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Sanofi Group Senior Scientist Computational Structural Biology - Vaccine in Cambridge, Massachusetts

SUMMARY

This role fills a global and critical vaccine research and development role for the Global Antigen Design/ Research and Development / Sanofi Vaccines global. The role is responsible for developing novel methods to address state-of-the-art problems in computational structural biology and requires a mastery of the fundamentals in biophysics and thermodynamics as well as an advanced understanding and practical experience with developing and applying complex machine learning solutions for structural biology data. The role requires a PhD in computational structural biology with significant experience in machine learning.

S/he will have an advanced understanding and practical experience with developing and applying complex machine learning and similar modeling solutions for structural biology data. S/he will have had hands-on experience covering advanced algorithms, databases, networking, modeling and simulation, as well as those covering biocomputation and bioengineering informatics, as well as essential scientific programming skills (e.g. in languages such as Python/R and the like. It is expected that the candidate is proficient at general computational biology tasks (e.g., to manipulate sequence alignments for homology modeling). It is a major plus if the applicant also has hands-on laboratory experience to better interface between computational and experimental sciences.

This role reports directly to William Warren, Global Head of Antigen Design

DUTIES

90% General Job Duty – Computational Structural Biology and Machine Learning

  • Develops, deploys, and assesses the results of massively parallel methods for characterizing the biochemical and structural properties of antigens using molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulation, normal mode analysis, homology modeling, ab initio structure-prediction and related methods

  • Leads the development and evaluations of computational and statistical methods for data analysis such as machine learning designs.

  • Employs machine learning methods to deconvolve high-dimensional experimental and in silico modeling results

  • Designs and performs computational experiments with a “fail fast” spirit and considers the outlier result to be the most interesting result

  • Explores future directions of Computational Structural Biology/Machine Learning and keeps abreast of the latest developments

  • Acts as a subject matter expert in computational structural biology

  • Produces high-quality analyses and codebases that extend the capabilities and impact of the team as a whole

  • Generates IP and participates in the drafting of patent filings

10% General Job Duty - Internal and External Networking

  • Participates in relevant Project Teams and proactively maintain an open interface and communication channel with relevant areas of the company.

  • Ensures transparent and cooperative liaison with other positions around innovation and artificial intelligence/big data within the wider Sanofi Group.

  • Ensures efficient and agile communication of key information, process and workflow operational element in various circumstances

  • Leads by Influence to mentor diverse staff in the interpretation and generation of novel vaccine candidates performance data

  • Develops and maintains an international network of experts in computational structural biology / machine learning, key science, technology and innovation areas, including outside the typical vaccine industry.

  • Representations and interventions at the international/community level on relevant structural biology/machine learning matters. Presents at conferences.

CONTEXT OF THE JOB/MAJOR CHALLENGES

This position is key for achieving the mission of the Computational Antigen Design: pioneering, testing and implementing innovative cutting-edge biological science and novel Structural Biology/Machine Learning technology solutions and concepts towards antigen design.

The major challenges related to the role are:

  • The complexity and variety of the role: ability to switch smoothly between different scientific and operational disciplines and requirements; being able to marry deep scientific research and fast exploratory mindset with proper documentation.

  • Execute on a variety of timescales and merge results from many sub-disciplines and techniques to assess and design

  • The need to quickly transform an idea into an experiment and learn from the result to decide on the next step, which might be to kill the idea.

  • An unusually strong combination of biological science knowledge, structural biology, systems biology, and computer science knowledge.

  • Tact, diplomacy, people skills, and excellent networking and communication (both oral and written) skills in general are important.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Broad-based scientific training (Ph.D. BioEngineering, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology or Master’s degree with equivalent experience. Multidisciplinary in nature with an interdisciplinary specialization focusing on computational challenges and solutions in the biological and structural biology application areas. The applicant will have hands-on experience covering advanced algorithms, databases, networking, modeling and simulation, as well as those covering biocomputation and bioengineering informatics.

  • S/he will have an advanced understanding and practical experience with developing and applying solutions for structural biology data.

  • Mastery of fundamentals (e.g., thermodynamics, macromolecule physics, force field design, protein design, essential biochemistry) in protein design studies.

  • Experience with big data, cloud computing and parallel computing.

  • It is a major plus if the applicant has hands-on laboratory experience.

  • Strong experience in implementing ML software applications (including predictive models) and performing test verification.

  • Strong experience writing and deploying novel algorithms, developing and testing new models.

  • A strong passion for empirical research and for answering hard questions with data

  • Asymmetrical thinker who sees patterns of the big picture emerge from the parts. Creative brainstormer, skilled in divergent thinking. Ability to navigate ambiguity and interact effectively with unconventional people and ideas.

  • Highly flexible and adaptable individual able to thrive in a fast pace and ambiguous environment.

  • Ability to process multiple inputs to develop a clear understanding of a problem, issue or potential solution and translate them into practical business opportunities.

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving as well as communication, scientific writing and presentation skills. Ability to put together a convincing business case.

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Ability to influence without a direct reporting relationship.

Sanofi Inc. and its U.S. affiliates are Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employers committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race; color; creed; religion; national origin; age; ancestry; nationality; marital, domestic partnership or civil union status; sex, gender, gender identity or expression; affectional or sexual orientation; disability; veteran or military status or liability for military status; domestic violence victim status; atypical cellular or blood trait; genetic information (including the refusal to submit to genetic testing) or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a healthcare company and a vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi has an important responsibility to protect individual and public health. All US based roles require individuals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of your job responsibilities.

According to the CDC, an individual is considered to be “fully vaccinated” fourteen (14) days after receiving (a) the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or (b) the single dose of the J&J vaccine. Fully vaccinated, for new Sanofi employees, is to be fully vaccinated 14 DAYS PRIOR TO START DATE.

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At Sanofi diversity and inclusion is foundational to how we operate and embedded in our Core Values. We recognize to truly tap into the richness diversity brings we must lead with inclusion and have a workplace where those differences can thrive and be leveraged to empower the lives of our colleagues, patients and customers. We respect and celebrate the diversity of our people, their backgrounds and experiences and provide equal opportunity for all.

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