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Senior Associate Scientist, Cellular and Molecular Biology (non-PhD)

La Jolla, California
Closing date
May 19, 2022

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Life Sciences, Biology, Molecular Biology, 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's Oncology Research Unit (ORU) in La Jolla, California, is seeking a Senior Associate Scientist (non-PhD) that is highly self-motivated and passionate about making impactful contributions to develop the next generation of innovative cancer medicines.

The candidate will focus on translating basic discoveries in the field of tumor biology into novel therapeutics. The ideal candidate will have strong translational research experience with hands-on expertise in conducting drug mechanism of action studies, elucidation of drug resistance mechanisms, and development of rational drug combination strategies. Excellent communication and organizational skills and attention to detail are essential. Strongest consideration will be given to candidates with experience in mammalian cell culture (non-transformed and cancer cell cultures) and molecular biology techniques. Experience in tumor biology and CRISPR is a plus. Strong motivation to continually further drug discovery knowledge is expected.

As a member of the group, the candidate will work together with a team of motivated and scientifically rigorous scientists to perform laboratory-based research in a collaborative environment, interpret and present findings at team/project meetings, and function as an integral member of the team to support drug programs currently in clinical development and/or advance programs through the pre-clinical drug discovery stages.

How You Will Achieve It

  • Perform routine cell culture and molecular biology and biochemistry techniques to support novel target discovery/therapeutics, target evaluation, and mechanism of action studies for cancer
  • Independently plan, organize, develop, and execute complex in vitro assays for conducting synthetic-lethal, drug combination screens to identify rational combinations and patient selection biomarkers
  • Collaborate with in vivo pharmacology group for efficacy testing, PK/PD studies, experimental design of preclinical PoC experiments, and develop cell assays to measure pharmacodynamic changes, kinetics of drug response and evaluation of predictive biomarkers
  • Critically analyze/interpret complex data and be able to effectively communicate and present research results and methodologies at weekly meetings with immediate manager and/or project leader, and other research forums
  • Regularly read scientific literature to continually expand knowledge base and aid experimental design
  • Document experiments and data analysis in E-Workbook
  • Contribute to building a culture that embraces scientific excellence, urgency, partnerships with key stakeholders, continuous learning and improvement, expanding technical skill base and cancer biology expertise; take a proactive role in personal growth and scientific development


  • BS or MS in Molecular or Cellular Biology, Genetics, Pharmacology (or a comparable biological science) with a minimum of 3+ years (BS) or 0+ years (MS) of relevant experience in an academic or pharmaceutical/biotech environment.
  • Experience with any of the following techniques: mammalian cell culture, flow cytometry, mRNA isolation, qRT-PCR, cell proliferation assays, cytotoxicity assays, western blotting, immunofluorescence, ELISA, Incucyte cell imaging, or high content screening
  • Ability to plan and execute in vitro experiments with minimal supervision
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of software tools to support data capture/analysis tools, such as Excel, GraphPad, Spotfire, or PowerPoint for data analysis/presentations.
  • Excellent organization and planning skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment as part of a high-performance team
  • Highly motivated individual with a dedicated work ethic
  • Great verbal and written communication skills


  • Strong track record in cancer drug discovery/translational research and the development of small-molecule inhibitors
  • Strong foundational knowledge in cell cycle regulation, progression, and division
  • Experience in use of CRISPR-based techniques for gene knockout, gene editing, and working knowledge of pooled CRISPR -based screening approaches
  • Skilled in 2D and 3D (spheroid models, organoid, co-culture systems, etc.) assays to measure cell proliferation, migration, and invasion

  • Lifting, walking, bending, ability to perform mathematical calculations, and ability to perform complex data analysis
  • Perform work in a laboratory setting
  • Extended periods of sitting and standing


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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