Principal Scientist - Viral Vaccines

Pearl River, New York
September 28 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

As a Principal Scientist, you will be at the center of our operations and you'll find that everything we do, every day, is in line with an unwavering commitment to quality. You will help execute a collaborative program to research and develop RNA-based vaccines for influenza and other viruses. The program will integrate cutting edge synthetic biology and RNA technology to rapidly and reliably respond to virus strain changes for seasonal vaccine updates and for pandemic outbreaks. The primary focus of this position will be to lead, design, implement, and innovate synthetic technology and molecular biology approaches that can rapidly, accurately, and efficiently produce high-quality DNA constructs to make game-changing RNA vaccines with superior efficacy or for other virology applications.

You will be recognized as a technical expert and a significant scientific contributor. With your deep knowledge of the discipline, you will regularly contribute at the therapeutic area level and can represent the department on multidisciplinary teams. You will be using your scientific judgment to adapt standard methods and techniques by applying prior work experience. You will undertake mentoring activities to guide team members.

It is your hard work and commitment that will make Pfizer ready to achieve new milestones and help patients across the globe.

How You Will Achieve It

  • Design, optimize, assemble, and produce DNA and RNA constructs to support the selection of optimal antigen and vector designs for RNA-based vaccines and other virology applications.
  • Establish innovative oligonucleotide and gene synthesis methods for more automated and rapid DNA generation (eg. BioXP). Remain current in the scientific literature and state-of-the-art techniques.
  • Design and conduct relevant molecular and cellular assays to characterize DNA/RNA constructs.
  • Document, interpret, and communicate experiments in this core area of expertise with a goal of advancing viral vaccine development, demonstrating high standards of scientific rigor, including compliant documentation and adherence to formal quality standards as necessary.
  • Mentor junior scientists' activities and provide technical guidance when necessary, managing one or more junior scientists
  • Collaborate with those from within the group, from other subdivisions of viral vaccines, from other divisions of Pfizer, and potentially from external partners.



  • PhD in molecular biology, molecular virology, or a related field with 6+ years of relevant post-doc experience.
  • Advanced knowledge of viral vector designs, expression vectors, gene synthesis, and DNA assembly methods .
  • Highly skilled in molecular and synthetic biology, including bioinformatic sequence design, oligonucleotide and gene synthesis, DNA assembly and amplification (Gibson assembly, Golden Gate cloning, RCA, etc.), protein expression, molecular cloning, enzymatic manipulations of nucleic acids, sequencing analysis, and PCR/qPCR.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work well in sight of aggressive timelines and excellence in multitasking
  • Ability to work and solve problems in interdisciplinary teams
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented individual
  • Demonstrates curiosity and creative desire to answer scientific questions
  • Be adaptable to take on the group's scientific challenges as they arise.


  • Industry experience in pre-clinical vaccine research and development
  • Experience with alphavirus replication and use as vectors
  • Experience with RNA structure/biology and molecular virology
  • Experience with tissue culture and cell-based assays
  • Experience managing/supervising/training junior staff

Other Job Details:
  • Eligible for employee referral programs: YES
  • Eligible for relocation support: YES


    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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