with safe work practices, including handling of bacteria and hazardous chemicals.
  • Able to lift and move items up to 30 pounds.
  • Strong motivation for continuous learning.
  • While most duties will be performed during regular business hours, some work will require a flexible schedule to accommodate time-sensitive experiments.
  • Proficiency in standard computer programs including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The ideal candidate has at least some of these additional skills:

  • Some industrial experience, or experience as a research assistant in an academic laboratory.
  • Experience operating a benchtop microbial fermenter.

About TechAccel
TechAccel LLC is a technology and venture development company focused in agriculture, animal health and food technology.

 Since its founding in 2014, TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts science advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization.

 TechAccel is based in Overland Park, Kansas, with offices in St. Louis, Missouri. Visit www.TechAccel.net for more information. Follow us on Twitter at @Tech_Accel and on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/company/technology-acceleration-partners-llc/.

 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 ofsuch harassment or discrimination must be immediately reported to the appropriate management level employee.

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Now Hiring: Senior Research Entomologist
No walk-ins or recruiters.

TITLE:                 Senior Research Entomologist

TYPE:                  Full-time, Salaried Exempt
REPORTS TO:     Chief Science Officer or designee
LOCATION:         St. Louis, MO
TRAVEL:             10-15%
RELOCATION:     Relocation package is available

Please send cover letter, resume, and response to questionnaire to either: 

Via US Mail to:
TechAccel, LLC
6811 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Suite 215
Shawnee Mission, KS 66202
Via email to:

jobs@techaccel.net

 

 

No walk-ins or recruiters.

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 Senior Research Entomologist. The Senior Research Entomologist is a mid-level position and will be located in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri region.  The Senior Research Entomologist reports to TechAccel’s Chief Science Officer or designee.

 

The Senior Research Entomologist works in a laboratory environment, conducting  research and development. This role will be integral to our biopesticide discovery and development pipeline by supporting functions from biopesticide discovery through product development. They will help develop exciting new products and contribute to expansion of the company intellectual property estate. This person also proactively works with the broader TechAccel team to help drive the overall technical acumen and inform strategic decisions.

The ideal candidate will have extensive knowledge and experience in entomology especially as it pertains to crop protection and home & garden pest control. The candidate should have 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.

We are looking for an individual with 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 team. The successful candidate will work closely with TechAccel scientific staff, RNAissance biomanufacturing scientists, consultants, and colleagues focused on marketing & sales, finance, and operations.

The Senior Research Entomologist will help recruit additional team members and will train and supervise junior team members.  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 the company.

Responsibilities:

The Senior Research Entomologist shall:

  • Provide entomology scientific leadership for our growing research team. This is a hands-on position, and the successful candidate is expected to both perform research activities as well as help manage junior staff.
  • Lead the RNAi biopesticide discovery pipeline.
  • Develop and execute high throughput insect bioassays.
  • Manage resources, materials, and logistics required to design and execute bioassays and other complex biological experiments primarily in the area of entomology.
  • Apply bioinformatics tools to analyze genomics data sets.
  • Determine 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.
  • In addition to leading biopesticide screening, serve as a key member of various project teams.
  • Lead and communicate cross-functionally in a clear and impactful way to drive forward RNAi biopesticide 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 or related field. A master’s degree in entomology or a related field combined with strong relevant experience will also be considered.  Some industrial experience is a plus, but not required.
  • Able to work in lab, greenhouse, and field environments.
  • Strong knowledge of insect physiology, development, and behavior.
  • Strong experience in the development of bioassay evaluating pesticides from planning to interpretation.
  • Strong knowledge of experimental design, statistical software packages, and statistical analysis methodologies.
  • Experience with general molecular biology techniques. Experiences applicable to the analyses of dsRNA fate, gene expression, and high throughput sequencing a plus.
  • Strong communication skills; ability to synthesize research results & report to technical & non-technical audiences.
  • Demonstrated strengths in organization, planning & project management; the ability to achieve R&D objectives through specific and measurable actions, and in a fast-paced, milestone-driven company.
  • Results-oriented, flexible, able to follow-through, and can work under pressure with associated deadlines.
  • Self-starter with high level of initiative; resourceful; strong work ethic; excellent attention to detail.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills required to clearly explain complex issues to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Applications; Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The ideal candidate has at least some of these additional skills:

  • Bioinformatics or experience writing code in at least one programming language (php, python, java, perl) preferred.
  • Experience in analyzing high-throughput biological data, such as genomics, epigenomics, or transcriptomics data.
  • Solid understanding of agriculture markets and trends.

