Sr. Scientist, Upstream Process Development

Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States
28 Nov 2023
22 Dec 2023
R & D , Scientific
Full Time
Experienced (non-manager)
Novavax, Inc (Nasdaq:NVAX) is a biotechnology company that creates transformational vaccines that address some of the world’s most pressing infectious diseases. We have more than a decade of experience contending with some of the world’s most devastating diseases, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, RSV, Ebola, MERS, and SARS. Hard-won lessons and significant advances illustrate that our proven technology has tremendous potential to make a substantial contribution to public health worldwide.

Our scientists are committed to developing vaccine candidates for some of the world’s toughest viral threats by utilizing the power of our innovative recombinant nanoparticle vaccine platform. Our vaccine technology combines the power and speed of genetic engineering with the immunogenicity enhancing properties of our Matrix-M™ adjuvant to efficiently produce highly immunogenic particles targeting some of the most pressing viral infectious diseases.

Novavax, Inc. is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland with additional facilities in Uppsala, Sweden and Bohumil, Czech Republic.

We are seeking an Upstream Process Development Sr. Scientist to join our Upstream Process Development department in Gaithersburg, MD. This individual will play a key role in the recombinant protein production in insect cell/baculovirus expression system. Qualified individuals will play a leading role in upstream process development; maintain insect cell culture, BVI and recombinant protein production, and technical support of cGMP manufacturing for nanoparticles vaccines. The candidate would participate in the fed-batch process development & improvement in small to large-scale (shake flasks and stirred-tank bioreactors up to 250L). In addition, the candidate will ensure scientifically sound design and scalable upstream processes are created. The candidate is expected to be highly self-motivated, well-organized, and very proactive. This position will be located at our Gaithersburg, MD facility.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Design experiments, execute process development studies, analyze data, make conclusions, and write reports to establish operating and performance parameters and to transfer them to manufacturing.
  • Perform cell culture and expansion of suspension insect cells in shaker flasks and bioreactors on a daily basis.
  • Prepare insect cell culture media and feed solutions, and record all necessary information in a specified format.
  • Perform cell growth test, recombinant baculovirus production, and protein production in small flasks and bioreactors, and record all relevant data in a timely manner.
  • Maintain an up-to-date working knowledge of the baculovirus/insect cell expression system, bioreactor operation, and various assays like Rapid Titer assay, plaque assay, SDS-PAGE, Western Blot, etc.
  • Perform inoculation, infection, sampling, and harvest processes related to shaker flasks (125 mL - 5L) and bioreactors (3L - 250L).
  • Analyze experiment data, make a conclusion, and present them within and outside the team.
  • Record all data accurately in physical and/or electronic lab notebook in a timely manner and maintain data integrity.
  • Assist in data analysis and write/review/edit reports.
  • Assist in the maintenance of department records and material inventories.
  • Assist in the maintenance of laboratory equipment by monitoring PM/calibration dates, submitting service requests when necessary, installation/induction of new instruments.
  • Track and maintain lab supplies by inventorying stock, notifying a supervisor or a designated person when supplies run low, verifying receipt of supplies, and discarding expired reagents regularly.
  • Supervise scientists and/or associates, provide study plans and training as needed, and ensure following company policies.
  • Cell Culture activities require periodic weekend/evening/early morning work. Candidate must be flexible in time management.

Minimum Requirements:
  • 4-5 years of biotech/pharmaceutical industry experience with Ph.D degree, 6-7 years with a master’s degree, or 8-9 years with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Biology, Chemical Engineering, or a related field.
  • Excellent aseptic techniques in cell culture.
  • Experience in insect cell culture and baculovirus expression system is a plus.
  • Good understanding of bioreactors, capability to set up/execute bioreactor runs, and to resolve issues during runs with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to perform design of experiment and statistical analysis, to draw conclusions from experimental data, and to make appropriate recommendations.
  • Previous experience and understanding in analytical and molecular biology assays (such as TCID50, plaque assay, ELISA, SDS-PAGE, Western blot, Rapid Titer, etc.).
  • Ability to troubleshoot, identify root causes, and systematically resolve problems.
  • Strong multi-tasking and organizational skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal collaboration skills among cross-functional teams.
  • Proficient in Windows-based software including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and statistical software like JMP.
  • Flexible in time management for frequent weekend work.

Novavax offers a base salary, annual bonus, equity grants, professional career development/growth opportunities, and a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, Rx, STD, LTD, Life, Optional Life, 401(k) plan.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Veterans/Disabled

Novavax is an equal employment opportunity employer. Employment and advancement opportunities are available to all individuals on an at-will basis, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, citizenship status, military or veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, protective hairstyle, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)