Principal Scientist- Computational Biologist;1040786 – Pfizer Inc. – Cambridge, MA

Job ID: 6111
Job date: 2016-10-18

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Job Description:

To be considered for this role please apply at by searching Job ID# 1040786

About Pfizer

A career at Pfizer offers opportunity, ownership and impact.All over the world, Pfizer colleagues work together to positively impact health for everyone, everywhere. Our colleagues have the opportunity to grow and develop a career that offers both individual and company success; be part of an ownership culture that values diversity and where all colleagues are energized and engaged; and the ability to impact the health and lives of millions of people. Pfizer, a global leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, is continuously seeking top talent who are inspired by our purpose to innovate to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives.

Role Description

The availability both of ever-larger datasets of gene expression and function and of quantitative markers of disease, combined with emerging information about the genetic bases of human disease, offers new opportunities for science-based drug discovery across disease areas. Pfizer is capitalizing on this emerging science with a computational group focused on target identification and validation.

The Computational Target Validation Scientist will be accountable to and will work closely with the biologists in a specific disease area analyzing in-house and public RNAseq, NGS and other 'omics data types to evaluate the biological rationale of existing drug programs and to prioritize potential new drug targets.

The Computational Target Validation Scientist will work with members of the human genetics group to integrate human genetics evidence of gene-disease association into computational target identification and validation efforts.

The Computational Target Validation Scientist will work together with members of the computational biomedicine group to integrate the clinical and real-world perspectives, as well as to leverage a broader suite of computational capabilities and analytical tools, in bringing forward targets, disease hypotheses and pathways for further biological and functional validation, and in providing foundational information that informs precision medicine strategies.The Computational Target Validation Scientist position offers an opportunity to execute science based drug discovery within one of the world's leading


Lead a coordinating interface with the biologists and project teams in a specific disease area to drive comprehensive computational target identification and validation.

Be accountable to and work with senior Research Unit personnel to ensure strategic and functional alignment around target identification and validation needs and activities; to identify opportunities where novel, innovative approaches or technologies could be applied to advance critical Research Unit goals; and to champion proposals that translate strategy into action.

Deliver computational analyses of high-dimensional datasets such as RNAseq, NGS or metabolomics from model systems, disease systems, and, molecular profiling databases to understand disease biology, potential drug targets and specific genetic variants.

Integrate multiple levels of biological information to inform protein-disease networks in the context of drug discovery.

Provide hypotheses and insights based on complex multidimensional data analyses to inform and aid in design of biological validation studies initiated by RU for functional validation (e.g., siRNA, CRISPR/Cas9).

Identify novel data sources, computational methods, and external collaborations that will grow capabilities in computational target validation.

Lead internal/external collaborations that secure access to innovative computational methodologies and/or relevant datasets to advance our ability to understand disease pathophysiology from large-scale molecular and phenotypic data.

Contribute to and direct matrix computational teams to achieve goals on disease area projects, drawing on the broader skillsets of colleagues within Human Genetics, Computational Biology & Biomedicine, Biostatistics and the Research Units themselves to support comprehensive target validation through advanced data analysis and data integration.


Ph.D. in Computational Biology, Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics or other natural science required; 5+ years relevant experience applying quantitative approaches to solving biological problems, preferably in a pharmaceutical, biotech or comparable context.

Curiosity about biological and pathological processes and mechanisms

Background in human biology/medicine, with some knowledge of disease pathophysiology forImmunology and Inflammation, Neuroscience or Neurodegeneration or Rare Diseases highly preferred.

Proficiency in programming, scripting, querying or statistical analysis languages such as R,python, perl, SQL.

Demonstrated experience in design, execution and interpretation of in vivo and/or in vitro biological experiments, especially RNAseq or other NGS.

Demonstrated expertise in delivering insights and hypotheses from complex multi-dimensional biological data in a biomedical context.

Demonstrated experience applying computational approaches to deliver insights and hypotheses, e.g., multivariate, Bayesian and machine learning approaches.

Pharmaceutically relevant experience or formal training in computational biology, bioinformatics, computer science or medicine.

Demonstrated ability for sound experimental design for in-silico experimentation/workflows required, in addition to ability to effectively interface with Research Unit biologist to communicate/discuss results, ideas, and follow-up experiments.

In depth knowledge of relevant public and proprietary databases, methods and tools.

Demonstrated experience leading limited duration cross-disciplinary teams to achieve specific goals.

Excellent communication skills (oral and written) as demonstrated by publications & presentations.


Primarily sitting at a desk and moving through offices. Light travel load. No extra-ordinary requirements.

Ability to perform complex data analysisAbility to learn new areas of disease biologyAbility to learn and use new computational techniques and tools

Equal Employment Opportunity

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.

Job Type: Full-time

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