Food R&D Lab Lead

over 1 year ago
Full time role
In-person · San Francisco, CA, US... more
In-person · San Francisco, CA, US... more

Job Description

About us

Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry, and seafood directly from animal cells.  These products are not vegan or vegetarian—they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. UPSIDE Foods recently became the first company in the world to receive the US FDA greenlight for cultivated meat, and UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken will be available to consumers following USDA inspection and label approval. 

Founded as the world’s first cultivated meat company in 2015, UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being the first company to produce multiple species of meat (beef, chicken, and duck). The company believes that people shouldn’t have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet, and is working to build a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. UPSIDE Foods has won various industry awards, including New York Times’ Good Tech Awards, FastCo’s Next Big Thing in Tech, and the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources. UPSIDE Foods has raised a total of $608 million, including from the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others. 


About this job

UPSIDE has grown fast over the last two years, and the momentum continues! UPSIDE FOODS is working to commercialize animal-free meat products made through cultivation. We are seeking an intelligent, motivated, and enthusiastic Scientist to join our Food R&D team! The ideal candidate will be driven to do what it takes to effectively contribute within an agile team in a fast paced, collaborative startup environment. The successful candidate will mainly help the Ingredient Discovery team to plan lab space, order instruments, run tests and provide further analytical support. To perform this job successfully, the individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements below are representative of the knowledge, skill or ability required.

Responsibilities include… 

  • Deliver and guide Application plans and strategies in support of company objectives. Specifically projects which involve characterizing techno-functionality of new food ingredients and development of new food applications from concept to potential commercialization.
  • Provide guidance to the Ingredient Discovery team towards the understanding and application of knowledge of novel food ingredients, innovative technologies, food products, and food manufacturing processes.
  • Provide technical support to upstream and downstream teams through use of application prototypes and formulations.
  • Lead and assist in identifying, assessing, and completing purchase of key analytical and product development equipment and tools. 
  • Prioritize and manage multiple project needs and deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

About you…

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science or Animal or Meat Science or related field is required
  • 5+ years of experience in laboratory/quality management, project management and food product/process development related.
  • Food & Beverage, meat, and plant-based knowledge a plus (functionality, sensory attributes)
  • Hands on lab to pilot experiences developing and experimenting with food related products/projects.
  • Experience operating typical laboratory food processing equipment and instruments used in food and beverage industries, with high level of quality, accuracy, and quantity of analysis work.
  • Experienced with project, product, process, quality and laboratory management in a food setting.

Who you’ll work with…

  • While we expect growth in all functions in the next 1-2 years, this role will most frequently interact with our Food R&D team (consumer sensory, product and process development verticals), upstream R&D teams, Technical Operations team and cross-functional partners.

Key Contributions in First Year…

  • Conducts ongoing experiments with sound experimental design and analysis in food applications to demonstrate product functionality.
  • Scope-out a design layout, secure instruments for establishing a fully functional Food R&D laboratory.
  • Actively participates in innovation activities and drives development of new product strategies and ideas.
  • Identifies and recommends new applicable technologies to management.
  • Project Management independently on ongoing projects

Compensation Range: $51,000 - $90,000*
*Pay may vary depending on factors including job-related knowledge and skills.

UPSIDE Benefits!

  • Stock options for all full-time incoming team members!
  • 90-100% employer-paid healthcare premiums for team members (medical [including HSA and FSA], dental, and vision)
  • Pet insurance for your furry family members!
  • Unlimited PTO 
  • DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Council and People Engagement Programs
  • Company-sponsored learning & development opportunities


UPSIDE Foods is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Our company-wide mission is to create a product for everyone, so we are deeply committed to having teams and leaders that reflect this mission.

Similar jobs