Pfizer Scientist in La Jolla, California

Pfizer Vaccine Research and Development seeks to discover novel vaccines (prophylactic and therapeutic) for the prevention and treatment of significant human diseases (e.g. infectious diseases, oncology) using a variety of vaccine technology platforms combined with immunomodulatory agents.

We are seeking a Virus Production/Purification Scientist to join the Early Bioprocess Development group in Vaccine Research, La Jolla, California, to develop and support virus production/purification processes at the research scale.

The successful candidate will have good knowledge and experience in virus production and purification and be able to independently and proactively apply this knowledge to the design and execution of experimental work, enabling progression of vaccine discovery projects from preclinical to early development. The role will encompass both preclinical reagent supplies along with early process development for clinical vaccine candidates.


EXPERIMENTAL/LABORATORY & RELATED WORK under daily to weekly supervision (80-90%):

  • Work with supervisor to define aim and a plan to achieve that aim, will then independently execute work following the plan

  • Experimental design in consultation with supervisor, literature review, and increasing emphasis on independent design based on experience.

  • Will carry out on-going analysis of data generated and will identify problems. Will implement necessary changes following discussion with peers/ supervisor.

  • Will analyze and interpret experimental data, results and methodology used with guidance.

  • Will gain skills and experience to be fully conversant with the operation and validation of all items of equipment or IT needed for experimentation, data analysis, storage and data entry.

  • Be able to review literature and suggest/apply to technical solutions to bioprocess problems of moderate complexity

  • Will write-up laboratory notebooks regularly in compliance with Pfizer IP policy and GSP

  • Preparation of presentation materials.

COMMUNICATION & Scope of Team Influence

  • Will have effective communication skills, both verbal and written; listens and understands well.

  • Will regularly communicate with supervisor and team scientists

  • Will regularly contribute and influence at the discipline and project team level as a team participant.

Safe working and regulatory compliance

  • Work safely themselves and be aware of EHS practices of other colleagues in all aspects of role, including handling of BSL2 infectious viruses.

  • Completion of risk assessments, compliance training as required

  • Acts independently to maintain a safe and EHS compliant desk and workspace


Bachelor of science degree in biological sciences or Biochemical/chemical engineering with 6+ years' relevant laboratory experience, or Master of science degree in biological sciences or Biochemical/chemical engineering with 5+ years' relevant laboratory experience.

Experience in one or more of the following areas is essential:

  • Mammalian cell culture - adherent and suspension

  • Virus production at bioreactor scale

  • Virus and/ or protein purification using chromatographic techniques - with experience using Unicorn based FPLC systems.

  • Tangential flow filtration

  • Dead-end filtration

  • Ultracentrifugation based purification

  • Experience in safe handling of BSL2 infectious viruses - e.g. Adenovirus & Vaccinia

  • The successful candidate will be required to work with BSL2 infectious viruses- Including Vaccinia

The candidate will be required to work with moderate supervision and, as a member of a team, be accountable for the critical appraisal of their results and present them for review, at specific project milestones. The role is laboratory based, and a major emphasis is placed upon laboratory training to increase the scope of practical abilities, as well as the theory behind such practical work.


  • Virus and/ or protein characterization techniques


  • Standard laboratory conditions - sitting, standing, primarily lab based

  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs

  • Working with BSL2 infectious viruses

  • Ability to perform mathematical calculations and complex data analysis

  • No/infrequent travel

  • Will be required to work with BSL2 infectious viruses (e.g. Vaccinia virus, adenovirus, and influenza) and must receive and maintain required vaccinations or provide satisfactory proof of same.

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.

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.

Other Job Details:

  • Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus

Pfizer is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable equal employment opportunity legislation in each jurisdiction in which it operates.