Boston, Massachusetts

Job Description

Our company is a global health care leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where our company has codified its legacy for over a century. Our company's success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

We are on a quest for cures and committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Our Research Division will take our company's leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach diseases.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Scientist (Director) in Translational Medicine to be based in the US in the Greater Boston area.

Translational Medicine at our Research Division is responsible for early clinical development of novel therapeutics, working in close collaboration with Discovery Sciences and late stage Clinical Research. We work with all therapeutic areas within our Research Division. We are seeking a highly qualified individual for a position in our group. Candidates must have a strong background in basic and/or clinical translational research and a desire to work collaboratively across different therapeutic areas.

Translational Medicine is specifically responsible for:

  • Leadership of the early clinical development strategy for novel therapy programs from Preclinical Candidate approval through Clinical Pharmacology testing (Phase 1) and clinical Proof-of-Concept (Phase 2).

  • Development of biomarker strategies through cross-functional teams that provide line-of-sight from First-in-Human studies through clinical Proof-of-Concept. This includes Experimental Medicine studies to establish and/or validate biomarker platforms.

  • Contributing to the identification of novel targets by partnering with discovery research teams to bring a clinical perspective into the earliest stages of target identification and validation, and executing clinical studies to evaluate the relevance of potential targets to human disease in order to justify investment in full development, that can be bridged into full development.

  • Development and execution of clinical pharmacology strategies to support later stages of development from Proof-of-Concept (Phase 2) through worldwide marketing application.

Success depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, creativity, skill, diversity and teamwork of the people in the group. To this end, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork. As part of the global team, you will collaborate with talented and dedicated colleagues in Translational Medicine, as well as Discovery Sciences and late stage Clinical Research while developing and expanding your career.

Primary responsibilities for the Principal Scientist include the following:

  • Key member of early development teams, providing leadership in designing and executing early clinical development strategy.

  • Development and execution of early clinical strategy for novel therapeutics including authoring initial clinical and biomarker plans for Lead Optimization programs, early clinical development plans for Preclinical Candidate molecules, and clinical pharmacology studies for programs in Phases I through IV of development.

  • Development and execution of studies to validate clinical platforms utilizing established and novel biomarkers, including imaging, electrophysiological and behavioral responses to interrogate biological activity in humans.

  • Provide clinical expertise for identification and validation of novel targets, including the design of preclinical and/or clinical pharmacology experiments to validate targets and/or pathways

  • Safe and timely execution of Phase I studies; close collaboration with internal and external clinical study support staff and scientists (including discovery research, biostatistics, drug metabolism, modeling and simulation, regulatory affairs, and global clinical trials operations).

  • Provide clinical pharmacology support for programs through the worldwide marketing application filing including supportive registration documents and presentations

  • Provide clear, timely communication and interpretation of study results to therapeutic area governance, functional area experts and development review committees.

  • Contribute to assessment of internal and external opportunities identified by Business Development and Licensing.

  • Interface broadly with key functions including Discovery Sciences, Preclinical Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toxicology, Translational Biomarkers, Translational Medicine Operations, Translational Medicine-EU, Drug Metabolism/Modeling & Simulation, Regulatory Affairs, and late stage Clinical Research throughout sites in the USA, UK and Belgium.

Required Education:

  • MD or MD/PhD, or equivalent

Required Experience:

  • Proven track record in clinical medicine and background in biomedical research.

  • Demonstrated record of scientific scholarship and achievement. The particular clinical or scientific background is less important than having a track record of excellence and a willingness to work collaboratively across different therapeutic areas.

  • Strong interpersonal, writing and presentation skills, as well as the ability to function in a team environment are essential.

  • Board Certification or Eligibility preferred.

  • Prior experience in translational clinical research and/or early clinical development preferred but not required


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 …

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.

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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.

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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:R129440

Boston, Massachusetts

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit

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