Associate Scientist, Vaccine Development


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Gaithersburg, MD

Job Description

As posted by the hiring company

Job Overview:

If you find science, speed, and success exhilarating, you have come to the right place.

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.

Summary of the Position:

The Structural Biology Associate Scientist will be a member of the Vaccine Development team and will be responsible for nanoparticle-based vaccine characterization biochemically and structurally using cryo-electron microscopy support. The Associate Scientist will be primarily responsible for protein characterization using particle size, thermal stability, activity and/or 2-3D structures by Electron Microscopy, to guide and advance the understanding of portfolio targets. The candidate will also be actively involved in building internal structural biology infrastructure and coordinating internal and external efforts on aspects of the structural biology pipeline with other lead scientists. The candidate will communicate results and collaborate in cross-functional teams, across several groups within the organization, contributing to its culture of engagement and scientific rigor.


  • Coordinate and collaborate with internal and external teams in protein characterization
  • Help establish in-house cryo-EM capabilities, including computational workflows to process, solve and refine cryo-EM data
  • Determining and validating cryo-EM structures of vaccine targets utilizing internal and external resources
  • Providing structural biology support and expertise to cross-functional project teams to help assess feasibility of experiments and provide insight into recent developments in cryo-EM technology
  • Interpreting and communicating results to multi-disciplinary project teams
  • Support structural biology workflow including cryoEM sample handling and grid preparation, data collection and processing and documentation management
  • Maintenance of computer and networking hardware and software (mostly Linux and Windows, and cryo-EM/ET software e.g- ChimeraX, CryoSPARC, RELION)
  • Setup of future hardware and software as the research technology is upgraded
  • Perform protein characterization analyses to identify developable vaccine candidates.
    • Plan experimental studies and protocols to analyze samples.
    • Test purified proteins using biochemical, biophysical, and immunological assays such as HPLC-SEC, DLS, DSC, SPR, ELISA, Octet and/or ITC etc. 


  • Master’s in Biochemistry or Biophysics (with 3+ years’ academic or industrial experience) OR PhD in Protein Structural Biology or related discipline, with relevant experience (under 1 year)
  • Hands-on experience with all aspects of the gene-to-structure pipeline for cryo-EM. Experience with protein-small molecule complexes, protein-protein complexes, and membrane proteins would be preferred.
  • Experience with protein bioinformatic tools and software
  • Excellent scientific ability demonstrated by a track record of scientific accomplishments through publications and presentations
  • Ability to interact effectively within multiple teams, working closely with protein scientists, computational, and biochemists
  • Experience and ability to work in collaborative interdisciplinary teams in a matrix environment
  • Outstanding written and oral presentation capabilities
  • Ability to critically analyze data, to communicate results, and to author technical reports.
  • Excellent record keeping abilities to document analytical data generated
  • Detail oriented with the ability to accept and follow instruction and execute stepwise work plans in a reproducible manner. 
  • Position requires 80% time working in the laboratory.  Some long periods of standing maybe be necessary
  • Research activities require periodic weekend/evening work.  Candidate must be flexible in time management
  • Flexibility, ability, and commitment to manage multiple competing priorities while meeting expected deadlines; willing to take initiative in pursuit of project and team goals.
  • Strong work ethics, respectful, and high-level of motivation are required.

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.

Except where prohibited by applicable state law, this position requires that you be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless you need a reasonable accommodation or qualify for an exemption.