Associate Director/Staff Scientist, Protein Process Development

Palo Alto, California
Nov 16, 2021
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Company Profile
Vaxcyte, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCVX) is a next-generation vaccine company seeking to improve global health by developing superior and novel vaccines designed to prevent some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. Our exclusively licensed cell-free protein synthesis platform and our proprietary know how enable us to design and produce optimized protein carriers and antigens, the critical building blocks of vaccines, in ways that we believe conventional vaccine technologies cannot. Our lead vaccine candidate, VAX-24, is a preclinical, 24-valent broad-spectrum pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) being developed for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease. Our pipeline also includes VAX-XP, a PCV with an expanded breadth of coverage of at least 30 strains; VAX-A1, a prophylactic vaccine candidate designed to prevent Group A Strep infections; and VAX-PG, a therapeutic vaccine candidate designed to slow or stop the progression of periodontal disease by targeting the keystone pathogen responsible for this chronic, oral inflammatory disease. 

Vaxcyte is looking for an energetic and talented individual to join Vaxcyte’s Vaccine Product Development organization as an Associate Director/Staff Scientist of downstream development and manufacturing within the Protein Development and Manufacturing group.

• A dynamic leader that can cultivate a team and develop employees while driving progress on the pipeline

•    An exceptional team player who works seamlessly with others, speaks up, and remains focused on achieving the best results to achieve company goals

•   A scientific thought leader capable of synthesizing complex biochemistry into well-designed experiments capable of illuminating the unknown; able to plan and utilize team strengths to execute

•   The ability to analyze and concatenate data to draw conclusions, make clear decisions, and communicate salient points concisely

•  A strong sense of ownership and accountability; commitment to Vaxcyte’s mission
Essential Functions

    • Take the lead in developing downstream purification process for multiple protein antigens that comprise the VAX-A1 vaccine, an early stage clinical candidate; purification process must be robust, scalable, and cost-effective 
    • Spend ~50% time in the lab
    • Manage a group of 2-3 direct reports 
    • Collaborate with Analytical Development to develop and implement assays to assess product quality, including novel product concentration assays
    • Participate in cross-functional project teams and provide regular progress updates
    • Lead technology transfer activities for the process developed at Vaxcyte to an external CMO for GMP production
    • All Vaxcyte employees require vaccination against COVID-19 

    • PhD in Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, or a related discipline, with 5+ years of industry experience; MS with 10+ years of industry experience; or BS with 15+ years of industry experience
    • In depth protein purification knowledge and experience, including familiarity with AKTA lab-scale and preparative chromatography systems and Unicorn software
    • Both practical experience with and theoretical knowledge of engineering principles involved in scaling processes from development lab to pilot / manufacturing plant  Working knowledge of the requirements of GMP manufacturing; hands-on GMP experience a plus
    • Experience working with CMOs highly desired; ability to effectively transfer processes to CMO, and to oversee development and manufacturing activities performed at CMO; ability to travel to CMO (some international travel required) to perform person-in-plant oversight activities
    • Extensive hands-on experience purifying proteins from crude lysate to high purity
    • Solid understanding of the principals of DoE (Design of Experiments); practical experience with DoE software; proficient in the design and interpretation of statistically modelled experiments.
    • Experience with depth, nominal, and tangential flow filtration
    • Ability and desire to learn upstream cell-free production system used to express proteins
    • Proficiency running gel- and column-based analytical methods a plus; such methods may include SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, IEF, SEC, HIC, IEX, RP, Mass Spec, and binding affinity or activity assays (such as MSD or ELISA)  Experience writing IND section(s) a plus
    • Demonstrated success working in a cross-functional team environment on multiple projects; ability to work both on a team (as member and/or leader) and independently to deliver results
    • Strong interpersonal skills, with excellent written and verbal communication skills 

Reports to: Senior Director, Protein Process Development & Manufacturing

Location: San Carlos, CA

The compensation package will be competitive and includes comprehensive benefits and an equity component.

Vaxcyte, Inc.
825 Industrial Rd.
Suite 300, San Carlos, CA 94070