Researcher 4 - Vaccine & Antibody Development Chemistry Professional - #19504096

University of Minnesota

Date: Dec 26, 2020
City: Minneapolis, MN
Contract type: Full time
University of Minnesota

Special Notice for COVID-19

The UMN has suspended hiring for most positions. However, we will continue hiring for positions critical to the University's mission and operations at this time. Applications are being accepted for this position and you are encouraged to apply. In-person interviews are suspended indefinitely and will be replaced by interviews in a virtual format. Thank you for your continued interest in working at the University of Minnesota.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in the Biological Sciences (preferably in Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, or similar) and 4 years of professional laboratory experience or a combination of related education and experience to equal eight years.

  • Expertise in conjugation chemistry is required. The candidate should have core expertise in the conjugation of small molecules (e.g., haptens and peptides) to carriers (e.g., proteins, nanoparticles), and their purification or formulation in suitable delivery vehicles (e.g., liposomes or adjuvants).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree in the Biological Sciences (preferably in Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, or similar) and 2 years of professional laboratory experience. Experience in vaccine development or antibody engineering, immunoassays and operation of MALDI TOF, DLS, LC/MS or equivalent instrument.

  • Other preferred skills include the ability to operate a Triple Quad LC/MS to conduct peptide or protein analysis.

  • Availability or experience in working with animals (rodents) is a plus.

About the Job

We are in search of a well-rounded team player that is interested in interfacing with other members of the lab as well as managing relationships with several external collaborators including research institutes, start-ups and CMO/CDMOs for GMP manufacturing. The ideal candidate should execute tasks independently, have good managerial and communication skills, be creative, flexible, self-motivated, and exhibit problem solving skills.

75% Work independently to solve complex research-related projects in the laboratory. Responsible for the conjugation of small molecules to carriers using coupling chemistry (e.g., carbodiimide or maleimide), MALDI-TOF, dynamic light scattering (DLS) or other research methods to measure conjugate size, perform purification, scale-up, and release assays for conjugate vaccines to be used in animal studies. Creating and evaluating various conjugates prepared in lab and received from other labs including project-related troubleshooting, development, preparation and formulation of new compounds for testing. Ensure that components of projects are completed in an ethically, scientifically rigorous, and timely manner. Provide technical expertise to research lab staff regarding problem solving, experimental procedures, statistical analysis, and research project design. Review literature as suggested by the research. Select relevant facts, techniques, and procedures from the literature to advance research projects.

15% Responsible for administrative activities in support of research projects. Management activities of GMP manufacturing campaigns including cross-functional communication between third parties, establishing timelines and holding regular meetings to update the rest of the team about ongoing operations. Providing technical expertise (scientific or administrative) and support to outside collaborators on various projects as needed. Follow project execution and ensure results-delivery.

10% Responsible for technical writing in support of research projects. Responsible for drafting or reviewing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for internal use or destined to third parties (CMO, CRO, research laboratories, or industry partners). Reviewing and/or drafting CDAs, SOWs, and other CPS-related legal and technical agreements. Writing or reviewing confidential or non-confidential study reports (manuscripts, posters, data presentations, etc.).

About the Department

Dr. Marco Pravetoni's laboratory focuses on the development of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and small molecules to treat drug use disorders and reduce fatal overdoses, immunological mechanisms underlying vaccine and antibody efficacy against drugs of abuse, and rational strategies to enhance efficacy of antibody-based therapies against drugs of abuse and other targets. Our unique multidisciplinary research program integrates rational vaccine design, monoclonal antibodies, medicinal chemistry, immunomodulators, formulation/delivery platforms, pre-clinical models of opioid expsoure, PK/PD models, analysis of B and T cell lymphocyte repertoire in pre-clinical and clinical samples, GLP/GMP studies to support regulatory approval and clinical evaluation, and ad hoc industry collaborations. Our team is currently leading a Phase I clinical trial of vaccines targeting opioids. Strategies and platforms are currently applied to development of vaccines or antibodies to counteract fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, as well as other chemical threats.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:

Background Check Information

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the U of M

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

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