Job summary:  This is a key leadership role responsible for overseeing, directing, and managing major activities supporting plant breeding programs in Sakata Seed America (SAI) as well as providing vision for company investment in new technologies and platforms in a rapidly advancing field. Biotechnology services include marker discovery, DH production, bioinformatics, Genomic Selection, and managing a high through put marker lab for marker assisted selection. This key role will provide leadership for Sakata Seed America biotechnology programs and liaison with Sakata Seed Corporation (SSC) and subsidiaries, outside biotechnology vendors, partners, and public scientists. This person is responsible for planning, monitoring, and managing both internal and external projects from initiation through completion. The role will manage projects to ensure on-time completion within budgeted costs. 


  • Lead and direct projects that are in alignment with Sakata Seed America strategic plans and operational priorities. Ensures successful realization of complex and major projects within cost, quality, and time constraints.
  • Hires, manages, and inspires project managers to ensure projects are delivered within the defined scope, quality, time, and cost requirements.
  • Develops, documents, and implements project methodology, processes, and policy.
  • During the execution of biotechnology projects, ensures project management skills and techniques are applied consistently throughout the organization, delivering timely and quality results.
  • Provide technical liaison with SSC, sister companies, and contract partners in developing and applying biotechnology for Sakata Seed America.
  • Use molecular markers to screen germplasm for disease resistance and horticultural characteristics.
  • Manages the leader of the tissue culture lab focused on the development of di-haploid lines. Success should be measured annually by numbers of di-haploid lines delivered relative to the initial intent.
  • Manage project leads for Marker discovery and Genomic selection
  • Deploy Bioinformatics to assist breeders in optimizing breeding programs.
  • Develop and/or apply techniques to determine genetic relatedness/distance among hybrids and inbreds.
  • The role will oversee the development of genetic fingerprinting of varieties and their parents to ensure trueness to type, genetic purity, and for IPR documentation.
  • Interact with staff of all company departments where assistance is requested and provide molecular biology and biotechnology expertise for the company.
  • Provide technical support and cooperate with Sakata breeders and Technical Service scientists at Salinas and other locations, as requested.
  • Travel locally, nationally, and internationally as necessary to biotechnology program.


  • ­Advanced knowledge of plant molecular biology, with an emphasis on applied molecular genetics. Technical expertise in PCR and molecular marker assisted selection for cultivar development.  Ability to evaluate, develop, adapt, and perform protocols for PCR and marker assisted selection.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Ability to work independently, yet cooperatively in a team effort.
  • Computer and data management proficiency.
  • Ability to handle stress especially when encountering necessary projects, deadlines and/or high workload.
  • Must be able to work under strict time constraints and requirements.
  • Strong character traits required including adaptability, ability to handle stress, cultural and gender sensitivity, and honesty.


  • PhD in plant breeding, plant genetics, plant molecular biology, or closely related field with emphasis on plant biotechnology.


  • At least seven years of experience and demonstrated hands-on abilities in applied plant molecular biology, emphasizing marker assisted selection for cultivar improvement or closely related subject. Proven leadership experience is expected. Industry experience desirable.


  • Must be able to work with laboratory chemicals and other possibly irritating substances.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when necessary and/or required.
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to work long and irregular hours.

*To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty (as described above) satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

To apply, send resume to