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Job Details

Merck & Co, Inc

Associate Principal Scientist Assay Development, Pharmacokinetics

Business Development

Strategic Planning


South San Francisco, California, United States

Job Description

Our Quantitative Sciences team use big data to analyze the safety and efficacy claims of our potential medical breakthroughs. We review the quality and reliability of clinical studies using deep scientific knowledge, statistical analysis and high-quality data to support decision making in clinical trials.

Summary, Focus and Purpose:

Through close collaboration with a cross-functional team of talented scientists, the responsibilities of the position include independent design, optimization, planning, implementation and timely delivery of targeted, quantitative LC/MS-based assays of therapeutic peptides, small molecules, and proteins in pre-clinical studies.

Key Functions:

  • Designing, planning and implementation of new assays for the quantitative analysis of exogenous and endogenous compounds (xenobiotics, biomarkers, and peptide therapeutics) in samples from pharmacokinetic (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and endogenous metabolomic studies from a variety of preclinical models and challenging matrices (e.g. plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluids, cell lysates, interstitial fluid and tissue homogenates)
  • Developing robust sample preparation methods ranging from affinity purification preparation method to protein precipitation/SPE clean-up method using automation solutions such as Bravo AssayMap and Hamilton liquid handlers
  • Optimizing LC-MS conditions on a variety of triple-quadrupole and high-resolution instruments for quantitation of small molecule, peptides, and proteins
  • Effectively analyzing and interpreting results through a range of software including Skyline, Analyst, MassLynx, Xcalibur, and Watson
  • Delivering high quality quantitative and qualitative data to project teams for PK and PK / PD analysis
  • Effectively documenting, tracking and communicating scientific findings and recommendations within cross-functional teams
  • Representing and leading discovery cross functional teams
  • Contributing to establishing and maintaining bioanalytical lab operations
  • Scientific supervision of bioanalytical staff
  • Provides first-authored, internal and external reports and presentations on technical and scientific findings


  • M.S. (with 8 years) or Ph.D. (with 3 years) in analytical chemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry, chemistry or related field and relevant years of experience

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Strong direct experience with different chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry methodologies for quantitative and qualitative analysis of therapeutic peptides or small molecules
  • Understanding of the drug discovery and/or development process and DMPK science
  • Ability to work efficiently and multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Fosters team-based approach to research; committed to working synergistically and harmoniously with others
  • Prior mentorship, leadership or scientific supervisory experience

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience working with outside providers (CROs, etc.) and knowledge in the field of automation/ programming
  • While work environment is non-GLP (Discovery stage), a basic knowledge of regulated bioanalysis is advantageous
  • Prior work with protein therapeutic LCMS, biochemistry methods, and analysis of post-translational modifications of large molecule therapeutic

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., Rahway, 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 …

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us—and start making your impact today.


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.

Residents of Colorado

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For positions located in the United States and Puerto Rico – Subject to applicable law, all new hires (including internal transfers) must demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they qualify for a medical or religious exemption to this vaccination requirement. New hires (including internal transfers) to a position that, as determined by the Company, requires routine collaboration with external stakeholders (such as roles in health services or customer-facing commercial or research-based roles) (“Customer-Facing Role”) who are not vaccinated must qualify for a medical or religious exemption and be in a position that the Company determines can accommodate unvaccinated employees without causing an undue burden to business operations. If, following dialog with the candidate as appropriate, it is determined that the candidate either a) does not qualify for a religious or medical exemption or, b) for candidates applying for Customer-Facing roles, it is determined that allowing the candidate to work without vaccination would cause an undue burden to the Company, the candidate will be ineligible for hire or transfer, or any offer of employment or transfer (if applicable) will be revoked. Please note that notwithstanding the approval of any reasonable accommodation, the Company reserves the right to monitor, modify, or revoke any such accommodation if it is determined, following dialog with the employee, that the accommodation is no longer effective or results in an undue burden to the Company.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

EEOC Poster

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Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination

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.

Residents of Colorado:

Click here to request this role’s pay range.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, 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.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:

No Travel Required

Flexible Work Arrangements:



1st - Day

Valid Driving License:


Hazardous Material(s):

Typical for Discovery life science research

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:R209163