Principal Scientist, Biotransformation of Next Gen Biologics and Targeted Therapies

Merck Cherokee

South San Francisco, CA

Job Description

The ADME, Discovery Bioanalytical and Discovery Toxicology (ADMET/BA) function within Preclinical development (PCD) of our Research & Development Division South San Francisco is seeking a dynamic and collaborative scientist for the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) group. The South San Francisco ADME team is a high functioning group support early discovery through preclinical development for multiple therapeutic areas and across modalities, focusing on ADME and translational sciences to support drug design, candidate selection and preclinical to clinical progression.

The Principal Scientist will be a member of the ADME function providing expertise as a key component of the multi-disciplinary drug discovery effort in South San Francisco, with a focus on supporting preclinical development of next generation biologics and targeted therapies including antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), bispecific, fusion proteins, therapeutic, etc., through integrated understanding of drug disposition and pharmacology. The successful candidate will design and conduct mass spectrometry experiments to assess molecular in vitro and in vivo biotransformation liabilities to inform molecular engineering and bioanalytical strategy. This includes conducting and overseeing experiments for protein/antibody peptide mapping, intact mass analysis, post-translational modification (PTM) analysis, and other analytical characterization from early discovery to clinical development for biotransformation investigation. The successful candidate will present data at cross-functional meetings and participate in troubleshooting and implementing solutions within team. The ideal candidate will have track record of team-facing experience, and able to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment and have excellent scientific, interpersonal and communication skills.

Position qualifications:


  • M.S. with (12 years of experience) or Ph.D. (with 8 years of experience) in Analytical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, or related field with focus on Mass Spectrometry and supported biotransformation and/or discovery bioanalysis

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience in conducting mass spectrometry-based protein therapeutics analysis in various biological matrices (i.e. intact and bottom-up analysis) including sample preparation, front-end separation, mass spectrometer operation, data analysis and interpretation
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting novel biologics modalities and platforms, e.g. ADCs, multi-specific antibody therapeutics, recombinant fusion proteins, etc., via participation of team efforts for lead optimization and IND enabling studies
  • Experience in setting up and maintaining mass spectrometry and analytical research lab
  • Prior work in setting up studies for assessment of the next gen biologics/target therapeutics development ability and assist in writing of technical reports, SOPs, regulatory documents (e.g. IND, RTQ)
  • Good understanding of biologics drug discovery and development processes
  • Familiarity with electronic laboratory notebook applications and good documentation practices
  • Demonstrated can-do attitude and brings innovative analytical solutions to tackle challenges in drug development

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience leading ADME/PK/BA support of discovery or development programs in the biologics space
  • Proficiency in other protein analytical tools and techniques such as chromatography (e.g. SEC, CEX, HIC, etc.), electrophoresis (e.g., SDS-PAGE, CE-SDS, CZE, cIEF, etc.)
  • Knowledge in protein purification at different scales
  • Track records of publication and reputation in the external scientific community
  • Contribution (strategy and results) to preclinical data package to enable implementation of appropriate translational strategies for lead candidate selection
  • Experience in experimental workflow streamline, such as automation implementation for sample preparation and/or high-throughput data acquisition/analysis

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., Rahway, 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.


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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.


Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

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Under New York City, Washington State and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate’s relevant skills, experience, and education.

Expected salary range:

$162,000.00 - $255,000.00

Available benefits include bonus eligibility, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. For Washington State Jobs, a summary of benefits is listed here.

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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.

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