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Senior Scientist- Process Development

La Jolla, California
Closing date
Oct 13, 2022

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Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Other, Manufacturing/QA/QC
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Senior Scientist
Organization Type
All Industry, Pharma
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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

As a Senior Scientist, you will be at the center of our operations and you'll find that everything we do, every day, is in line with an unwavering commitment to quality. You will be responsible for the development of process technology for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). From small scale synthesis in support of discovery programs, to the development of the commercial synthetic route, you will partner with manufacturing specialists for API synthesis and provide support for technology transfer to Pfizer manufacturing sites and third party facilities. Your innovative mindset will help us develop economical, efficient and safe active drug materials.

You will be recognized as a technical expert and a scientific contributor. With your deep knowledge of the discipline, you will be an active team member whose decisions impact the project. You will be using your scientific judgment to adapt standard methods and techniques by applying prior work experience. You will be forecasting and planning resource requirements for your project team. Your creativity in developing novel processes and new ideas will be used frequently. You will undertake mentoring activities to guide team members.

It is your innovative scientific temperament that will help in making Pfizer ready to achieve new milestones and help patients across the globe.

How You Will Achieve It

  • Regularly contribute and influence at the project team level.
  • Determine and understand metabolic or reaction pathways and genetically Engineer those pathways for improved culture performance and/or to produce new Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).
  • Participate in brainstorming sessions towards proposing innovative enzyme engineering ideas for Biocatalyst development.
  • Support technology transfer of drug substance processes to internal Pfizer API manufacturing facilities and external suppliers.
  • Serve as the primary Technical Expert for the manufacturing methods, perform scientific laboratory studies, and make recommendations to improve manufacturing reliability, cost, safety, compliance and environmental performance.
  • Remain current with chemistry literature and applications of continuous development and manufacture.
  • Select, develop, and apply new and existing process technologies to facilitate process design to achieve project goals.
  • Assist with definition and tracking of document management plan.
  • Improve production strains by molecular biological methods and by traditional mutagenesis and screening.
  • Communicate appropriately on activities and progress to management and key stakeholders.
  • Take personal responsibility for own work, pushing self and others to exceed goals and deliver results.


We are seeking a synthetic organic chemist to join the Process Chemistry group within Chemical Research and Development (CRD) in La Jolla, CA. CRD, as part of Worldwide R&D in Pharmaceutical Sciences, is responsible for the development of process technology for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). CRD La Jolla scientists engage in the early stage development of drug candidates from small scale synthesis in support of Discovery programs, to the development of the multi-kg synthesis for clinical support. CRD scientists partner with manufacturing specialists for API synthesis in kilo-lab and pilot plant facilities, as well as provide support for technology transfer to Pfizer manufacturing sites and third party facilities.

The successful candidate will design, enable and develop scalable processes to pharmaceutical drug candidates, applying innovative chemistries, new technologies and statistical experimental design approaches in a laboratory setting. The ability to work on and lead multi-disciplinary teams involving chemists, analysts, engineers, and technologists, and to represent CRD on cross-functional teams is essential.

  • The successful candidate would propose and identify efficient and robust synthetic routes for the preparation of API's in early development. This position requires laboratory experimentation, participation on API project team and work in collaboration with scientists from AnalyticalR&D and other disciplines such as engineering to further develop synthetic routes into synthetic processes. Interpretation of analytical data to drive synthetic experimental plans and ability to utilize electronic tools (such as electronic notebook) to document information. A desire to continue to develop and apply new skills is required. The successful candidate would also be responsible to participate in the preparation of technical transfer documents for manufacture internally or at third parties. Compliance on safety and regulatory requirements is expected and documented through our internal training program.
  • The successful candidate would also participate in key initiatives for CRD and contribute to continuous improvement work in the department and advancement of the Process Chemistry discipline through technology, workflow or business impact.

  • Evolve the API laboratory at the La Jolla site with state of the art equipment such as EZMax, jacketed reactors, and analytical tools.
  • Individual lab work focused on early development oncology candidates with a focus on enabling and developing scalable processes, use of the Lab of the Future equipment, and the use of analytical, computational and predictive tools.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills including remote interactions with other CRD colleagues in Groton/Sandwich as well as interactions with LJ colleagues, in particular med chem.
  • Ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams involving analysts, process safety scientists, engineers, and technologists as an essential skill.
  • Partnering with manufacturing specialists for API synthesis in kilo-lab, as well as providing support for technology transfer to CMOs, including the preparation of technical transfer documents.
  • Travel is required in support of manufacture (Groton Kilo Lab) and to engage with the broader CRD team, and to participate in scientific conferences.

  • PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, or MS degree in Organic Chemistry with 8+ years' relevant industrial experience, or Bachelor's Degree in chemistry with 10+ years' relevant industrial experience, ideally in Chemical Research and Development.
  • The ideal candidate has experience in process chemistry and Science of Scale along with knowledge of the Discovery/Pharm Sci interface.
  • State of the art knowledge of modern synthetic methodology, including aspects of asymmetric synthesis, green chemistry, catalysis and physical organic chemistry as it relates to reaction mechanism is expected. The ability to employ analytical tools, computational and statistical methodology, and automated laboratory technologies to enhance process development efficiency is desirable. Excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to effectively influence the work of others and a general knowledge of drug development and the pharmaceutical industry are key.

  • Laboratory work requiring standing.
  • Working at a computer.
  • Ability to use sound scientific judgment and analyze data to advance programs.


Travel is required on occasion in support of Groton KL manufacture or to participate in scientific conferences.

Additional Information:
  • Relocation support available
  • Employee Referral Eligible
  • Work Location Assignment:On Premise
  • Last day to apply: October 11, 2022


Relocation assistance may be available based on business needs and/or eligibility.


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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