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Pfizer Senior Principal Scientist, T in La Jolla, California


The T cell Immuno-Oncology (I-O) group in Pfizer is building a world-class immunology team and is seeking a highly motivated and creative Senior Principal Scientist to join a group of researchers evaluating novel therapies in the fields of Cancer Immunotherapy, Immune Checkpoint Biology, and Innate Immunity. The candidate will report to the Senior Director, Cancer Immunology and work closely with other disciplines across Pfizer to drive early discovery research programs into early clinical development, providing scientific and technical expertise. Specifically, the candidate will identify unique tumor-specific micro-environmental cues that impact T cell and dendritic cell function, differentiation and trafficking using a variety of tools including, classic molecular, cellular, and biochemical techniques, as well as modern imaging techniques, systems immunology, bioinformatics, and preclinical in vitro and in vivo models.


  • Supervise research associates and/or scientists.

  • Discover and develop new therapeutic modalities for cancer immunotherapy.

  • Design and perform studies to evaluate the anatomical distribution, persistence and function of antigen-specific T cells and dendritic cells in preclinical models of cancer.

  • Design and execute mechanism of action, PD and other biomarker studies, as well as combination studies for Pfizer's preclinical-stage small molecule/IO drugs using in vivo murine models and ex vivo methods, such as cell sorting, multi-color flow cytometry, CyTOF, gene expression analysis techniques, and human and murine primary cell culture.

  • Collaborate with protein engineering, computational biology, T cell redirecting therapy group and clinical development group to pursue the most promising drug candidates through clinical trials.

  • Lead collaborations with internal and external collaborators.

  • Present at group meetings, global project team meetings, and site meetings.

  • Contribute to a dynamic, exciting culture that embraces teamwork and innovation.


  • Ph.D. with 8+ years of experience (prefer 8+ years of post-Ph.D experience).

  • Demonstrated expertise in the field of immunology, cell biology and/or genetics.

  • Solid technical knowledge and hands-on experience with conventional immunological techniques.

  • Broad experience in assessing T cell and/or DC function, differentiation, and memory development.

  • Expertise in flow cytometry, qRT-PCR, MSD, Nano string and cytotoxic assays.

  • Working knowledge of various murine tumor and/or infectious disease models.

  • Ability to independently design, plan and execute and interpret experiments.

  • Prior experience working with or leading collaborations with external academic, biotechnology, and contract research organizations.

  • Experience in mentoring and/or leading Ph.D. level and non-Ph.D. level scientists.

  • Ability to organize and communicate complex data sets in a clear and concise manner to key stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.

  • Excellent organization and planning skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced environment independently or as part of a team, good verbal and written communication, and strong motivation with a dedicated work ethic.


  • Ability to actively contribute scientifically to immunological drug discovery research programs, including identification and validation of novel targets.

  • In-depth understanding of T cell subsets and surface markers - Teff, Tem, Tcm,Trm, Treg Th1, Th2 etc.

  • In-depth understanding of dendritic cell biology.

  • In-depth understanding of inhibitory and co-stimulatory molecules and their associated signal transduction pathways.

  • Experience in CRISPR technology and lentiviral transduction.

  • Experience with human PBMC and mammalian cell culture.

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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.

Other Job Details:

  • Eligible for Relocation Package

  • 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.