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Merck Principal Scientist, Biologics Formulation & Characterization in South San Francisco, California

Job Description

Scientists in our company's Discovery Pharmaceutical Sciences Department (DPS) have the exciting opportunity to work on multi-disciplinary Discovery teams to help identify, characterize, and successfully transition quality drug candidate small molecules and biologic compounds from discovery to development.

Responsibilities include and are not limited to the following:

  • Design and characterize formulations for biologics and small molecules spanning a wide range of therapeutic indications

  • Works closely with protein scientists, medicinal chemists and discovery teams throughout all stages of discovery to build key structure-property relationships across multiple drug modalities to identify optimal candidates for development

  • Design enabling preclinical formulations (drug delivery) for pharmacology and toxicology studies

  • Optimize preclinical drug candidates’ solid-state phase (pharmaceutics, stable polymorph ID, salt selection, etc.)

  • Deliver key data sets for development candidate evaluation (Developability Assessment) for small molecules, peptides, and biologics

  • Identify new and impactful drug delivery and pharmaceutics technologies that enable the company pipeline

  • Provide leadership/mentorship for junior scientists in the laboratory

  • Influence the direction of discovery teams in order to identify and progress optimal drug candidates of all modalities

Working at our company's new Innovation Hub in South San Francisco, the candidate should have a creative passion for identifying and applying effective drug delivery technologies and pharmaceutics methods as well as a track record of driving results and rapidly progressing from idea conception to in-vitro & in-vivo evaluation. As part of our company's emphasis on innovation, the successful candidate also will actively explore external (commercial and academic) opportunities in order to engage new technologies related to drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, and other areas relevant to our company's drug discovery/development programs.

  • Must excel in a team environment, where they also will collaborate with development functions (pre-formulation, chemistry, formulation, analytical, and biopharmaceutics research) in order to prepare early data sets that can be translated to clinical formulation development and ultimately quality drug products.

  • Expected to effectively present their work at team meetings as well as promote our company's science through publications and presentations/lectures. The successful candidate must be able to balance their core laboratory research, team representation, and participation in key initiatives.

  • Will collaborate with Discovery Pharmaceutical Science teams on the East Coast in order to identify and advance programs and key department

The position reports to the local DPS Executive Director in SSF.


  • Required: Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry or related science.

Required Experience:

  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in a Pharmaceutical Development or Discovery organization.

Preferred Experience:

  • Hands-on experience in characterization and formulation of peptides and/or biologics highly preferred

  • Basic understanding of drug delivery and solid-state phase characterization, salt selection and polymorph evaluation.

  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills along with strengths in delivering results on firm deadlines in support of discovery/development programs.

  • Demonstrated disposition towards recognition in the field, creativity, and innovation via a strong publication/presentation record

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.

Who we are …

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.

If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at [email protected]

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

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.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:


Flexible Work Arrangements:

Not Specified


1st - Day

Valid Driving License:


Hazardous Material(s):

Common chemicals used in a pharmaceutical research lab

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID: R53417