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Lab Head, - Functional Genomics and RNA Biology

Groton, Connecticut
Closing date
Feb 10, 2023

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Life Sciences, Biology, Genomics
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Academic Dean/Dept. Head
Organization Type
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.


We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled individual to join as a lab head in the Cellular, Genomics, and Protein Sciences (CGPS) group. The successful candidate will lead a small team of scientists within the larger Discovery Sciences Department and will be responsible for overseeing our Functional Genomics and RNA Biology capabilities. These efforts include the use of arrayed and pooled CRISPR screening for target identification, leveraging various CRISPR methods (CRISPRa, CRISPRi and base-editing) to deconvolute mechanism of action for small molecules of interest and leading the continued build of capabilities to support RNA biology areas of focus such as mRNA vaccine studies. These efforts will be applied broadly to portfolio programs across a range of therapeutic areas within Pfizer, and this individual will work among a large cross-disciplinary team of Chemists, Structural Biologists, Computational Scientists, and Research Unit experts to drive these programs.


The successful candidate will become a lab head in the Cellular, Genomics, and Protein Sciences group, driving early discovery efforts in target ID and target validation, helping to establish strategies for drugging novel targets, and deconvoluting small molecule mechanisms of action. Additionally, this member will provide some enabling support towards mRNA vaccine development. This role combines a lab-based component with a leadership role, in which the individual will oversee a small team of scientists, and therefore must demonstrate key leadership competencies, but will also be lab-based, "leading from the bench" with a strong and current knowledge base and skill set in the areas of functional genomics, RNA biology, and technology/method development. The successful candidate will collaborate across multiple groups and will be asked to bring strategic insight into the use of advanced CRISPR methods and RNA capabilities to meet the evolving demands of our early portfolio.

The successful candidate will be expected to:
  • Oversee and conduct forward and reverse functional genomic screening technologies in arrayed and pooled formats, leveraging CRISPR, RNAi, and base-editing. These skills will be applied to the goal of identification and validation of new targets, probing target biology in preparation to launch drug discovery campaigns, and deciphering mechanisms of action for small molecule compounds.
  • Leverage a range of state-of-the-art CRISPR platforms, including knockout, knock-in, CRISPRi, CRISPRa and base editors.
  • Participate in initiatives that enable delivery of CRISPR reagents to challenging, physiologically relevant cell models.
  • Possess sufficient cell expertise to apply functional genomics approaches in relevant cell models, beyond cell lines, such as primary cells and stem cells.
  • Have experience running cell-based assays, including phenotypic assays.
  • Be familiar with NGS methods, including transcriptomics and ChIP-Seq and/or Cut and Run for studying global mRNA changes, and protein-DNA interactions.
  • Be experienced with RNA assays such as qRT-PCR, ddPCR, RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq.
  • Be proficient in designing experiments to address key scientific questions
  • Possess obvious scientific curiosity, demonstrate evidence of deep thinking in disease area biology, and have experience solving problems in a drug discovery setting
  • Be a strategic and innovative thinker with an ability to adapt technologies for novel applications
  • Mentor and develop team members to drive team success.
  • Collaborate across functions and lead team discussions towards strategy alignment
  • Maintain up to date electronic laboratory notebooks and records in accordance with Pfizer policy.
  • Comply with all safety training and good laboratory practices.
  • Be highly motivated, highly organized and possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Show significant ability to work effectively in a matrixed, team-oriented environment.

  • Ph.D. in Genetics/Genomics, Molecular or Cellular Biology, or a related field with at least 2-5 years of experience in industry or research academic institution, OR MSc/BSc with10+ years of industry experience.
  • Strong scientific training and experience in development of CRISPR reagents and their use in cell-based assays for mechanistic studies, and for arrayed and pooled screens.
  • Experience in the design and use of state-of-the-art CRISPR approaches including base editors, CRISPRa, and CRISPRi
  • Demonstrated knowledge of RNA biology and experience with RNA assays, particularly in a cellular context.
  • Sufficient cell culture and cell characterization expertise to marry a variety of CRISPR and RNA delivery approaches with assays and studies conducted in complex cell models.
  • Working knowledge of all aspects of NGS studies, including library prep, common sequencing methods, and ability to understand analysis pipelines.
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage cutting-edge genomics technologies for target discovery, functional validation, and delivery of target and disease-relevant findings in a multi-functional, highly interactive and matrix environment.

  • High-content screening experience
  • Familiarity with clonal cell line development
  • Familiarity with nanopore sequencing, 3' RNASeq, and/or RNA chemical probing (with SHAPE reagents or equivalent)
  • Experience with mRNA delivery methods for vaccines or other therapeutic areas.


Sitting, standing, lifting, bending, and walking. Ability to perform practical laboratory bench work and work on a computer (while standing or sitting). Ability to perform mathematical calculations and interpret data.

  • Candidate may periodically be asked to travel to the Pfizer Cambridge, MA site to meet project team members.
  • Candidate must comply with laboratory safety practices and wear personal protection as required.


  • Relocation support available
  • Work Location Assignment:On Premise
  • Last Date to Apply: 2/24/2023


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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