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Merck & Co, Inc

Executive Director, Biology Discovery ( MERCUSR105098ENUS)


Executive Director



Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

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.

We seek to recruit an executive director to lead target discovery teams in oncology and immunology in Research & Development. These teams will focus on areas of science that capitalize on the asymmetric advantages that we have at the company to deliver novel targets for drug discovery. You will serve on the Leadership team for the oncology & immunology therapeutic area, and report to Vice-President of Discovery Oncology & Immunology.

Using your scientific, entrepreneurial and innovative skills, you will identify where Research & Development has asymmetric advantages based on our intangible assets (including knowledge, platforms, and expertise) and design ways to channel those strategic advantages into ways of discovering new targets and novel molecular therapeutics. You will have the leadership abilities to create and manage focused research teams that capitalize on ideas and inspire the teams to deliver at a high level. You will have deep domain knowledge of the fields of oncology and/or immunology therapeutic development. You will also have excellent interpersonal skills to manage complex organizational relationships and ensure that the targets that emerge will be fully integrated into the broader company oncology/immunology pipeline in a seamless way.


  • Identify areas ripe for target biology that capitalize on the company's asymmetric advantages based on what we alone know and what we can uniquely do

  • Create well-developed plans to launch integrated scientific teams capable of initiating and executing systematic target discovery projects, together with effective target validation experiments.

  • Recruit scientists with relevant expertise, and build highly effective teams to execute proposed studies

  • Guide and lead the teams to execute on the proposed plans to deliver novel targets for drug discovery into the early-stage portfolio.

  • Forge effective working relationships within Discovery Oncology/Immunology and related functional areas to understand where target discovery efforts are most relevant, and ensure their integration with the portfolio.



  • PhD in Life Sciences with at least 10 years of relevant experience and at least 10 years of leadership experience


  • Track record of significant and innovative biological discoveries in academic, biotech or Pharma settings.

  • Deep knowledge about systematic discovery approaches (e.g. functional genomics, computational biology, chemical biology)

  • Broad expertise in therapeutically relevant biology in oncology and/or immunology

  • Experience with building and leading high-functioning scientific teams.

  • Excellent communication skills, and comfort with effective presentation of complex concepts and data to diverse audiences

  • Well informed on all areas of drug development from target validation, through pre-clinical research.


  • Expert scientific and translational knowledge of oncology and/or immunology

  • Ability to innovate new ideas and concepts

  • Ability to inspire and motivate a team

  • Ability to take initiative and solve problems

  • Ability to create relationships with within a complex organization that maximize the success of a scientific group

  • High level of ownership and dependability

  • Highly effective organizational and presentation skills

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.

Invent. Impact. Inspire.

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:

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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.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
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:R105098