Job Title: Scientist, Protein Science

Reporting to: Lead, Protein Science

Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA


About Pairwise:

Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in early 2022. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.


About This Role:

Pairwise is seeking a highly-dedicated research scientist to join the Genome Editing Technologies – Protein Science team and be part of our technology and product developmentThe research scientist will design novel enzymes to carry out specific genetic changes in eukaryotic cells. The scientist will use structural biology, enzymology, and knowledge of DNA repair to invent new tools for eventual use in plant cells. Technologies focus largely on CRISPR effectors, base-editing enzymes, and DNA repair pathwaysThe successful candidate will join a dynamic team of PhD scientists and research associates to contribute to development and optimization of novel gene editing technologies. The research scientist will work in a highly collaborative, cross-functional environment towards team and company goals. Your contribution will be critical to help Pairwise meet technology and product development goals, and to build a culture where science is fun.


Essential Functions:

  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • ·       Invent novel enzymes able to edit eukaryotic DNA at specific genomic locations.
  • ·       Design CRISPR-directed gene editing enzymes (tools) to affect precise DNA sequence changes.
  • ·       Use Next Generation Sequence data to evaluate tool efficacy in plant and non-plant eukaryotic cells.
  • ·       Collaborate closely with molecular biology and crop scientists to test tools in high value crops.
  • ·       Advise the pipeline of tool efficacy and recommend enzymatic tools for enacting specific DNA changes to generate desired alleles in diverse crops.
  • ·       Collaborate across R&D to drive discovery of new technologies, intellectual property, and optimizations that increase the efficiency of precise gene editing. 
  • ·       Other duties as assigned.
  • ·       This position will have up to 10% travel for business meetings and professional development.


Required Education & Experience: (a list of the necessary experience and education required to be successful in the role)

  • ·       PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, or related field.
  • ·       Structure-based protein design including enzyme fusions and chimeric proteins.
  • ·       Working knowledge of nucleotide chemistry and/or DNA repair.
  • ·       Ability to interpret Next Generation Sequencing data to evaluate tool performance.
  • ·       Demonstrated ability to lead projects and contribute collaboratively in a cross functional environment. 
  • ·       Ability to communicate effectively to other scientists, business partners, and collaborators.
  • ·       Experience and knowledge in laboratory safe practices, including use of PPE, SDSs and proper handling and disposal of laboratory waste.
  • ·       While not required, experience in cell biology, plant cell biology, flow cytometry, and/or plant biochemistry are preferred.


Work Environment:

This position operates 50/50 in a professional office environment and in a laboratory setting. This position routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers and phones. This position will also routinely utilize standard lab equipment such as pipettes, centrifuges, and lab automation with moving parts. While working in the lab, the employee may be exposed to low-to-moderate risk agents that may pose a danger if accidentally inhaled, swallowed, or exposed to the skin. Safety measures include the use of appropriate lab equipment and PPE including biosafety hoods, lab coats, gloves and safety eyewear.  Employee will also be trained in proper handling of regulated plant materials.



  • ·       Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!
  • ·       Flexible PTO (use what you need, when you need it), in addition to company holidays
  • ·       Casual work environment.
  • ·       Mission-driven organization focused on creating healthier fruits and veggies
  • ·       A cutting-edge, driven community looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition

EEO Statement:
We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.