Work in Iowa Healthcare Jobs

Job Information

Corteva Agriscience Senior Research Associate in Johnston, Iowa


Corteva Agriscience, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, agronomic support, and services to farmers in more than 90 countries. Corteva Agriscience seeks to increase farmer productivity and profitability, and to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Increasing populations, changing economies, and limited cultivable land are significant factors driving Pioneer to use the broad application of plant science to improve the value generated from each field.

The PCR and Marker Technologies (PMT) is a centralized analytical laboratory providing qualitative and quantitative PCR analysis to support Corteva Agriscience researchers as they seek to improve various crops through conventional breeding and genetic engineering. We are world-class experts in DNA/RNA detection and quantitation leveraging the application of cutting-edge technologies to generate rapid and cost-effective solutions for our internal and external collaborators. We partner with our colleagues to provide agile and flexible analytical solutions to answer their experimental questions. We produce high quality data that unequivocally fulfills the experimental design and answers the questions being asked.

The Senior Research Associate (SRA) position will coordinate all the analytical required activities, supporting the assay design, optimization and validation process supporting the genome editing and transgenic characterization. The primary focus of this position is the initial design, performance evaluation and needed optimization of nucleic acid analytical assays for all organization prioritized projects, so the assays perform according to excellent standards.

Primary responsibilities will be to manage all genome editing requests with the initial design teams, understand what type of assay design and down-stream processing steps will be required for the successful detection of the desired result. This person will coordinate with the team members both inside and outside of the PMT lab to ensure appropriate statistical analysis is implemented to validate the successful delivery of assays. Ideally, this person should be knowledgeable about quickly adapting to the changing priorities of the group and be supportive to deliver with strict timelines. Another critical responsibility will be to perform experiments to evaluate new detection technologies and equipment being considered for the laboratory.


  • You will have an enthusiasm for collaborating in a team environment where evolving technologies in agriculture are driving product development

  • Manage all aspects of the assay design to validation processes. Organize and coordinate the assay pipeline including procurement of samples/tissue types across the various customer groups

  • Support all aspects of the Genome editing assay development with the additional responsibility of incorporating qualitative and quantitative metrics to deliver quality assays to various groups

  • Support methods development needs of the organization which is flexible component of many experiments that do not fit into high throughput production scenario and offer customized solutions to the collaborators

  • Implement data analysis metrics to track and predict for assay performance across all nucleic acid assay design and validation pipeline including regular check in with collaborators and the group leadership

  • Trouble-shoot assay performance issues for validated assays for all assay development activities of the group. Have thorough working knowledge of Geneious, BLAST applications, Clustal alignments and other Bioinformatics tools to make sure new variant assays will be able to perform with the appropriate genetic background. Also, can apply the above tools for all custom assay requests from diverse crops

  • Conduct experiments in the molecular biology laboratory to evaluate new detection strategies that may be needed to solve assay issues. Evaluate and recommend actions to be taken, based on the experimental data

  • Evaluate modern technologies for potential applications and process improvement within laboratory. Have the ability and working knowledge of real time PCR and Digital PCR (ddPCR) to assist in assay troubleshooting. Summarize results to the group leadership

  • Manage data flow and data quality with proprietary Corteva IT database systems

  • Ensure scheduled maintenance is completed and documented on all processing and supporting equipment

  • Conducts experiments to monitor and evaluate performance of real-time assays within the laboratory's high-throughput process. Understand the validation procedures that a new assay meets performance specifications. Move this entire pipeline to the larger production environment, with consideration for assay results being available within a larger LIMS process with all timelines being strictly adhered to for teams involved

  • Assist in routine laboratory operations when temporary resourcing issues develop


  • Decide on experimental approach to determine the correct strategy to use for each type of requests coming to the PMT lab

  • Investigate the reason(s) a particular assay or method is underperforming and propose timely solutions, sometimes without direct input

  • Be able to trouble-shoot instrumentation and can repair or offer suggestions to repair equipment that is out of specifications


  • Make daily decisions based on results to dictate direction of experimentation

  • Can summarize and analyze gene expression data to answer the critical questions being asked from various clients. After critical review, can present conclusions and potential path forward

  • Decide if a newly edited assay can be run through the production process and if there are any process changes needed to be made before a new assay can be processed in the production laboratory


  • Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Plant Science, Plant Genetics, or related disciplines with at least 3 years of industry related experience in a Molecular Biology laboratory or diagnostic laboratory setting. Bachelor's Degree with at least 5 years of extensive industry experience will also be considered

  • Molecular Biology laboratory experience absolutely required with interest in statistics, data analysis software resulting in applying this expertise to the job at hand

  • Demonstrated critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential, as well as the ability to develop and train junior lab personnel

  • Demonstrated proficiency in troubleshooting molecular biology processes, displaying a keen understanding of potential challenges and the capability to implement effective solutions

  • Exhibit expertise in designing robust scientific experiments, reflecting a thorough comprehension of experimental variables, Controls, and methodologies to ensure the generation of high-quality and reliable data

  • Proficiently interpret the experiment results and communicate findings to peers and leadership in a clear and concise manner that is comprehensible to diverse audiences

  • Working knowledge of Python and R is highly desired

  • Demonstrate a keen interest or proven experience in applying data science techniques to facilitate data-driven decision-making processes. This includes the ability to leverage analytical tools and methodologies to extract meaningful insights from scientific data.

  • Strong interpersonal and written communication skills are imperative

  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment is required

  • Computer skills and familiarity with statistical methods will be advantageous, complete understanding of BLAST analysis, Vector NTI tools and Primer Express

  • Perform and verify, on a regular basis, fulfillment of CAMS (Quality Management Systems) and EHS&S (Environment, Health, Safety & Security) standards, identify potential risk on operations, promote safety procedures and Core Values

  • Demonstrated ability to meet established timelines is required

  • Foster a collaborative and motivating work environment, promoting effective communication and teamwork. Demonstrate skills in leadership, operational safety, personnel supervision, and time management

  • Ability to develop a working relationship with team members by exhibiting excellent communication and personal interaction skills with a diverse group of people

  • Must be able to work in varying ergonomic and environmental conditions for extended periods

Benefits - How We'll Support You:

  • Numerous development opportunities offered to build your skills

  • Be part of a company with a higher purpose and contribute to making the world a better place

  • Health benefits for you and your family on your first day of employment

  • Four weeks of paid time off and two weeks of well-being pay per year, plus paid holidays

  • Excellent parental leave which includes a minimum of 16 weeks for mother and father

  • Future planning with our competitive retirement savings plan and tuition reimbursement program

  • Learn more about our total rewards package here - Corteva Benefits (

  • Check out life at Corteva! (

Are you a good match? Apply today! We seek applicants from all backgrounds to ensure we get the best, most creative talent on our team.

Corteva Agriscience™ is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to boldly embracing the power of inclusion, diversity, and equity to enrich the lives of our employees and strengthen the performance of our company, while advancing equity in agriculture. Qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or any other protected class. Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are inconsistent with our values and will not be tolerated. If you require a reasonable accommodation to search or apply for a position, please visit:

Accessibility Page for Contact Information

For US Applicants: See the ‘Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law’ poster

To all recruitment agencies: Corteva does not accept unsolicited third party resumes and is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.