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Merck Senior Principal Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts

Job Description

Merck is hiring! We are looking for a Senior Principal Scientist in our Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism organization.

The Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (PPDM) function of our Research Division is seeking a dynamic and collaborative scientific leader to lead the Predictive and Translational Sciences (PTS) group within the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) subfunction. Predictive and Translational Sciences is a small group of strong, preclinically-focused scientists with strong data modeling and translational expertise who develop and inform a range of model-based strategies and decisions in the discovery space.

The successful candidate will collaborate closely with other research functions across the global company organization (including other Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism groups, Protein Sciences, Chemistry, Biology, Pharmacology, Translational Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Sciences) to drive new therapeutic opportunities leveraging the modalities that are most likely to succeed. They will lead the Predictive and Translational Sciences group in actively partnering with the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion Principal Investigators to inform modality selection, to enable efficient optimization of candidates using in silico, in vitro and in vivo quantitative pharmacology approaches, and to contribute to translational strategy. They will also contribute to ensuring a strong mechanistic understanding of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion and Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics is brought to bear for all modalities to enable problem solving on programs. They will partner with other company leaders to assure the successful transition and progression of drug candidates from across modalities and therapeutic areas into the development pipeline. They will contribute to the overall Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism model informed drug development strategy, and will continue to develop Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion Principal Investigators as translational scientists. In addition, they will contribute to expanding our company's scientific network and reputation with academics and industry.

The Senior Principal Scientist role will report into the head of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion sub-function of Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism. The successful candidate is expected to perform job duties independently with minimal supervision, and mentor others to develop similar capabilities, including:

  • Serving as a subject matter expert for model-informed approaches in the discovery space within Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism and partner functions

  • Management of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion Predictive and Translational Sciences staff, including career development, coaching, objective-setting and performance management

  • Ensuring development and execution of translational or mechanistic Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics, comparator, PBPK and other model-based analyses to inform program decisions and quantitative, predictive Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion capabilities

  • Mentoring and/or coaching Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion Principal Investigators to understand opportunities for model-informed program impact in the discovery space

The Senior Principal Scientist is a skilled modeler and a quantitative drug hunter, with a strong, integrated understanding of the strategic elements of drug discovery and development, and leads the combined efforts of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion and the wider Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism Department. They have a deep experience and knowledge of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion scientific disciplines in the discovery space. They are an enterprise leader with strong communication, collaboration and people management skills, who contributes to leadership of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion sub-function as a member of the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion LT. They are innovative, and contribute to setting future Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism strategy. In addition to the responsibilities described above, they partner within Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion and with other functional areas in a boundaryless manner, creating an aligned, quantitative framework to impact strategies and decisions of drug discovery teams.


  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree with at least 10 years of experience or a Masters or equivalent degree with at least 14 years of experience, where “experience” means having a record of increasing responsibility and independence in a similar role in pharmaceutical drug development or academia.

  • Educational background in biopharmaceutics, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacometrics, mathematics, statistics/biostatistics, computational biology/chemistry, chemical/biomedical engineering, or a related field.

  • An exemplary record of increasing responsibility, self-directing, and demonstrated impact in driving drug discovery decisions through application of model-based approaches with a focus on protein therapeutics and Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics modeling.

  • Demonstrated ability in supervising, coaching and mentoring more junior scientists.


  • Proficiency in NONMEM, Phoenix, Matlab, SimCYPor other similar software

  • Demonstrated impact integrating Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion, Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics, and modeling to guide molecule design and lead candidate selection to enable data informed go/no go decisions on pipeline progression.

  • Strong publication record and reputation in the external scientific community

  • Proficiency in written and verbal communication, interdisciplinary collaboration, and problem scoping and planning.

  • Demonstrated ability to participate in and to direct an interdisciplinary team, and to oversee the work of other scientists.

  • Formal people management experience.

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” and that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. And 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.

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

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 an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

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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: R53667