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Date Added: Fri 04/06/2021

Associate Scientist I, Polysaccharide Process Development

San Mateo, CA, US
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Job Type: Permanent, FullTime

Job Description
Company Profile:

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 pipeline includes pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV, candidates that we believe are the most broad-spectrum PCV candidates currently in development, targeting the $7 billion global pneumococcal vaccine market. Our lead vaccine candidate, VAX-24, is a preclinical, 24-valent broad-spectrum pneumococcal conjugate PCV with preclinical proof-of-concept demonstrating potential to replace the standard of care that we expect to advance into clinical trials in the second half of 2021. Our pipeline also includes VAX-XP, a PCV with an expanded breadth of coverage of at least 30 strains, including newly emerging strains responsible for invasive pneumococcal disease and antibiotic resistance; 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. We completed our initial public offering in June 2020, raising $287.5 million in gross proceeds.



Vaxcyte is looking for an energetic and talented associate scientist/engineer to contribute to the Polysaccharide development and manufacturing group within the CMC team. Vaxcyte is developing a multi-valent polysaccharide-based conjugate vaccine, based on a novel carrier protein produced using the Xpress CF platform. Polysaccharides are a critical component in conjugate vaccines. 

The successful candidate will have some practical laboratory experience developing processes related to fermentation, microbiology, biopharmaceuticals, or vaccine industries. The candidate will be eager to utilize and learn new laboratory skills as this person will be responsible for collaboration on experimental design and execution of experiments to further the polysaccharide development program.  This position will require >60% time in the lab and this person will be able to independently detail experimental procedures/results to colleagues. The successful candidate will work within the polysaccharide development team to design and execute experiments, summarize pertinent data and present experimental results internally.


Essential Functions:

  • Assist in design and execute experiments to further develop the upstream processes including:
    • Working with BSL2 micro-organisms
    • Perform microbiology related work including plating, colony selection, gram staining and cell enumeration
    • Flask and bioreactor fermentation execution
    • Fermentation vessel assembly
    • Media and buffer preparation
    • Centrifugation and filtration experimental execution
  • Operate and maintain instrumentation for bacterial fermentation (BSL2) and primary recovery (filtration, etc.) of bacterial polysaccharides utilizing aseptic technique
  • Perform analysis including optical density, residual metabolites and polysaccharide concentration
  • Assists execution of upstream process characterization studies 
  • Keep accurate and current records of research and/or project related activities in laboratory notebooks
  • Summarize data and communicate data to internal polysaccharide team
  • Works within a team environment and provides support as necessary to further the team's initiatives


  • Master's degree in Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Microbiology or a related discipline, with 0+ years of industry experience, Bachelor's degree with 1+ years of industry experience
  • Demonstrated experience handling micro-organisms with proper sterile technique
    1. Confidence working in biosafety cabinets while performing cell plating and inoculation of flasks/bioreactors
  • Prior work with flask and bioreactor-based fermentations
  • Prior experience assembling and utilizing bioreactors for fermentation experimentation 
    1. Experience with other automated laboratory equipment including TFF and HPLC a plus
  • General understanding of engineering principles involved in scaling processes from development to pilot scale either gained in industry or through university coursework
    1. Prior experience in polysaccharide development is a plus
  • Proficiency with computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Visio
    1. Experience with process simulation software a plus
  • Demonstrated success working in a cross-functional team environment; ability to work effectively as a member of a team to deliver results
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with excellent written and verbal communication skills


Reports to: Associate Director, Polysaccharide Development and ManufacturingLocation: Foster City, CACompensation: The compensation package will be competitive and includes comprehensive benefits and an equity component.

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