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Molecular & Cell Biology Principal Scientist (Dissection Lead)

Vertex Pharmaceuticals
San Diego County, California, US
Closing date
Dec 19, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is seeking a diligent and motivated Principal Scientist to join the Molecular & Cell Biology (MCB) group in San Diego. The successful candidate will lead and execute the procurement, processing, and characterization of human tissues to validate targets and build predictive in vitro assays. This position will have immediate impact on our drug discovery pipeline from exploratory research to clinical candidates. Duties include (1) working with scientists and leadership to identify and prioritize critical tissue needs, (2) working with external partners and contracting to procure tissues, (3) develop, implement, and execute tissue processing protocols, and (4) characterize tissues and isolated cells by collaborating with Vertex's biology, computational genomics, and histology groups. The ideal candidate requires excellent communication, management, and organizational skills to succeed in a fast-paced, inclusive, collaborative, and accountable laboratory environment.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Designs and performs sophisticated, technically challenging experiments, efficiently and independently
  • Generates effective hypotheses to pursue Project goals and set new experimental directions
  • Identifies broad implications to findings, which transcend the immediate experiment
  • Develops novel and creative solutions to overcome Project goal obstacles
  • Performs advanced, complex experimental troubleshooting and methods development, and is routinely called upon to use this prowess to assist others outside of own Projects
  • Makes substantive conceptual contributions to Project activities and scientific strategies
  • "Imports" new principles/concepts from other fields to establish new progress in Projects
  • Coordinates publication and/or patenting of findings, or is a major contributor to these processes
  • Provides authoritative technical recommendations broadly within the company regarding own field/discipline, and often occupies a key or pivotal formal or informal Project role
  • May be the practical manager of CRO contracts or external collaborative research

Education and Experience Requirements:
  • Ph.D. (or equivalent degree) in molecular biology, cell biology, animal sciences, biochemistry, or related disciplines and 4-7 years of relevant post-doctoral employment experience, or
  • Masters Degree (or equivalent degree) in molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, or related disciplines and 7+ years of relevant employment experience, or
  • Bachelors Degree (or equivalent degree) in molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, or related disciplines and 10+ years of relevant employment experience
  • PhD in Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Animal Sciences, or related field with at least 4+ years' experience working with primary human tissue and cells
  • Expert in human tissue dissection as well as isolation and culture of primary human cells
  • Experience with patient sample handling and organization
  • Experience with histological and/or cell biological characterization techniques
  • Diligence and impeccable attention to detail
  • Experience with efficiently leading direct reports
  • Flexibility to process tissue when available
  • Motivation to learn new techniques and support various areas of research as required
  • A desire to be part of a highly innovative company aimed at transforming the lives of people with serious diseases, their families and society

Company Information

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation.

Vertex is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Vertex is an E-Verify Employer in the United States. Vertex will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law.

Please note that Vertex requires COVID-19 vaccination for all employees working in the U.S. as a condition of employment at Vertex, subject to medical, religious or other accommodations or exemptions required by law. We believe this requirement is vital to keeping everyone at Vertex and in our communities safe. This requirement applies to both existing and new employees who may at any time work on-site at a Vertex facility or visit another location on behalf of Vertex (e.g., conferences, customer visits, etc.), including all remote employees. Any applicant requiring an accommodation in connection with the hiring process and/or to perform the essential functions of the position for which the applicant has applied should make a request to the recruiter or hiring manager, or contact Talent Acquisition at
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