Associate Scientist, Immunology

La Jolla, California
June 17 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
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.

What You Will Achieve

Cancer Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics seeks to discover and develop novel vaccines and immunomodulatory agents for the treatment of various cancers by using a variety of vaccine technology platforms in combination with immunomodulatory agents. We are searching for a motivated individual with a basic scientific understanding of immunology (cancer immunology a bonus) and experience in the theory and practice of immunoassay and cellular techniques to join the Immunology group. Individuals with general knowledge and laboratory practice of one or more or the following laboratory immunoassay techniques: PBMC isolation from blood/tissue/tumors, sterile tissue culture, co-culture assays, immune assays, and flow cytometry. The candidate will be required to proactively apply their knowledge to conduct experimental work plans provided by their supervisor and effectively complete their work semi-independently and as a member of larger assay teams. The candidate will be required to summarize and critique their results, with guidance from their supervisor, as well as communicate data effectively at functional line and project team meetings.

This role is predominantly laboratory-based (~90% of time) with a major emphasis placed upon implementing state-of-the-art immunologic techniques, and routinely conducting high-quality assay work in an organized, safe, and effective manner. Primary responsibilities may include isolating, preparing and culturing lymphocytes, maintaining cell lines, assisting with cell-based immune readouts (ELISpot, intracellular cytokine staining, immunophenotyping), and co-culture assays.

How You Will Achieve It

  • Define study aims and experimental plans with supervisor and follow detailed SOPs to antibody affinity and screening assays on large panels of cell lines or primary cells.
  • Maintain tumor cell lines and prepare suspensions of lymphocytes from tumors, tissues, and blood for use in cellular assays.
  • Assist with flow cytometry assays for immune cell profiling (ICP) and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS); Work will include cytometry setup, sample acquisition and data analysis.
  • Perform cell culture to maintain the viability and sterility of multiple immortal cell lines or primary cells.
  • Perform cell-based antibody binding assays using flow cytometry, including cytometry setup, same acquisition, and data analysis.
  • Assist with co-culture cytotoxicity. Work may include culturing and seeding target cells, isolating effector cells, prepare test article dilutions.
  • Using standardized methods, analyze experimental data and with support of supervisor generate data summaries for interpretation by the project teams.
  • Regularly record experimental work upon completion in electronic notebook systems and archive instrument raw data in server databases.
  • Identify and report any experimental problems, troubleshoot causative factors, and suggest necessary corrections in discussion with supervisor.
  • Support general laboratory operations including daily preparation of buffers and solutions, ordering and re-stocking laboratory supplies, and maintaining a clean work environment and maintenance of equipment.


  • B.S. degree in life sciences (preferably including coursework in immunology and cancer biology)
  • 1+ years of experience working in a biotech or pharma industry laboratory setting that routinely performs biological or immunological assays.
  • Highly organized in daily tasks.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills; listens well and can properly translate verbal instructions into actions.


  • Drug discovery experience
  • Experience in developing and troubleshooting bioassays designed to assess antibody functionality

  • Ability to perform mathematical calculations
  • Ability to perform moderately complex data analysis using Microsoft Excel and/or GraphPad Prism.
  • Ability to read, understand, and perform work from written protocols
  • Ability to perform repeat pipetting, stand, sit, walk, bend, and lift various lightweight items in a laboratory setting.
  • Ability to concentrate on tasks for prolonged periods of time.

  • Required to work with BSL2 infectious viruses (e.g., Vaccinia and adenovirus) and must receive and maintain required vaccinations or provide satisfactory proof of same.
  • Will adhere to use of appropriate personal protective equipment in standard laboratory spaces and dedicated viral vector use areas.
  • Will comply with all regulations and safe laboratory practices.
  • Will work safely with human, non-human primate and rodent blood and tissue samples that may contain infectious agents.
  • Will work on occasional weekday evenings and/or weekend days.

  • Last Date to Apply for Job: June 30, 2021
  • Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus

Sunshine Act

Pfizer reports payments and other transfers of value to health care providers as required by federal and state transparency laws and implementing regulations. These laws and regulations require Pfizer to provide government agencies with information such as a health care provider's name, address and the type of payments or other value received, generally for public disclosure. Subject to further legal review and statutory or regulatory clarification, which Pfizer intends to pursue, reimbursement of recruiting expenses for licensed physicians may constitute a reportable transfer of value under the federal transparency law commonly known as the Sunshine Act. Therefore, if you are a licensed physician who incurs recruiting expenses as a result of interviewing with Pfizer that we pay or reimburse, your name, address and the amount of payments made currently will be reported to the government. If you have questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact your Talent Acquisition representative.

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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