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Principal Scientist, Antigen Design & Selection, Infectious Disease Research

Moderna, Inc.
Cambridge, MA
Start date
Mar 3, 2023

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Job Details

The Role:

Modernas Infectious Disease Research group is seeking a talented, experienced and motivated Bioinformatician scientist to be part of the vaccine discovery team in Cambridge, MA for a wide range of disease targets. This researcher will apply expertise in structural bioinformatics and immunology to design novel mRNA sequences for vaccine candidates. The Principal Scientist works with other members of the Infectious disease team and external collaborators on the discovery and development of Modernas mRNA vaccine and immunotherapy candidates and helps to advance these into IND-enabling studies. The Principal Scientist will collaborate with other cross-functional teams to evaluate designed mRNAs in the lab and present results internally and externally. The role involves collaboration with other scientists within the Moderna ecosystem including cellular immunologists, virologists, bacteriologists and computational scientists to design novel vaccine candidates against infectious disease targets. Applicants should be outstanding in their fields, collaborative team members and excellent communicators.

Heres What Youll Do:

  • Bioinformatically analyze protein structures and sequences from pathogens and design mRNA vaccine sequences for testing in vitro by other team members.

  • Propose novel vaccine and therapeutic targets aligned with Modernas scientific strategy and capabilities. Interpret, troubleshoot, and report complex data.

  • Align with Infectious Disease Research group members for key antigen design needs and the evaluation of the designed mRNA vaccine candidates.

  • Work closely with cross-functional teams across the Moderna ecosystem, collaborators and CROs to progress candidates from discovery through IND-enabling studies.

  • Maintain expertise in the field of infectious disease, immunotherapy and therapeutic developments, biomarker discovery and patient outcomes, attend conferences, and liaise with external experts in the field.

  • Manage multiple experiments, projects and interactions with supporting functions.

  • Apply scientific expertise to identify mRNA vaccine and immunotherapy discovery strategies.

  • Provide scientific and technical support to interdisciplinary project teams.

  • Prepare documents and present plans, results, project updates, and summaries.

Heres What Youll Bring to the Table:

  • Exceptional PhD in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, or related field with a minimum of eight years of postdoctoral experience.

  • Experience in protein redesign, homology modeling, and sequence analyses is required. We are particularly interested in candidates with prior experience in structure-based vaccine design.

  • Experience in either free energy calculation or molecular dynamics is required.

  • Proficiency in Unix-based systems, scripting language (Python/R/Perl), a good working knowledge of relevant data analysis and visualization packages including 3D protein structure.

  • Proven ability to interpret complex data and present conclusions in a clear and understandable way to a broad audience.

  • Strong time management and problem-solving skills.

  • Positive team building and teamwork skills, willing to give and receive constructive feedback

  • Proven track record of high impact publications and presentations in the field of protein or antigen design.

  • The ability to work in a cross-functional work environment is critical, engagement with personnel in different parts of the company; strong leadership skills and independence are expected.

  • Candidate will be curious in exploring new paths for vaccine and drug discovery, bold in proposing creative experimental designs and ideas. Will work collaboratively with multifunctional teams and will be relentless in pursuing successful outcomes.

Moderna is pleased to provide you and your family with a comprehensive and innovative suite of benefits, including:

  • Highly competitive and inclusive medical, dental and vision coverage options
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for medical expenses and dependent care expenses
  • Lifestyle Spending Account funds to help you engage in personal enrichment and self-care activities
  • Family care benefits, including subsidized back-up care options and on-demand tutoring
  • Free premium access to fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes
  • Exclusive preferred pricing on Peloton fitness equipment
  • Adoption and family-planning benefits
  • Dedicated care coordination support for our LGBTQ+ community
  • Generous paid time off, including:
    Vacation, sick time and holidays
    Volunteer time to participate within your community
    Discretionary year-end shutdown
    Paid sabbatical after 5 years; every 3 years thereafter
  • Generous Paid Leave offerings, including 18 weeks of 100% paid parental leave for all new parents
  • 401k match and Financial Planning tools
  • Moderna-paid Life, LTD and STD insurance coverages, as well as voluntary benefit options
  • Complimentary concierge service including home services research, travel booking, and entertainment requests
  • Free parking or subsidized commuter passes
  • Location-specific perks and extras!

Candidates should be aware that Moderna currently maintains a policy requiring all US-based employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a booster shot once eligible. Newly hired employees must be vaccinated and boosted prior to their employment start date. Moderna is an equal opportunity employer and will provide a reasonable accommodation to those unable to be vaccinated or receive a booster where it is not an undue hardship to the company to do so as provided under federal, state, and local law.

About Moderna

In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for rapid clinical and commercial production at scale. Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing. Most recently, Moderna's capabilities have come together to allow the authorized use and approval of one of the earliest and most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna's mRNA platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, and has allowed the development of therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moderna has been named a top biopharmaceutical employer by Science for the past seven years. To learn more, visit

Moderna is a smoke-free, alcohol-free and drug-free work environment.

Moderna is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a persons race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Moderna will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.




Moderna is advancing messenger RNA (mRNA) science to create a new class of transformative medicines for patients. Moderna’s platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, providing the Company the capability to pursue in parallel a robust pipeline of new development candidates. Moderna is developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases and cardiovascular diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.

mRNA is now a turning point in the history of science, medicine, technology, even humankind itself. With this breakthrough discovery, many of the world’s biggest and most challenging medical problems are no longer a question of “how?” but merely a question of “when?”

Come with us as we pursue the uncharted reaches of possibility and make your mark on the future of medicine.


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