Pairwise believes healthy food should be affordable, convenient, and sustainable.  We believe gene editing can be used to accelerate plant breeding in leveraging the natural genetic diversity in agricultural crops to address global food challenges.  We are bringing the benefits of these innovations both to producers and directly to consumers through the produce aisle of their local grocery store.  Located in the Raleigh-Durham metro area Pairwise was formed in 2017 and now has about 100 employees dedicated to meeting our aggressive product development goals. 


The plant cell biology lead will be responsible for identifying, developing and deploying cell- and tissue-based assays that meet Pairwise scientific and business objectives for rapid iterative testing capabilities of genome editing tools and transgenes in a variety of species.  The lead will also use molecular genetics and cell biology approaches to drive, in collaboration with other R&D functions, the identification and testing of genes that promote cell division and regeneration in plant species.  This senior scientist must lead and develop a team of PhD scientists and research associates that will deliver critical enabling technologies to support both the development of novel gene editing technologies as well as product concepts. This role will also be part of Pairwise’s scientific team and report to the Head of Genome Editing Technologies. This position will be critical to not only building the scientific strategy but also the culture of our R&D organization as the company grows.


Summary of Job Responsibilities


·       Create a vision for cell biology at Pairwise and its contribution to the company’s scientific and business objectives.  Lead a team of researchers to achieve that vision.

·       Identify, develop and maintain a variety of state-of-the-art assays in tissues and cells that provide a rapid iterative testing capability for genome editing tools and transgenes with a focus on plant assays.

·       Drive continuous innovation related to rapid testing of gene editing technologies in cells and tissues.

·       Collaborate across R&D to drive discovery and validation of genes useful for stimulating cell division and regeneration in plants.

·       Work closely with functional leads, project leads, and senior leaders of R&D to identify plant cell and tissue assays that meet research requirements and development timelines.

·       Identify, hire and retain the best scientific talent from cell biology, plant physiology and transformation biology.

·       Lead the team to cultivate deep knowledge in cell biology, tissue culture, transformation, and novel delivery techniques to drive continuous innovation, optimization and improvements in standard and novel plant tissue and cell assay processes. 

·       Lead the team to make significant intellectual property advances in these areas, contributing to the scope and value of the company’s IP portfolio.

·       Collaborate with universities and other scientific organizations to bring diverse thought into Pairwise.

·       Demonstrated ability to deliver scientific results in a cross functional environment.

·       Routinely and effectively communicate progress in these areas to the R&D organization.




·         Team and individual leadership

·         Communication

·         Results Driven

·         Problem Solving/Analysis

·         Decision Making


Job Requirements


·       PhD in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Transformation or related field with preference for a focus on high throughput and rapid use of cell and tissue systems to asses gene function.

·       5+ years’ experience leading scientific teams.

·       Strong track record of formulating and building research programs.

·       Demonstrated ability to deliver scientific results in a cross functional environment.

·       Demonstrated experience in developing high throughput systems for gene function testing in cells.

·       Experience in molecular biology techniques, vector design, and demonstrated ability to drive innovation at the intersection of molecular and cell biology, using insight from both fields.

·       Lead the team in keeping accurate scientific records, using safe laboratory practices, including use of PPE, SDSs and proper handling and disposal of laboratory waste.


Preferred Job Skills


·       Experience with cell or tissue assays for gene function testing in a wide variety of systems such as mammalian, prokaryotic, and microbial systems.

·       Expertise in Agrobacterium biology and demonstrated ability to use this knowledge for improving gene delivery.