Postdoctoral Fellow - Upstream Process Development

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

  • Other
Job Type/Arrangement:
  • Full Time

As part of the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center, the Vaccine Production Program (VPP) serves to translate drug discoveries to clinical manufacturing to advance public health. The VPP is a science-driven organization uniquely positioned between academia and the biopharmaceutical industry. Research at the VPP combines the rigor of academic studies with cutting-edge development. Specialized teams of scientists and engineers work in close collaboration with each other, with other labs and programs within the VRC and the NIH, as well as with academic and industry partners. Through our collaborative environment, the postdoctoral fellow will advance their academic careers while gaining valuable experience in biopharmaceutical process development.

Research in Upstream Process Development centers on the identification and optimization of process parameters to support and control the growth of a mammalian or microbial cell line in a production bioreactor. The resulting process must ensure a robust and scalable method to deliver high-yielding expression of the recombinant vaccine, monoclonal antibody, or other protein of interest. Development begins with automated microbioreactors (15 to 250 mL) and progressively increases from 3 L bench-scale bioreactors up to a scale of 50 L. The finalized processes are then transferred externally to enable larger scale manufacturing of clinical material under cGMP regulations.

We are seeking a motivated postdoctoral candidate to apply advanced experimental and computational techniques towards improving cell growth, productivity, and metabolism. A successful candidate will have a keen interest in multidisciplinary work that challenges and expands their scientific abilities. The candidate will choose from a handful of related projects based on their interests and career goals. Broadly, the candidate will develop and evaluate novel media compositions, supplementation, and feeding strategies to optimize our development process. Postdoctoral fellows can also develop their own research initiatives within the mission of the VPP using the wealth of data from prior and ongoing development runs.

Applicants with related experience are encouraged to apply even if they do not have prior experience in mammalian cell culture, metabolism, or computational biology. Our interdisciplinary program is designed to provide experiences that foster the development of skills necessary to conduct independent research and to cross-train fellows in related disciplines such as cell culture development, bioreactor operation, metabolomics, machine learning, computational biology, and statistics.

To Apply

Candidates should submit their CV, a brief statement of research interests/career goals, and the contact information of three references to Sean Mack at

The review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

The NIH is dedicated to building a community in its training and employment programs and encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. Diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and modes of thought are critical to scientific advancement.

HHS, NIH, and NIAID are proud to be equal opportunity employers dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Education Requirement:
Qualifications • Candidates must have a PhD in biological engineering, chemical engineering, computational biology, or a related field. • Have one or more first-author publications in high quality journals. • Experience with the mammalian cell culture, bioreactor modeling, and metabolomics. OR • Experience with computational biology, specifically metabolic modeling, and machine learning • Practical understanding of statistical analysis • Ability to work independently and on a team • Experience mentoring junior scientists • Effective oral and written communication
Bethesda, MD
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda , Maryland 20892
Colleen Kelly,