Senior Associate Scientist, Molecular and Cellular Biology

La Jolla, California
October 16 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type
Staff Scientist
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 Cancer Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics (CVIT) department within Oncology Research and Development seeks to discover novel therapeutic treatments for cancer, including state-of-the-art cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses, and immunotherapeutic antibodies. We are seeking a Senior Associate Scientist to join the CVIT Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) team in La Jolla, CA. As a member of a diverse multi-disciplinary team, the Senior Associate Scientist will provide critical molecular and cell biology support to advance novel cancer therapeutics from discovery through pre-clinical studies and into the clinic. The Senior Associate Scientist will utilize established techniques under moderate supervision to assist in in the production and characterization of RNA based vaccines and other novel cancer therapeutics.

The successful candidate will be highly self-motivated, organized, detail oriented, communicative, and collaborate effectively with colleagues within and outside the MCB team. The ideal candidate must have hands on experience with different molecular cloning techniques, sequencing analysis, DNA/RNA isolation, RT-qPCR, mammalian cell culture techniques, and analysis of protein expression in cells using Western blot. Experiences with in vitro RNA production/characterization, RNA handling, Bioanalyzer and other analytical tools are desirable. A major emphasis is placed upon laboratory cross-training to increase the scope of practical scientific abilities, as well as the theory behind such practical work.

How You Will Achieve It

Key responsibilities are ~90% laboratory based and include, with moderate supervision:
  • Molecular cloning, sequencing analysis, DNA/RNA isolation, RT-qPCR.
  • in vitro RNA production and characterization, confirmation of mRNA encoded antigen expression in mammalian cells using Western blot.
  • Culturing and plating of mammalian cell lines (adherent and/or suspension) in adherence with proper aseptic techniques.
  • Independently designing, executing, and troubleshooting laboratory experiments with rigorous documentation in electronic lab notebooks.
  • Analyzing, summarizing, and presenting data to work groups and project teams.
  • Strictly adhering to established environmental health and safety guidelines, including potential work with BSL2 viruses.


  • B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in life sciences, preferably in molecular and cellular biology or related field.
  • At least 3 years (B.Sc.) or 1-3 years (M.Sc.) experience working in an academic, or preferably industrial laboratory setting.
  • Experience with different molecular cloning techniques (such as restriction-based, PCR, Gibson, or Seamless), protein expression, sequence analysis, mammalian cell culture.
  • Effective multi-tasking, organizational, and written/oral communication skills.


  • Experience generating stable mammalian cell lines.
  • Experience in RNA production and characterization techniques.
  • Experience handling Bioanalyzer and other analytical tools.

  • Ability to perform standard, occasionally repetitive laboratory operations while sitting/standing.
  • Ability to perform moderately complex mathematical calculations and data analysis.

  • May be required to work with BSL2 infectious viruses and may be required to receive and maintain required vaccinations or provide satisfactory proof of same.
  • No/infrequent travel required.
  • May work occasional weekday evenings and/or weekend days.

  • Last Date to Apply: October 22nd, 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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