Job Title: Scientist, Research – Protein Science

Reporting to: Lead, Protein Science

Location: Durham, NC

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 2023. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

About This Role:

Pairwise is seeking a motivated Research Scientist to join the Protein Science team and be part of our technology and product development. We are looking for an scientist to identify mutagenesis strategies using rational and random mutations, invent or implement bacterial selection schemes, evolve enzymes to optimize specific functions, develop medium-throughput enzyme assays, and perform other protein/nucleic acid biochemistry and microbiology techniques related to improving enzyme functions. Pairwise is a food+tech company, and technologies made in this position will be applied to crops, but in this role previous experience in plant systems is not required. The minimum experience/education level for this position is a Ph.D or equivalent. The ability to work both independently and as a member of a team are necessary at Pairwise. Furthermore, clear communication to internal and external stakeholders is necessary for success in this role. 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:

• Evolve enzymes for new characteristics in living systems after designing in vivo selection schemes using Directed Evolution methods.

• Create, evaluate, and optimize new gene editing enzymes by making mutations to current enzymes using structural data.

• Invent new ways of changing DNA sequences using CRISPR technology.

• Generate data on the efficacy of various gene editing proteins in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

• Collaborate with molecular biology and crop scientists to deliver optimized gene editing tools to the pipeline.

• Draft Science Plans to deliver on technology goals and generate novel Intellectual Property.

• Train and mentor Research Associates in technical excellence.

• Present data internally and externally.

Required Education & Experience:

• Ph.D., or Masters with equivalent experience, in Biochemistry, Microbiology, or related field.

• Strong experience in protein evolution, engineering, and optimization.

• Deep understanding of how protein structure relates to function, especially proteins which interact with nucleic acids.

• Track record of excellence in research leading to novel or improved protein characteristics.

• Demonstrated ability to contribute collaboratively in a cross functional environment.


• 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.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Tegus we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.