Principal Scientist - Assay Development and Cellular Pharmacology

Job Description

Subject to applicable law, all prospective hires will be required to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or intend to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by November 1, 2021, or qualify for a medical or religious accommodation to this vaccination requirement. Hired candidates who are not vaccinated by November 1, 2021, and who have not been approved for a legally-required medical or religious accommodation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, in accordance with applicable law.

Our Research & Development Division in South San Francisco is seeking a highly experienced Principal Scientist with a strong background in assay development and cellular pharmacology to join the Quantitative Biosciences department. The individual will lead by example in the laboratory through direct participation in the design, execution, and interpretation of complex in vitro/ex vivo studies to support drug discovery. Successful candidates are expected to provide strong scientific leadership and technical expertise, champion new initiatives, and drive innovation to enhance functional capability and productivity. He or she should possess broad experimental capabilities, have a strong work ethic and excellent communication skills, and can work effectively in a collaborative cross-functional team environment.

Key responsibilities:
  • Provide broad assay development and cellular pharmacology support for diverse therapeutic areas, with a primary focus on immunology and oncology drug discovery
  • Develop and implement potency, selectivity, and mechanistic assays to characterize diverse targets and mechanism of actions, using sophisticated experimental methods
  • Represent Quantitative Biosciences department in multi-disciplinary drug discovery project teams to provide robust scientific and technical support
  • Lead junior scientists, drive scientific innovation, and champion new enabling technologies to enhance functional capability and productivity
  • Collaborate extensively across our Research & Development Division network and with external partners to drive project progression toward key milestones


Education Required:
  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology, Cell Biology, or a relevant scientific discipline, with a minimum of8 years of drug discovery experience in a biotech or pharmaceutical setting

Experience Required:
  • Broad expertise in bioassay development and mechanistic pharmacology, as well as strong hands-on experience with comprehensive SAR and lead optimization support
  • Highly skilled in the design and execution of high-throughput and/or high-complexity cell assays, using a wide range of modern technologies and detection methods
  • Proven track record of success in leveraging and integrating diverse cell assays for compound screening and pharmacological characterization/differentiation
  • Strong expertise in high content imaging/phenotypic assay and complex cell models (co-culture, 3D, etc.) is highly desirable
  • Extensive immunology and oncology drug discovery experience with diverse target classes, mechanisms, and modalities is strongly preferred
  • Prior experience with Antibody Drug Conjugate/ADC discovery is a plus
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a cross-functional team environment to advance drug discovery and achieve milestones

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we "follow the science" that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. We believe that a research-driven enterprise dedicated to world-class science can succeed by inventing medicine and vaccine innovations that make a difference for patients across the globe.

Who we are ...

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for ...

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another's thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

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Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

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Requisition ID:R138637