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Senior Scientist, Molecular Microbiology (PhD), Vaccines

Pearl River, New York
Closing date
May 18, 2022
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Why Patients Need You

Pfizer's purpose is to deliver breakthroughs that change patients' lives. Pfizer Vaccines Research and Development is at the heart of fulfilling Pfizer's purpose as we work to translate advanced science and technologies into vaccines that matter most. You will apply cutting edge design and process development capabilities to accelerate and bring the best-in-class vaccines to patients around the world.

What You Will Achieve

The primary purpose of the job is to provide expertise and support in genetics and molecular biology for early and late-stage antimicrobial vaccine programs. The incumbent will apply skills in microbiology and molecular biology to optimize recombinant protein expression constructs, mRNA vaccine constructs, as well as engineering of the pathogen itself for the purpose of validating target antigens or answering program critical questions about microbial pathogenesis. Experience with dissecting mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis, including interactions with the mammalian host is desired. Accordingly, the candidate should also have experience with associated cell-based and immunological assays that measure the host response to the infecting pathogen. Experience with microbial genomics/transcriptomics and next generation sequencing data analysis is preferable. A strong focus on hands-on experimental work as individual contributor at the lab bench is expected. In addition to contributing individually, the scientist may supervise the activities of junior colleagues (formally or informally) and lead research projects.

The successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team on a wide range of molecular microbiology and antigen development research projects. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work a multifunctional matrix environment are essential for the success of this candidate. This is an exciting opportunity for candidates with strong critical thinking skills and who wants to work in a robust collaborative environment. The candidate will be expected to conduct experiments in the wet lab, manage laboratory and data analysis responsibilities to achieve team goals.

How You Will Achieve It
  • Provide expertise and hands-on support in genetics and molecular biology for bacterial vaccine programs.
  • Plan and execute complex experiments to further project goals. Research, plan and conduct experiments to characterize the effects of knockouts, mutations or growth conditions on bacterial survival and virulence.
  • Contribute original ideas and participate in project planning for individual and team goals.
  • Independently design, assemble and characterize recombinant vectors and bacterial host strains.
  • Interpret and summarize experimental data. Research and design experiments to resolve technical problems. Present original data at internal and external scientific meetings.
  • Work with various bacterial and mammalian expression systems, and use molecular genetics techniques to troubleshoot expression problems. Perform bacterial fermentations and mammalian cell transfections in support of various projects.
  • Stay current in molecular microbiology and microbial genomics research tools and emerging approaches by keeping up with relevant literature and attending scientific meetings.
  • Maintain laboratory notebook in a detailed and descriptive manner. Keep current in entries into strains database.
  • Satisfactorily completes all cGMP/GLP and safety training in conformance with departmental requirements.
  • Other job duties as assigned.
  • Electronic documentation of lab work in a detailed fashion, summarizing and reporting data in an organized fashion.
  • Prepare results for presentation, inclusion in technical reports, and for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • The incumbent has training on required Policies, Practices, and Procedures needed to support their work. Other technical training on job-specific tasks may be required.


Must have
  • Candidate should have Ph.D. level research experience related to microbiology and microbial pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions.
  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant post-graduate experience with demonstrated data analysis skills and strong publication record is required.
  • Candidate should be proficient in general microbiology and contemporary recombinant DNA techniques, as well as have working knowledge of infectious disease pathogenesis, vaccine design, and recombinant expression systems.
  • Experience in microbiological techniques such as culturing aerobic, microaerophilic, and anaerobic bacterial pathogens and commensals.
  • Skills in nucleic acid isolation and qPCR assay development.
  • Ability to effectively manage, organize and prioritize multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent critical thinking, communication and organizational skills.
  • The position requires strong analytical, quantitative and leadership skills in addition to exceptional multi-tasking capabilities and organizational skills.
  • Incumbent must be able to effectively communicate complex ideas and concepts through excellent writing, oral presentation and teaching skills is expected.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and relevant scientific software, including graphing/statistical analysis tools is required.

Nice to have
  • Experience with protein purification and biochemistry.
  • Understanding of structural biology and antigen design.
  • Experience with NGS library preparation including RNA-seq
  • Competence in NGS analysis tools including genome assembly, annotation, and comparative genomics.


Must adhere to safe work practices.

Incumbent may be required to work outside of regular hours or travel to conferences.

Eligible for Relocation Package

Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus

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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