Job was saved successfully.
Job was removed from Saved Jobs.

Job Details

Merck & Co, Inc

Principal Scientist – Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Lead Discovery ( MERCUSR170660ENUS)

Sales and Marketing

Lead Generator



South San Francisco, California, United States

Job Description

New hires in office-based roles in the US & Puerto Rico will be required, subject to applicable law, to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or qualify for a medical or religious exemption to this vaccination requirement that can be accommodated without an undue burden to the operation. However, subject to applicable law, employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as employees in health services, customer facing commercial, or research based roles, will be required to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment.

Our company's Research Laboratories in South San Francisco is seeking a highly experienced and innovative pharmacologist with a strong background in Biochemistry/Biophysics/Enzymology as well as extensive drug discovery expertise in Cardiometabolic Diseases and/or Oncology to join our inventive Quantitative Biosciences (PharmacoFlogy) department. The successful candidate will have direct line management for a team of researchers responsible for the design, execution, and interpretation of mid/high throughput biochemical and biophysical assays as well as mechanistic experimentation to advance drug discovery projects from target concept through lead optimization. The candidate will also work closely with therapeutic area stakeholders, chemists, protein scientists, and multidisciplinary quantitative scientists to define strategies for target validation, screening, assays/models, and key studies to advance a diverse portfolio of small molecule and biologic preclinical candidates targeting cancer, fibrosis, and cardiometabolic disorders. In addition, she/he will participate in business development diligence efforts and establish strategic internal and external relationships that drive portfolio progression. We value transparent communication, creative-thinking, teamwork, and rigorous scientific exploration. If you are a highly motivated leader and team player with a strong desire to impact drug discovery across multiple therapeutic areas, we invite you to consider joining our team.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Drive hit/lead finding and lead optimization plans in collaboration with therapeutic area stakeholders, Chemistry, Biologics, and multidisciplinary Quantitative Bioscience teams.

  • Develop and implement potency, selectivity, kinetics, and mechanistic assays to probe diverse targets and pathways, using a wide range of biochemical/biophysical methods.

  • Provide strong expertise in mechanistic enzymology and the elucidation of complex enzyme modulatory mechanisms (orthosteric and allosteric modulation).

  • Represent Quantitative Biosciences department in multi-disciplinary drug discovery project teams and governance committees to set pharmacological strategies and provide robust scientific and technical support.

  • Ensure high-quality data analysis and timely report generation to project teams, governance committees, and regulatory agencies.

  • Lead junior staff, drive scientific innovation, and champion new enabling technologies and methods to enhance functional capability and productivity.

  • Collaborate extensively across the Research Division network and with external partners to drive project progression toward key milestones.

Education Minimum Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Biophysics, or a relevant scientific discipline with a minimum of eight (8) years of drug discovery experience in a biotech or pharmaceutical setting.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrated expertise in cardiometabolic disease, fibrosis, immunology and/or oncology pathways and mechanisms with accompanying pharmacology expertise.

  • Proficiency in drug discovery strategies and processes from target identification to preclinical candidate selection.

  • Highly skilled in establishing robust biochemical assays, utilization of automation and plate-based detection technologies, as well as expertise in mechanistic enzymology, enzyme kinetics, SAR support and lead optimization strategies.

  • Experienced with modern biophysical techniques and instruments (SPR, BLI, ITC, etc.) to measure binding affinity and kinetic parameters.

  • Experience leading teams, setting strategy, and providing project prioritizations.

  • Ability to work collaboratively in a cross-functional team environment to influence strategy and drive progress toward key milestones.

  • Solid computer and analytical skills, and excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Demonstrated record of publication in peer-reviewed journals and/or patent literatures.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Broad drug discovery experience with diverse classes of enzymatic targets (metabolic enzymes, kinases, proteases, etc.).

  • Prior experience with multiple therapeutic modalities (small molecule, peptide, antibody, antibody drug conjugate, etc.).

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 …

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.

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

EEOC GINA Supplement​

OFCCP EEO Supplement

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.

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:

Flexible Work Arrangements:


Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:R170660