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Merck & Co, Inc

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Oral Delivery of Biologics for Precision Medicine ( MERCUSR94272ENUS)

Science and Research

Biological Research



Kenilworth, New Jersey, United States

Job Description

New hires working in our US & Puerto Rico locations will be required to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or qualify for a medical or religious exemption or accommodation to this vaccination requirement, subject to applicable law.

Be a part of the legacy: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program

Our Research Laboratories’ Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program aims to be a best-in-industry program for industrial postdoctoral researchers, designed to provide you with an academic focus in a commercial environment. With the resources, reach, and expertise of a large pharmaceutical company, postdoctoral researchers will be positioned to excel in an institution committed to breakthrough innovation in research and discovery.

Position Overview:

As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Pharmaceutical Sciences organization, you will work with a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary team to develop a versatile biomaterials platform to enable the oral administration of structurally diverse large molecule APIs (therapeutic proteins, peptides, antigens) with enhanced bioavailability and pharmacokinetic properties. In this laboratory-based role, you will design and assess of a variety of formulation approaches with specific focus on the relationship between physical and biochemical properties to transepithelial transport and the role of local and systemic delivery on therapeutic response. You'll also assess strategies for targeting gastrointestinal regions (such as stomach, small bowel, and colon-cell populations) and internalization pathways.

In this role, you will have the opportunity to interact with various experts across the Company network, present at scientific forums (both internally and externally), and publish novel findings in peer-reviewed manuscripts. You are expected to work closely together with fellow researchers in our team, but should also be capable of independently developing and implementing their own ideas and strategy. You should be a passionate scientist with strong academic fundamentals and a drive to develop new medicines to improve human health.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Design, develop, and execute studies to enable the oral delivery of structurally diverse large molecule APIs (therapeutic proteins, peptides, antigens)

  • Lead the design, synthesis and biophysical characterization of both targeted and non-targeted formulation approaches to enhance absorption and reduce variability of drug exposure

  • Support evaluation of formulations including assessment of binding strength / kinetics, drug release kinetics, and stability of released API structure and function under different stress conditions

  • Assess in vitro and ex vivo models to characterize intestinal absorption and epithelial transport mechanisms, and use the data obtained to aid predictive modeling of in situ absorption

  • Develop bioconjugation strategies and interrogate the relationship to transport efficiency

  • Advance research findings into preclinical assessment, including the design and execution of in vivo studies to characterize efficacy and safety (PK/PD, tolerability, and biodistribution)

  • Interpret data and present results for team / senior management discussions and at scientific forums (both internally and externally)

  • Lead the authoring of literature reviews and manuscript preparation of research findings for peer-reviewed journals

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Candidates must currently hold a PhD OR receive a PhD by Fall 2022. Degree should be in Pharmaceutical Sciences / Pharmaceutics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Biology, or related discipline

  • Background in biomaterials, polymer chemistry, and/or bioconjugation strategies

  • Knowledge and skills in analytical characterization

  • Demonstrated strong history of publication in peer-reviewed journals

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Strong scientific acumen, with ability to solve problems of medium/high complexity via independent planning, design, execution, and interpretation of experiments

  • Experimental knowledge and skills in formulation or drug delivery technologies. Experience with particle-based delivery systems is a plus.

  • Experimental knowledge and skills in bioanalytical characterization of large molecules. Experience in characterization of binding strength / kinetics is a plus.

  • Knowledge and skills in cell culture and executing in vitro cell based assays

  • Knowledge and capability of executing studies to characterize intestinal absorption and epithelial transport mechanisms.

  • Experience with in vitro models of intestinal and colonic epithelium is a plus. Knowledge and capability of executing in vivo studies is a plus.

  • Experience in all or some of the following methods:

    • Materials Characterization: NMR, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), SEC, imaging techniques (TEM/SEM), rheology, high pressure liquid chromatography

    • Biophysical Characterization: ELISA, SDS-PAGE, circular dichroism (CD), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), fluorescence spectroscopy, in vitro TEER

  • Be energetic, enthusiastic and self-motivated, with a strong desire to learn and contribute

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.

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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:R94272