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Job Information

Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellow, Biochemistry and Quantitative Pharmacology in La Jolla, California

Why Patients Need You

Pfizer's purpose is to deliver breakthroughs that change patients' lives. Research and Development is at the heart of fulfilling Pfizer's purpose as we work to translate advanced science and technologies into the therapies and vaccines that matter most. Whether you are in the discovery sciences, ensuring drug safety and efficacy or supporting clinical trials, you will apply cutting edge design and process development capabilities to accelerate and bring the best in class medicines to patients around the world.

What You Will Achieve

Pfizer Oncology R&D is working to change the trajectory of cancer by translating breakthrough discoveries in cancer research into the best medicines imaginable for cancer patients. The Epigenetics and Biochemistry and Quantitative Pharmacology groups have two postdoctoral positions available for highly-motivated candidates with expertise in enzymology, structural biology, biochemistry, cell and systems biology. Based in La Jolla, California, these scientists will work collaboratively to leverage unprecedented chemical and biological discovery platforms to further our understanding of lysine acetylation biology.

Genomic DNA is organized in the cell in repeating nucleosomal units which are further compacted into dense arrays. Chromatin structure is dynamic and directly related to gene expression. Chromatin structure is influenced, in part, by multiple modifications that exist on histone proteins, including methylation and acetylation of lysine residues within the histone tails. Lysine acetylation neutralizes the positive charge on histones and serves to physically relax chromatin, which increases accessibility to allow proteins involved in DNA transcription, replication, or repair to physically access the genome and execute their functions. Thus, lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) perform important regulatory functions and consequently, in cancers they are frequently targeted by mutations, translocations, and amplifications. The dysregulation of these enzymes can result in global changes in histone acetylation patterns, as well as gene-specific changes leading to altered transcription of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes.

KATs are known to work in the context of large protein complexes. The Postdoctoral fellows will seek to better understand the function, specificity and regulation of these various KAT complexes and the impact of cancer associated KAT genetic alterations on KAT function. A foundation for this work will be characterization of relevant HAT complexes using a comprehensive platform of enzymatic characterization of KAT complexes, structural biology, cellular biology, CRISPR gene editing technology, and medicinal chemistry resources. This position will be focused on the enzymatic and structural characterization of MYST family KAT complexes.

How You Will Achieve It

  • Enzymatically characterize various MYST Family KAT complexes with the goal of better understanding the molecular determinants of specificity and function

  • Collaborate closely with the cell biology postdoc, structural biologists and other Pfizer scientists to explore fundamental research questions with an emphasis on novel discoveries that will result in high impact publications.

  • Participate in design of targeted experiments to address key questions on the molecular interactions and function of canonical and non-conical KAT complexes

  • Organize, interpret, and analyze data, and identify areas where key knowledge is lacking

  • Proactively seek out new information in the literature and incorporate this into your scientific hypothesis and experimental plan

  • Effectively communicate data and results at internal and external meetings/conferences

  • Bring expertise in enzymology, molecular and structural biology and an interest in epigenetics and KAT enzyme function

  • Produce high impact publications in peer reviewed journals



  • Recent Ph.D. in enzymology or biochemistry.

  • Significant experience in functional characterization of enzyme activity, specificity and regulation.

  • Extensive experience using enzyme kinetics to understand enzyme function.

  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, willingness to learn new skills, and demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team

  • Demonstrated research productivity by first-author publications in peer-reviewed journals


  • Experience purifying proteins and protein complexes.

  • Structural biology experience or experience with other biophysical methods for characterizing proteins (MS, ITC, SPR, AUC).


Must be physically able to perform experiments at the bench, including light lifting, sitting, standing, walking, bending. Must have a strong understanding of mathematics, the ability to perform mathematical calculations including fitting data to complex equations, and ability to perform complex data analysis.


Must be vaccinated for COVID-19 or be willing to take weekly COVID tests.

Relocation support available

Pfizer requires all U.S. new hires to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Pfizer will consider requests for Reasonable Accommodations.

Sunshine Act

Pfizer reports payments and other transfers of value to health care providers as required by federal and state transparency laws and implementing regulations. These laws and regulations require Pfizer to provide government agencies with information such as a health care provider's name, address and the type of payments or other value received, generally for public disclosure. Subject to further legal review and statutory or regulatory clarification, which Pfizer intends to pursue, reimbursement of recruiting expenses for licensed physicians may constitute a reportable transfer of value under the federal transparency law commonly known as the Sunshine Act. Therefore, if you are a licensed physician who incurs recruiting expenses as a result of interviewing with Pfizer that we pay or reimburse, your name, address and the amount of payments made currently will be reported to the government. If you have questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact your Talent Acquisition representative.

EEO & Employment Eligibility

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.

Research and Development