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Summer Intern - Downstream Protein Development

Vaxcyte, Inc.
San Carlos, California
Start date
May 8, 2024

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Science/R&D, Biology, Laboratory
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
Biotech Bay

Job Details

Join our Mission to Protect Humankind!

Vaxcyte is a clinical-stage vaccine innovation company engineering high-fidelity vaccines to protect humankind from the consequences of bacterial diseases, which have serious and costly health consequences when left unchecked. Working to eradicate or treat bacterial infections such as invasive pneumococcal disease, Group A Strep, periodontitis and Shigella is just the beginning. Our path to success is clear and well-defined, and Vaxcyte is set up to go the distance. 

WHAT we do is every bit as important as HOW we do it! Our work together is guided by four enduring core values:

*AIM HIGH: We embody our collectively audacious goal to courageously make the most complex biologics ever attempted to protect humankind.

*LEAD WITH HEART: Everyone leads at Vaxcyte with a kindness-first, inclusive approach to collaboration and vigorous debate that advances our business objectives.

*RETHINK CONVENTION: We bring creative and intellectual diversity to every facet of the work we do in order to innovate and re-innovate the way vaccines are delivered.

*MODEL EXCELLENCE:  The magnitude of our challenge requires our shared commitment to demonstrating integrity, accountability, equality and clarity across communications and decision making.
Vaxcyte’s Summer Internship program offers students with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience that complements their college curriculum with relevant hands-on work that can shape their future career pathing and interests. 
As a DSP Protein Development Intern for Vaxcyte, you will work on a project that has one very clear and definable goal of carrying out a short-term stability study.  Your project is outlined below:

Define the impact of different purification strategies on the activity of proteins used in the Cell Free Protein Synthesis reaction.
- Work on purification approaches to generate stable and active purified protein for internal analytical development work.
- Relevant work: Optimizing buffer conditions or other run parameters to increase purity, yield, and/or activity of the protein.
Determine the impact of storage temperature and freeze thaw cycles on the activity of two proteins of interest.
- Successful storage temperature determination will define conditions for maintaining highly active purified proteins.
- Relevant work: Stability testing of proteins. Freeze/thaw samples over time and assess how enzyme activity is affected. Test different storage temperatures (e.g. +4, -20, -40, -80) and storage buffers to see how activity is affected. 

The main goal of the project will be to carry out a short-term stability study. More detailed activities can involve the purification of proteins and how purification strategies might affect protein quality and activity.  Both parts can be broken down into several smaller projects (e.g. exploring buffer components or exploring run parameters) to allow for more or less time as needed by the intern.
The Intern will have the opportunity to practice using ÄKTA, using lab equipment (e.g. pipettes, scales, pH meter, glassware), making buffers, interpreting chromatograms, running SDS-PAGE and associated analysis (e.g. purity analysis, titer, run quality, etc), spectrophotometry (e.g. NanoDrop or Cary-60), measuring enzyme activity, using plate reader (e.g. SpectraMax iD3), following protocols, preparing data, and presentation skills.

Program Details:
Internship will begin in June and will be 8-10 weeks (6-8 hours per day) in duration at our San Carlos, California location. 
    • Must be pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree (enrolled student with at least 1 year at university completed) with a focus on Biology or related subject.
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
    • Strong attention to detail and work quality.
    • Demonstrates collaboration and teamwork. 
    • Enthusiastic - Shows curiosity and is eager to learn.
    • Dedicated.

Reports to: Associate Scientist II, Protein Process Development & Manufacturing
Location: San Carlos, CA
Salary Range: The expected salary range for this position is $20-$23 per hour. Actual pay will be determined based on year of university/college completed.  The Summer Internship position will not be eligible for benefits and relocation and housing will not be offered.

Vaxcyte, Inc.
825 Industrial Road, Suite 300
San Carlos, CA 94070
We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.


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.

Company info
(650) 837-0111
825 Industrial Road, Suite 300
San Carlos

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