About TechAccel
TechAccel LLC is a technology and venture development company focused in agriculture, animal health and food technology.  

Since its founding in 2014, TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts science advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization.

 TechAccel is based in Overland Park, Kansas, with offices in St. Louis, Missouri. Visit www.TechAccel.net for more information. Follow us on Twitter at @Tech_Accel and on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/company/technology-acceleration-partners-llc/.

 

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 ofsuch harassment or discrimination must be immediately reported to the appropriate management level employee.

 

TechAccel Subsidiary RNAissance Ag Completes Acquisition of St. Louis-based RNAgri

RNAi manufacturing technology complements RNAissance Ag’s developing portfolio of safe and effective biopesticides.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—June 18, 2020TechAccel LLC, the private technology and equity development company in agriculture and animal health, today announced its subsidiary RNAissance Ag LLC has completed an asset acquisition of RNAgri Inc., a Saint Louis-based ag biotech startup.

RNAgri has developed a platform for the cost-effective production of RNA for use in topical RNA-interference (RNAi) products, including biopesticides. RNAi is a technology that regulates gene expression without genetic modification.

Terms of the asset acquisition were not disclosed.

RNAgri, formerly doing business as APSE Inc., was founded in 2011 and was one of 33 startups to receive a $50,000 grant from the Missouri Technology Corporation’s Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Advantage (IDEA) program. The company was also supported by the St. Louis Biogenerator i6 Project, which was its first and largest investor. Other investors include The Yield Lab, the Helix fund, private investors and Allen Angel Capital Education Program (the student-managed angel fund of the University of Missouri at Columbia).

“This transaction marks a win for the growing biotechnology ecosystem in Missouri,” noted Michael Helmstetter, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO of TechAccel. “With these assets, TechAccel and RNAissance Ag will further accelerate the application of RNAi technology into crop and other biopesticide applications, in addition to targets in aquaculture and animal health.”

Since 2017,TechAccel and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have partnered to advance a novel and proprietary pesticidal RNAi technology with broad pesticidal application. In January 2019, TechAccel founded the biopesticide startup RNAissance Ag with exclusive worldwide license to the technology.

The primary focus of RNAissance Ag is the development of sprayable RNA pesticides, including against pests such as the Diamondback Moth. No previous RNAi product has been effective against the Diamondback Moth, which is estimated to cause more than $4 billion in crop losses annually. The RNAgri platform will add manufacturing capacity to the pesticide design and development efforts.

RNAissance Ag will conduct multiple field trials this summer and fall on the Diamondback Moth and Fall Armyworm. The company has an expanding development pipeline targeting additional pests, and its designs also have applications as pesticidal traits in crop seeds.

With the asset acquisition, two of RNAgri’s associates have joined the RNAissance Ag team effective immediately. Anil Kumar, Ph.D., is a molecular biologist with expertise in genetics and plant breeding. Bert Berla, Ph.D., is a biochemical engineer with expertise in microbial improvement. RNAissance Ag has also completed additional investments in the RNAgri technology production infrastructure, and plans to expand facilities and staffing of the operation in St. Louis as additional projects are added.

RNAi pesticide technology is a safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. RNAi pesticides are designed to be highly specific to the target pest, are not toxic to other organisms and are biodegradable. Further, as many pests have become resistant to chemical pesticides, RNAi biopesticides employ a different mode of action and can be highly effective. The biopesticide market is growing and estimated to reach $10B worldwide by 2025.

