Senior Associate Scientist, Immunoassay (non-PhD)

La Jolla, California
September 26 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

The Oncology Research & Discovery team seeks to discover and develop novel therapies for the treatment of various cancers by using a variety of technology platforms including vaccines, oncolytic viruses and immune cell engager antibodies in combination with other immunomodulatory agents. We are searching for a motivated individual at the BS/MS level with both a solid scientific understanding of immunology (cancer immunology a bonus) and experience in the theory and use of multiple serological and cellular immunoassays to join the Immunology group. The candidate will be required to proactively apply their knowledge to conduct experimental work plans provided by their supervisor in a semi-independently manner and/or as a member of larger assay subteams. 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 (~80% 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 and safe manner. Primary responsibilities will include preparing and culturing lymphocytes, maintaining cell lines, performing cell-based immune readouts (ELISpot, intracellular cytokine staining, and cytotoxicity assays), profiling cell populations using flow cytometry, conducting serology assays (ELISA and MSD), preparing tissue sections for immunohistochemical analyses, and performing RNA/DNA extractions from cells and tissues.

How You Will Achieve It

  • Define study aims and experimental plans with supervisor and follow detailed SOPs to run a variety cell-based immunoassays and serological assays on large panels of samples generated from vaccine project studies.
  • Maintain tumor cell lines and prepare suspensions of lymphocytes from tumors, tissues and blood for use in cellular assays.
  • Perform immune cell profiling and intracellular cytokine staining using high-dimensional flow cytometry. Work will include cytometry setup, sample acquisition and data analysis.
  • Perform ELISA and MSD assays on serum samples and tumor lysates.
  • Prepare tissue sections from fixed/embedded samples and stain for immunohistochemical analysis
  • Safely handle and isolate immune cells, DNA and/or RNA from animal tissues containing infectious viral vectors.
  • Accurately analyze experimental data and, with support of supervisor, generate high-quality data summaries for interpretation by project teams. This will include assisting with accurate quality control of data conducted by other colleagues.
  • Regularly record experimental work upon completion in electronic notebook systems and archive instrument raw data in server databases in a timely fashion.
  • Identify and report any experimental problems, proactively troubleshoot causative factors, and implement necessary corrections following discussion with supervisor.
  • Support general laboratory operations including daily preparation of media, buffers, and solutions, weekly ordering and restocking of laboratory supplies, and maintenance of equipment and instruments as needed.


  • B.S. degree in life sciences (preferably including coursework in immunology and cancer biology) with 3+ years of experience working in a biotech or pharma industry laboratory setting that routinely performs cellular and humoral immunoassays on samples from animal models and/or humans or or M.S. degree with relevant experience.
  • Practical understanding and application of statistical methods to experimental design and outcome measures.
  • Highly organized in daily tasks.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills; listens well and can properly translate verbal instructions into actions.


  • Hands-on experience with mammalian cell culture and flow cytometry
  • Drug discovery experience

  • Ability to perform mathematical calculations and moderately complex data analyses using software packages.
  • Ability to read, understand, and perform work from written protocols.
  • Ability to stand, sit, walk, bend, and lift various lightweight items in a laboratory setting.
  • Ability to concentrate on tasks for prolonged periods of time.
  • Will adhere to use of appropriate personal protective equipment in standard laboratory spaces and dedicated viral vector use areas.

  • Required to work with BSL2 infectious viruses (e.g., Vaccinia) and must receive and maintain required vaccinations or provide satisfactory proof of same.
  • Will comply with all regulations and safe laboratory practices.
  • Will work safely with human, non-human primate and murine blood and tissue samples that may contain infectious agents.
  • Will work on occasional weekday evenings and/or weekend days.

  • Last Date to Apply: October 1st, 2021

Pfizer requires all U.S. new hires to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Pfizer will consider requests for Reasonable Accommodations.

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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