Cell and Molecular Biology Principal Scientist

Groton, Connecticut
July 28 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Role Summary

We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled individual with strong expertise in molecular and cellular biology to join our Cellular, Genomic, and Protein Sciences (CGPS) group. The successful candidate will apply a range of expertise in standard molecular biology techniques and development of physiologically relevant cell models to advance our small molecule portfolio and evaluate the impact of lead molecules on cellular endpoints with a focus on protein levels .As part of this early discovery biology group, the individual will work closely with discovery biology teams to support a broad portfolio encompassing disease indications in Immunology, Internal Medicine, Rare Diseases, and Vaccines.

Role Responsibilities

The successful candidate will collaborate across multiple cross-disciplinary groups and will be asked to develop and leverage cellular models and assays for monitoring the effects of our lead molecules on target protein levels. The candidate will also conduct mechanistic studies to understand protein level changes caused by compound treatment. For these studies the individual will apply their strong background in cell and molecular biology to generate and characterize relevant cell models, develop and validate assays to quantify target protein levels, and to probe various cellular pathways to uncover MoAs for small molecule activities. In addition to measuring cellular protein levels, the candidate will develop and apply a broad suite of tools including approaches to evaluate cellular target engagement, assess cellular function, and explore the impact of target level changes to the overall pharmacological profile of various molecules in cells. This role will rely on a the maintenance of a strong and current knowledge base in state-of-the-art methods for enabling assays in primary cells and stem cell models, as well as genomic perturbation tools such as CRISPR methods.

Successful candidates will be expected to:
  • Lead efforts to interrogate the impact of small molecule leads on target protein levels within the cell, and where applicable, study the downstream impact of these changes, and work to uncover the mechanism(s) driving these changes.
  • Have experience developing and implementing a range of cell models including stable cell reporter lines, CRISPR tag knock-ins, and physiologically relevant cell models (primary cells or stem cell models) to enable context-relevant studies of target protein levels.
  • Have experience across a broad range of cell-based assays aimed at evaluating target engagement, protein levels, protein half-life, and downstream signaling pathway endpoints.
  • Apply expertise in genomic methods including RNAi, CRISPR and over-expression approaches to study the mechanisms underlying small molecule-induced changes in protein target levels.
  • Have strong experience in molecular design, as well as demonstrated hands-on expertise in CRISPR/Cas9 methods to generate knockout and knock-in cell lines.
  • Apply a range of standard cell characterization methods to ensure cell quality, and to characterize gene and protein expression. Includes sequence analysis, qRT-PCR, western blotting, FACs, and immunostaining.
  • Be proficient in designing experiments to address key scientific questions and conduct mechanistic studies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to analyze and interpret experimental results, and to communicate these results effectively to program teams.
  • Promote Pfizer's capabilities and reputation through external publications and presentations.
  • Maintain up to date electronic laboratory notebooks and records in accordance with Pfizer policy.
  • Be highly motivated, highly organized and possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Show significant ability to work effectively in a matrixed, team-oriented environment.

Basic Qualifications
  • Minimum qualification: PhD with 5+ or MS with 10+ years of experience in cell biology, molecular biology, or related discipline.
  • Experience with cellular assays for gene and protein expression, target engagement, and signaling pathway read-outs.
  • Solid experience in the development and use of relevant cell models including primary cells and iPSCs as well as expertise in the development of stable engineered cell lines.
  • Expertise in CRISPR/Cas9 and other methods for genetic manipulation and characterization in cells.
  • Proficient in standard methods for cell characterization including mRNA and protein analysis such as qRT-PCR/ddPCR, Western blotting, immunostaining, and FACs.
  • Experience with plate-based assays for monitoring protein levels including HTRF/AlphaLISA, MSD, high-content or FACs-based imaging, and reporter assays.
  • Demonstration of excellent computer, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated examples of personal and scientific leadership
  • Have a sustained track record of delivering high quality data meeting the needs of teams.
  • Experience of successfully interacting with and meeting the needs of stakeholder groups is essential as well as having a customer focus.
  • Ability to multi-task and to balance bench and desk activities
  • Ability to effectively lead independent projects, and to mentor more junior lab members.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Industry experience working in an early drug discovery setting.
  • Significant experience developing immunoassays for cellular and tissue samples
  • Prior experience with the development and use of cell lines with CRISPR-integrated reporter tags
  • A background or prior experience studying protein homeostasis within the cell
  • Experience working with automation to drive efficiencies in assay screening and/or cell line development.


Sitting, standing, lifting, bending, and walking. Ability to perform practical laboratory bench work and work on a computer (while standing or sitting). Ability to perform mathematical calculations and interpret data. Compliance with laboratory safety practices.


Travel mostly restricted to occasional trips to Cambridge, MA site to partner with Research Unit project teams and to attend appropriate meetings and conferences.


Relocation support available

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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