Senior Scientist - Viral Vaccines

Pfizer Inc.

South San Francisco, CA

Job posting number: #7121341 (Ref:4872260 )

Posted: January 16, 2023

Application Deadline: February 17, 2023

Job Description

Why Patients Need You
Pfizer’s purpose is to deliver breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. Research and Development is at the heart of fulfilling Pfizer’s purpose as we work to translate advanced science and technologies into the therapies and vaccines that matter most. Whether you are in the discovery sciences, ensuring drug safety and efficacy or supporting clinical trials, you will apply cutting edge design and process development capabilities to accelerate and bring the best in class medicines to patients around the world.

Role Summary
The Virus Production group is seeking an experienced lab-based molecular virologist to support the rescue and production SARS-CoV-2 viruses in support of Pfizer’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine program. The successful applicant will play a fundamental role in implementing an innovative molecular strategy for rapid and accurate generation of SARS-CoV-2 viruses using the bacmid system. The use of synthetic technologies and molecular biology with automated instruments will be used to generate virus rescue constructs for SARS-CoV-2. The incumbent should possess a strong scientific curiosity and rigor and a strong background in virology and molecular biology, experience with bacmid and plasmid rescue of viruses. The incumbent will also be the lead for generating and controlling the inventory of all SARS-CoV-2 lots for clinical and non- clinical testing. This will include managing all virus generation, storage and disbursements using the CRIIS system. The incumbent will be supported by two junior colleagues and will work closely with the group leader, project teams, supporting lines and team members to drive the design and execution of in vitro studies, and take a “hands on” role to support laboratory activities.

You will be recognized as a technical expert and a scientific contributor. With your deep knowledge of the discipline, you will be an active team member whose decisions impact the project. You will be using your scientific judgment to adapt standard methods and techniques by applying prior work experience. You will be forecasting and planning resource requirements for your project team. Your creativity in developing novel processes and new ideas will be used frequently. You will undertake mentoring activities to guide team members.

It is your innovative scientific temperament that will help in making Pfizer ready to achieve new milestones and help patients across the globe.

How You Will Achieve It
Take leading role to establish robust and rapid response to deliver new emerging COVID-19 variants using virus rescue techniques.

Combine expertise in automation, synthetic biology, molecular biology, nucleic acid chemistry, and virology techniques to help build an efficient pathway to convert virus sequence data into bacmid and plasmid constructs.

Be responsible for tracking SARS-CoV-2 virus production, storage and disbursements using the CRIIS system.

Mentor junior scientists’ activities and provide technical guidance when necessary. Maintain high technical quality and initiate problem solving for all technical issues related to the area of expertise. Incumbent will analyze experimental data, draw conclusions, and propose future research plans.

Coordinate and communicate experimental results in a timely manner. Present experimental results at appropriate meetings with group members and senior management. Write progress reports and provide concise summaries of project status to team members and group leader.

Keep current on scientific and technical literature and attend relevant scientific meetings in order to apply new technologies and/or scientific principles.

The incumbent must be able to accommodate multiple projects or tasks and work efficiently on assigned research projects.

Satisfactorily complete all safety training in conformance with departmental requirements. Where applicable, performs job responsibilities in compliance with cGMP/GLP and all other regulatory agency requirements.

Candidate should have a PhD in Virology (Coronavirus preferred), molecular biology, genetics and related disciplines, with at least 2+ years of relevant experience preferably in a pharmaceutical or biotechnology environment, or relevant academic experiences in virology R&D, MS with 7+ years, or BS with 9+ years

Has practical knowledge of GISAID and its utility for tracking the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2.

Has extensive bench molecular biology experience and knowledge, including bacmid and plasmid construction, virus rescue, Gibson Assembly and Golden Gate Assembly.

Self-motivated and able to work effectively as part of a cross-functional team.

Highly organized, detail-oriented is essential.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.

Proficiency with Geneious Prime, DNA Sequencer, GraphPad Prism/Excel, and relevant scientific software is desirable

Excellent oral and written communication skills

Cell culture and large-scale virus production

Proficiency with personal computers including word processing, spreadsheets, Excel, PowerPoint and relevant scientific software is desirable


Training in molecular biology, synthetic biology, and virology is essential. Relevant work experience in a laboratory setting is essential, including ability to work with infectious agents safely. The capacity to work effectively in a highly visible research program with time-constrained milestones.

Pfizer is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status. Pfizer also complies with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act and IRCA. Pfizer is an E-Verify employer.

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