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Principal Scientist, Virology

Pearl River, New York
Closing date
Oct 1, 2022

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Life Sciences, Virology, Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Staff Scientist
Organization Type
All Industry, Pharma
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Job Description


You will lead the Early Bioprocess Development (EBPD) effort to develop methods to optimize virus propagation and production to support vaccine development and clinical testing. Your primary responsibility is to establish and optimize appropriate virus model and their host cells for higher titer, scale and consistency. Your responsibilities will include identification/generation of viruses for virus process development and clinical testing; genetic engineering of viruses or host cells to achieve higher titer, faster growth, and better scalability; maintenance of virus stock and documentation of strain passage and variation.

  • Establish optimal combinations of virus, cell lines and propagation methods to assure consistent supply of virus for clinical testing
  • Develop different types of assays such as molecular, biochemical, biophysical, or biological assays to identify/characterize viruses
  • Establish use of reporter systems as alternatives to more conventional assays and enumeration methods
  • Establish BSL-2 viral propagation models that inform BSL-3 methods
  • Keep track of virus source, passage history and sequence variation
  • Identify/engineer/optimize host cell line for better titer, scalability, and consistency
  • Adaptation of adherent host cell into suspension culture for higher virus productivity and consistency
  • Collaborate with colleagues within EBPD including Upstream process development, Purification, Analytical, and Formulation Development groups
  • Establish relationships and collaborative working alliances outside of Vaccines Early Bioprocess development such as vaccine research and high throughput clinical testing
  • Propose solutions to scientific problems and offer insights based on experience to direct reports and other collaborating scientists
  • Plan and prioritize virology related activities for the group
  • Lead the evaluation and implementation of new technologies to improve virology propagation
  • Author and review virus culture procedures and reports, relevant parts in patent application and IND enabling documentation
  • Represent the virus propagation group in relevant project sub team meetings. Maintain detailed records of the meetings and keep management informed as to progress or issues.
  • Keep abreast of scientific/ technological development by participating in scientific meetings/ seminars and through regular scientific review.
  • Perform timely notebook entries and review for completed experiments.


Must Have
  • PhD in Virology, Microbiology, Immunology, Cell Biology, or other biology related discipline and a minimum of 3 years related virology experience. MS degree with a minimum of10 years or BS degree with a minimum of15 years of virology related experience in academia, a biotech and/or a pharmaceutical environment
  • Knowledge of general virology, molecular virology, immunology, cell biology and assay development
  • Experience designing and carrying out cutting edge experiments in virus engineering and cell line engineering
  • Hands on experience in molecular virology
  • Experience with molecular, biochemical, biophysical and cell-based assays including qRT-PCR, Octet, HA assay, FFA, TCID50, plaque assay, ELISA, Western, HPLC, BCA, fluorescence and UV spectroscopy, cytotoxicity, etc.

Nice to Have
  • BSL-3 lab experience and related regulatory knowledge
  • Experience of next generation sequencing and bioinformatics to track virus lineage
  • Experience designing, organizing, and executing multiple complex experiments simultaneously
  • Experience planning project workflows and keeping track of past records for different projects
  • Experience leading/managing a small team


The ability to make aseptic transfers and perform the relevant laboratory functions.

Mental requirements are a detailed understanding of the scientific subject matter, an ability to make scientific judgments and an ability to perform complex data analysis.


Works irregular hours (weekends and outside of 9-5 format) as experiments warrant

Relocation support available

Work Location Assignment:On Premise

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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