Senior Principal Scientist

La Jolla, California
February 19 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Sr. Principal Scientist, Translational Immunotherapeutics position will be responsible for conducting in vivo mechanism of action (MOA) studies as well as in vitro immune assays and translating these findings into approaches that support transition of discovery phase programs into the clinic as well as clinical biomarker strategies to show proof of mechanism. This work will focus on cutting edge cancer vaccine and oncolytic virus programs and includes designing and implementing in vivo, in vitro and ex vivo preclinical discovery research to probe the complex interactions between the immune system, the tumor, and these novel immunotherapeutic regimens. The work will support preclinical proof of efficacy but also early clinical biomarker efforts. his is both a lab-based and management-based role. The position is located in La Jolla, CA, and will report to the Director of Translational Immunotherapeutics for Cancer Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics within Pfizer's Oncology Research Division


Pfizer's Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics department is developing state-of-the-art cancer vaccine- and oncolytic virus-based immunotherapy regimens that will benefit cancer patients. These regimens combine potent cancer vaccines and oncolytic viruses with multiple checkpoint inhibitors, and position Pfizer to be a leader in next generation immune-oncology therapeutics. We have several programs advancing into clinical trials and for which preclinical studies, translational science, and sound biomarker strategy will be important to success. The Sr. Principal Scientist, Translational Immunotherapeutics position will join a highly skilled and dedicated team to apply expertise in cancer immunotherapy to advancing from preclinical research through early clinical development. Specific responsibilities include:
  • Working as a part of research project and program teams to design, plan, and execute laboratory experiments to determine mechanisms of action (MOA) of novel therapeutics and to apply these findings to identify potential biomarkers using both preclinical models and clinical patient specimens.
  • Collaborating in a highly matrixed environment across multiple internal groups to effectively conduct biomarker and MOA studies. Internal groups include immunology, molecular and cellular biology, virology and early oncology development clinical research and Clinical Oncology divisions.
  • Managing and mentoring scientists within a matrixed environment to support preclinical in vivo and ex vivo discovery research.
  • Strengthening department's overall immuno-oncology capabilities and expertise, for example by expanding immune-based assays, in vivo models, and by employing new methods and technologies.
  • Contributing to preparation of required drug development and regulatory documents (e.g., IND submissions).
  • Effectively communicating strategy, methodology, progress, and challenges to multiple stakeholders and partners, including senior executives and governance committees.
  • Representing Pfizer at external conferences and scientific events, and publishing results in high quality scientific journals.


Candidate demonstrates a breadth of diverse leadership experiences and capabilities including: the ability to influence and collaborate with peers, develop and coach others, oversee and guide the work of other colleagues to achieve meaningful outcomes and create business impact.

  • PhD in immunology, cancer biology or relevant biological science.
  • At least five years of experience in oncology drug discovery and development, including immuno-oncology experience.
  • Experience in translational oncology, in vivo modeling, and in vitro/ex vivo immune-based assays.
  • A strong record of achievement, including advancement of cancer drug projects and/or publications in leading journals.
  • Outstanding communication and influencing skills.
  • Experience working in a matrix environment.
  • Management experience is highly desirable as this position oversees multiple direct reports.

  • Standard physical/mental requirements for office-based scientific role

Other Job Details:
  • Last Date to Apply for Job: March 2, 2021
  • Eligible for Relocation Package: YES
  • Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus: YES


Sunshine Act

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EEO & Employment Eligibility

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.

Research and Development


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