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The Pfizer Oncology Research & Development group in La Jolla is seeking a full-time employee to support the drug discovery process to create innovative cancer therapies. The successful candidate will provide expert scientific and technical expertise towards the discovery and pre-clinical development of innovative small molecule drugs for receptor-class protein targets (e.g. GPCR, NHR, SLC). The successful candidate will work with a high degree of independence to provide biochemical insight on receptor targets and ligands as well as impact drug discovery project teams at a high strategic level.


  • Provide senior, strategic, and technical leadership for the cellular and molecular characterization of receptor targets (GPCR, nuclear hormone receptors, membrane transporters, and ion channels) and the development of effective lead discovery testing-cascades that impact the oncology portfolio and advance innovative drugs through our preclinical pipeline
  • Lead/ contribute to the establishment of methods to characterize and understand the impact of receptor drug candidates – particularly with regard to assessment of targeted receptor agonist/antagonist interactions (on-/off-target occupancy) and efficacy for multiple preclinical oncology projects
  • Lead/ contribute to the establishment of programs to identify relevant biomarkers for oncology receptor drug candidates
  • Demonstrate strong leadership, personal accountability and interpersonal skills, and capability for mentoring junior colleagues (direct reports and others), and establish safe, high-quality lab practices
  • Ensure high-quality, timely documentation in electronic laboratory notebooks and Technical Reports, and contribute to Regulatory Filings and responses to Regulatory questions as appropriate
  • Present data/ strategy to scientists and management in internal and external venues (technical meetings, Project Team meetings, conferences) and publish in peer-reviewed journals, as appropriate
  • Maintain current in relevant literature and innovative technologies and their application to receptor target characterization and understanding, particularly in areas of tumor cell receptor signaling, epigenetics, and immune-oncology


  • The candidate must have a Ph.D. in biochemistry or cell biology (or related field) with 8+ years of experience in small molecule drug discovery with a strong track record of success.
  • The individual will be a recognized scientific and technical expert with cellular receptors (e.g. GPCR, NHR) and highly experienced in methods to characterize agonists and antagonists and their biochemical and cellular function/activities.
  • A well-established ability to develop robust, functional in vitro assays for the discovery of small molecule agonist/antagonists of membrane receptors is required.
  • Corresponding or senior-authored publications in top-tier journals is also a prerequisite.
  • The candidate must demonstrate strong leadership, personal accountability and interpersonal skills, and capability for mentoring junior colleagues (direct reports and others), and establish safe, high-quality lab practices.
  • In addition, the candidate should display a strong strategic understanding of small molecule drug discovery and have a broad understanding of cross-discipline drug discovery processes within a project team.
  • A scientific background in oncology and/or immuno-oncology drug discovery is preferred.
  • The candidate should possess excellent communication skills (written, verbal), proven leadership skills, and the demonstrated ability to make good decisions and influence teams to advance projects and navigate the complexities of receptor-based drug discovery.