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Pfizer Sr Director, Biomedical NLP Lead in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Worldwide Research, Development, and Medical (WRDM) is recruiting a renowned leader in biomedical Natural Language Processing (NLP) and its applications towards drug discovery and development. The successful candidate will lead a team of biomedical NLP experts and partner with computational scientists across WRDM and Pfizer Digital to deliver state-of-the art NLP solutions to address the most pressing needs in drug discovery and development. He or she will devise a strategy to ensure that Pfizer has sustainable access to powerful NLP technology for knowledge discovery and hypothesis generation, through internal research and establishing collaborations with academic and industrial groups in the field.

Role Responsibilities

  • Define strategy for harnessing cutting edge NLP methods to enhance our drug discovery efforts, sustain our industry leading R&D productivity, and deliver breakthrough medicines to the patients most in need

  • Create and lead an NLP/text mining Community of Practice within WRDM; coordinate and align efforts across expert practitioners as matrix lead for the discipline.

  • Partner with other computational scientists to ensure that NLP solutions are successfully integrated in efforts to generate powerful insights, especially those related to disease pathophysiology, drug safety, and translational research

  • Leverage at scale Pfizer's proprietary documents, licensed content, and computational infrastructure in conjunction with commercial tools and external data sources to address the most impactful drug discovery challenges

  • Prototype, train, and validate novel NLP algorithms in partnership with applied ML scientists across WRDM, particularly biomedical Large Language Models (LLMs)

  • Recruit, develop, and manage a team of 2 PhD-level NLP scientists

  • Champion and inform leadership (WRDM LT) about investment opportunities etc in the NLP space.

  • Devise a strategic plan to integrate internal and external NLP capabilities sustainably

  • Ensure Pfizer methodology remains current with respect to state of the art; proactively identify, assess, and internalize promising methods and tools from external vendors and the public domain.

  • Influence the development of novel algorithms and advances in NLP methodology through external partnership. Establish and manage external collaborations with life science NLP companies and leading academic research groups

  • Enhance Pfizer's reputation in NLP and text mining within the biopharmaceutical industry and within the biomedical NLP field externally. Elevate the reputation of our NLP research by presenting at external conferences and societies, producing high-impact publications, and contributing to public code repositories.


  • PhD degree in life sciences, computer science, applied mathematics, machine learning, physics, engineering or related discipline with 7+ yrs relevant experience

  • Demonstrated ability to partner and influence across complex matrixed organizations and manage delivery to diverse stakeholder groups

  • Expertise with software tools and code libraries for NLP and LLMs

  • Deep knowledge of biomedical and clinical ontologies for mining unstructured text in the literature and/or Electronic Health Records

  • Demonstrated track record of applied NLP and text mining through publications in top tier peer-reviewed journals and/or presentations in national or international conferences

  • Experience working with large document corpora, preferably in drug discovery setting

  • Demonstrated experience in talent recruitment and developing the careers of professional staff

  • Expertise in one or more programming languages, including Python, Java, Scala, Go, or C++ Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills


  • Working knowledge of biomedical knowledge graphs, the construction and use thereof

  • Experience with Unix/Linux, HPC, and cloud computing environments

The annual base salary for this position ranges from $185,800.00 to $297,700.00. In addition, this position offers an annual bonus with a target of 22.5% of the base salary and eligibility to participate in our share based long term incentive program. Benefits offered include a retirement savings plan, paid vacation, holiday and personal days, paid caregiver/parental and medical leave, and health benefits to include medical, prescription drug, dental and vision coverage in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans. Salary range does not apply to the Tampa, FL location.

Relocation assistance may be available based on business needs and/or eligibility.

Pfizer requires all U.S. new hires to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Pfizer will consider requests for Reasonable Accommodations.

Sunshine Act

Pfizer reports payments and other transfers of value to health care providers as required by federal and state transparency laws and implementing regulations. These laws and regulations require Pfizer to provide government agencies with information such as a health care provider's name, address and the type of payments or other value received, generally for public disclosure. Subject to further legal review and statutory or regulatory clarification, which Pfizer intends to pursue, reimbursement of recruiting expenses for licensed physicians may constitute a reportable transfer of value under the federal transparency law commonly known as the Sunshine Act. Therefore, if you are a licensed physician who incurs recruiting expenses as a result of interviewing with Pfizer that we pay or reimburse, your name, address and the amount of payments made currently will be reported to the government. If you have questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact your Talent Acquisition representative.

EEO & Employment Eligibility

Pfizer is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status. Pfizer also complies with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act and IRCA. Pfizer is an E-Verify employer.

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