TechAccel is pursuing a comprehensive strategy in RNAi development to advance biopesticides, including investment and collaboration with multiple RNA technology companies, such as GreenLight Biosciences. GreenLight, based in Medford, Mass., is a biotechnology company developing bioprocessed RNA products for human health and agriculture applications. TechAccel also announced collaborative research with AgroSpheres Inc. to explore its formulation technology in biopesticide delivery, and continues research in related areas, including novel means of delivery of RNAi into tree crops.

“These investments demonstrate our belief in the potential of RNAi to fundamentally change agriculture,” Helmstetter said. “We are committed to developing sustainable, safe and effective technology to prevent crop losses, increase yields and protect the environment.”

About TechAccel

TechAccel, LLC, was founded in 2014 as a technology and venture development organization in the agriculture, animal health and foodtech sectors. TechAccel sources, acquires and invests in early-stage innovation. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for market adoption and commercialization. TechAccel also makes equity investments in start-up companies through its Equity+TM program where an adjacent business opportunity exists. For more information, visit www.TechAccel.net. Follow us on Twitter at @Tech_Accel.

About RNAissance Ag

RNAissance Ag LLC was formed in January 2019 by TechAccel. The company holds the exclusive license to proprietary RNAi technology developed at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center that has promise to be effective for insect pests that previously were considered resistant to RNAi.

* * *

RNAissance Ag Participates in Danforth Center's Conversation Series Oct. 17, 2019

Hope you can join us at the Conversation Series at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center this week. The topic is "Inside the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2)."

The event is free but registration is required.

The program features Mary Wenzel, EVP and Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Wells Fargo Advisors, and Danforth Center COO Sam Fiorello.

Bala Venkata, Ph.D.RNAissance Ag co-founder Bala Venkata will speak, along with Danforth PI Noah Fahlgren. RNAissance Ag was one of five companies selected for the IN2 ag cohort.

David Zar, CTO of Aker Technologies, paired with Danforth Center PI Malia Gehan, PhD, will also speak at the event.

From the event:

IN2 Discussion at Danforth Center---------------------------------------------

RNAissance Ag Participates in Ag Innovation Showcase

RNAissance Ag will participate in the 11th Annual Ag Innovation Showcase, which will be held Monday, Sept. 9 through Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minn.

Bala Venkata, Ph.D., co-founder of RNAissance Ag, will participate in a special content session, “Ag Innovation Companies in the Wells Fargo Incubator (IN2)” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10. RNAissance Ag is an ag biotech startup company formed by TechAccel and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

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RNAissance Ag Named to Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Cohort Focused on Sustainable Agriculture

One of only five agtech companies selected for the IN2 program, RNAissance Ag will receive up to $250,000 and technical support from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

KANSAS CITY, MO. — (May 14, 2019) — The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the NationalRenewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), today announced that RNAissance Ag LLC has been selected as one of five companies nationally to participate in the incubator’s first agtech cohort – the program’s fifth cohort.

RNAissance Ag, a company formed by TechAccel and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, was selected for its innovations in developing technologies to produce food more sustainably. RNAissance Ag – pronounced “Renaissance” – is a biotechnology startup focused on delivering RNA-based insecticides for crop protection.

In selecting RNAissance Ag for the inaugural agtech cohort, IN2’s goal is to advance technologies that reduce agriculture’s carbon, energy and water impact, which collectively account for as much as 70 percent of water and 14 percent of energy usage worldwide. As a benefit of participation in the program, RNAissance Ag will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to test and advance its technologies with experts at the Danforth Center, the world’s largest independent plant science institute.

“This is a terrific validation of our potential with this novel technology,” said Michael Helmstetter, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of TechAccel. “The IN2 support will help us advance the design for our first two insect pest targets and fuel us along the development pathway more rapidly.”

Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings, IN2  expanded its focus in 2018 to advance innovations in agtech, or the application of software and hardware technology to farming. In launching this first agriculture cohort, IN2 seeks to help the agricultural sector overcome the substantial challenges, barriers and costs of implementing new technologies and to speed their paths to market.

“Wells Fargo is excited to be supporting and nurturing innovations that will ultimately lead to more sustainable and productive agriculture,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer for Wells Fargo. “As one of the largest lenders to the agriculture and agricultural technology sectors, Wells Fargo will bring its expertise to the table in de-risking these early-stage startups and help move them to the next level.”

Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at NREL, noted that the companies involved with IN2 might be small companies, but they’re not solving small problems. “RNAissance Ag was an extremely strong applicant, and we cannot wait to see the strides they make by being a part of our program,”she said.

The Danforth Center’s Noah Fahlgren, Ph.D., director of Bioinformatics and a principal investigator, will work with RNAissance Ag technology inventors, who are also from the Danforth Center: Bala Venkata, Ph.D., senior research scientist and Nigel Taylor, Ph.D., associate member, and Dorothy J. King Distinguished Investigator at the Danforth Center.

“The Danforth Center has been a driver in the growth of agriculture innovation for 20 years,” said Claire Kinlaw, director of Innovation Commercialization at the Danforth Center. “We look forward to leveraging the IN2 model and working with these early-stage companies to accelerate their technologies to commercialization.”

As an invitation-only program, IN2 finds and selects companies through its Channel Partners, a curated network of incubators, accelerators and universities across the U.S. that refer startups to the program. Once referred, companies participate in a highly competitive application and selection process to determine which will be invited into the next cohort of participants. For a complete list of IN2 portfolio companies, visit in2ecosystem.com.

“These five companies are driving innovation and new breakthroughs that will ultimately improve the way that we grow, make food, distribute and consume food and use resources,” said Sam Fiorello, chief operating officer at the Danforth Center. “We are proud to be a strategic partner helping to accelerate promising technologies that tackle these critical challenges.”

About RNAissance Ag:

RNAissance Ag LLC was formed in January 2019 by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and TechAccel. The company holds the exclusive license to proprietary RNAi technology developed at the Danforth Center that has promise to be effective for insect pests that previously were considered resistant to RNAi. Visit www.RNAissanceAg.net for more information.

About TechAccel:

TechAccel LLC was founded in 2014 as a first-of-its-kind venture and technology development company in the agriculture, animal health and food tech sectors. TechAccel sources, invests in and acquires early-stage innovations. Through collaborations with universities and research institutions, TechAccel conducts advancement and de-risking research and development to ready technologies for commercialization. For more information, visit www.techaccel.netor follow @Tech_Accel.

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator:

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a $30 million technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 expanded its focus in 2018 to advance technologies that address the interconnection of food, water and energy. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, technical support and validation from experts at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and ongoing connections to organizations across value chains. For more information, visit in2ecosystem.com.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center:

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a nonprofit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment, and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and through the support of individuals and corporations. For more information please visit, www.danforthcenter.org

 

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TechAccel and Danforth Center Launch New Company to Control Insects

 New Technology aims to dramatically reduce crop losses

ST. LOUIS, MO.January 24, 2019 — The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest independent plant research institute located in St. Louis, MO and TechAccel, a technology and venture development company located in Kansas City, MO today announced the launch of RNAissance Ag LLC, a new company that holds the exclusive license to RNA-interference technology developed at the Danforth Center. The new company will use the proprietary technology in the development of sprayable insect control measures.

RNAissance Ag, which is pronounced “Renaissance,” was formed following successful research at the Danforth Center funded with TechAccel’s first grant in its “Path to Commercialization” Program. The RNAi technology was jointly developed by Bala Venkata, Ph.D., senior research scientist and Nigel Taylor, Ph.D., associate member, and Dorothy J. King Distinguished Investigator at the Danforth Center.  Near-term research and development activities will continue as sponsored research at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

James Carrington

James Carrington

“Over $40 billion per year is spent on pest control, yet over 20 percent of all crops are still lost due to insect damage,” said James C. Carrington, Ph.D., president of the Danforth Center. This new company is evidence of an exciting new technology advancing toward market with the potential to make a major impact.”

Michael Helmstetter

Michael Helmstetter

 

“We are demonstrating the potential of RNAi technology to develop into a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides,” said Michael Helmstetter, Ph.D., Founder, president and CEO of TechAccel. “An RNAi insect control measure is highly specific to the target insect and is not toxic to other organisms,” he said. “Further, we believe this approach can be more effectively applied than chemical sprays, reducing cost, waste and health risks to workers and the environment.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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