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Principal Scientist, Protein Crystallographer

Boulder, Colorado
Closing date
Feb 1, 2022

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Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Staff Scientist
Organization Type
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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

Pfizer Boulder Research and Development is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule drugs to treat cancer patients. Based in Colorado, with more than 300 days a year of sunshine, Boulder is a paradise in the West! Visit to discover what we love about Boulder.

The Structural Biology group at the Pfizer-Boulder Research and Development is seeking a highly skilled and motivated protein crystallographer/structural biologist to join our team. Primary responsibilities of this role are solving ligand-bound protein structures, delivering structural results to project teams, and actively and cooperatively participating in the gene-to-structure process. Career potential of this position grows with time from bench side initially into a blended role covering both hands-on research and managerial responsibilities. Successful candidates must demonstrate a proven track record in solving and interpreting ligand bound protein crystal structures. Mentoring experience is highly desirable.

Pfizer-Boulder Research and Development is a stimulating, engaging, multi-disciplinary research organization committed to bring the best small molecule drugs from first-class science at the bench to cancer patients. Boulder is a beautiful town nestled near the majestic Rocky Mountain with access to varieties of outdoor activities and more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Courage, excellence, equity, and joy are our values. If you are a qualified scientist who resonates with our culture, Apply today!

How You Will Achieve It
  • Utilize multiple crystallization formats to grow and optimize diffraction-quality ligand-bound protein co-crystals.
  • Collect and process datasets using both in-house X-ray generators and remoted data collection on synchrotrons with optimized collection strategies.
  • Solve and refine structures either by Molecular Replacement or experimental phasing.
  • Conduct structural analysis and interpretation and support structure-based compound design by working closely with medicinal and computation chemists, and providing regular updates to cross-functional project teams.
  • As a subject-matter expert who will lead from the bench assisting Structural Biology colleagues with challenging protein targets throughout the gene-to-structure process, including construct design, protein purification, assessment, crystallization, and structure solving.


  • PhD in structural biology or a related field having 5+ years' postdoctoral experience of protein crystallography in industrial or academic research that leads a proven track record of achievement and publications in reputable, peer-reviewed journals
  • Extensive experience in protein X-ray crystallography from protein sample assessment, crystallization, optimization, data collection and processing, to structure solution
  • Demonstrated competency in protein expression and purification strategies using bacterial, insect, and/or mammalian hosts.
  • Experience with software for model building and refinement such as Phenix, Autoproc, CCP4, Chimera, Rosetta, Coot
  • Experience with crystallization robot and standard analytical techniques associated with assessing protein quality during the purification process.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Experience to use integrated biophysical and structural biology experiments to assess sample quality and understand interactions between small molecules and macromolecular target
  • Experience with Linux OS and GPU-accelerated computational environment
  • Experience with cryo-EM sample preparation protocols and data collection/processing is a plus.
  • Experience in mentorship and/or project management


Primary interaction of this position will be with Boulder colleagues within the Structural Biology group, and colleagues in Enzymology, Medicinal Chemistry and computational Chemistry groups, and with structural biology colleagues at Groton and La Jolla. Occasional interaction with external service vendors is also expected.

  • Able to lift 50lb objects with dimensions 12 inches in height and 26 inches in width
  • Able to visualize microscopic objects under microscopes

  • Able to adhere to safe work practices and perform lab works with appropriate personal protection equipment such as but not limited to safety goggles, facial mask, gloves, lab coat/ protective gowning, and closed toe shoes
  • Able to work at flexible hours occasionally when performing time-sensitive experiments

Other Job Details

Eligible for Relocation Package

Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus

For roles based in Colorado:

The annual base salary for this position ranges from $93,200.00 to $155,400.00. In addition, this position offers an annual bonus with a target of 15% of the base salary and eligibility to participate in our share based long term incentive program. Benefits offered include a retirement savings plan, paid vacation, holiday and personal days, paid caregiver/parental and medical leave, and health benefits to include medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans.

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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