Director / Senior Director: Tissue Engineering

Number of employees


San Francisco, CA, United States

Posted on: 2023-11-01

Category: food

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

Wildtype isn’t plant-based, farmed-raised, or wild-caught. We're making  cultivated seafood, starting with sushi-grade salmon. 

About Wildtype

Wildtype is on a mission to create the cleanest, most sustainable seafood on the planet, starting with sushi-grade salmon. We’re pioneering cellular agriculture to protect wild species and our oceans, and to reverse trends of global food insecurity. Wildtype will provide consumers with a new option for real seafood that provides the same nutritional benefits as the most pristine wild-caught fish, without common contaminants such as mercury, microplastics, antibiotics, or pesticides.

We were founded in 2016 by Aryé Elfenbein, a cardiologist and molecular biologist, and Justin Kolbeck (CEO), a former US diplomat who served in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in an effort to solve one of the world’s biggest problems: how to feed a growing population without stripping the earth of its natural resources and biodiversity. Investors include L Catterton, Jeff Bezos, Spark Capital, CRV, Temasek, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, among others. 

Come join us in transforming our food system for good!

Your work at Wildtype 

  • Lead tissue engineering projects focused on developing cellular materials that will become Wildtype’s future seafood products. This includes scaffold development and functionalization, induction of cell integration and specialization, screening and characterization of tissue engineered materials, and development of systems for large scale food production using cellular agriculture technologies
  • Create and manage a clear plan to achieve company-wide goals related to tissue engineered products
  • Independently design and manage research projects, and track progress toward milestones 
  • Mentor a team of tissue engineers, focusing on achieving company goals while providing tangible professional development opportunities to your crew
  • Work cross-functionally across our various R&D and operations teams as needed
  • Your research will be onsite, working in our laboratory and production facilities

What you bring to Wildtype

  • 15+ years working with muscle stem cells, skeletal, or cardiac myocyte differentiation. A PhD in a field relevant to tissue engineering, materials science, stem cell biology, myogenesis and/or adipogenesis is preferred, but not required.
  • First-principles thinking and a proven aptitude for turning broad goals into action plans
  • Track record for mentoring and developing early stage scientists and a passion for team building
  • A hunger for learning, growth, and being part of a fast-moving, dynamic team
  • Excellent organizational, communication skills and a track record of effective collaboration in complex projects
  • Mission-driven, creative, and entrepreneurial

What we’ll teach you

  • How to apply your prior experiences to the development of industry-defining seafood products using cellular agriculture technologies
  • How to work with a fast-moving, interdisciplinary team working at the leading edge of multiple fields

Impact plan

  • Within 1 month you’ll have internalized team goals, and gained a detailed understanding of Wildtype’s technologies through detailed discussions not only with our tissue engineering crew, but other researchers across the company. Building on this, you will have translated our broader company goals into a working plan to direct the work of your crew for the coming twelve months. Working with our co-founder, you will have defined your professional development goals for the next twelve months. 
  • Within 3 months you will have made significant progress in implementing the action plan for ongoing projects that rely on tissue engineering approaches. Every person on your team will know exactly how their individual goals directly connect with project and company goals. You will have had detailed professional development conversations with each member of your crew and will adapt your leadership style to each as needed. You will have made strategic scientific decisions about which technologies and approaches will be pursued to improve the quality of Wildtype’s products.  
  • Within 6 months we will be celebrating significant improvements to Wildtype’s prototypes. You will work closely with our product development and cell biology teams to incorporate these materials into our product roadmap, and you will play an increasingly important role in discussions related to scaling up our manufacturing capabilities.
  • Within 12 months you will have transformed our prototypes and we will have a clear plan to incorporate these findings into our product roadmap. You will have built a tight-knit crew of tissue engineers, biologists, and materials scientists, and will be seen as a subject matter expert on the topic of tissue engineering for cultivated foods across the company and in the broader global scientific community. 
Compensation range is listed below, in addition we offer 90th percentile equity.

Location: This position is an onsite role based in San Francisco.
Compensation (per year)
$245,000$275,000 USD


To learn more about Wildtype and see our newest updates, check out our blog! 

Wildtype is committed to building a diverse workplace spanning multiple dimensions including race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, and veteran status.

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