Senior Scientist, Molecular Chemistry

Cambridge, MA
Oct 26, 2018
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified 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 Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’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 serious diseases. 

The Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) Exploratory Science Center (ESC) Cambridge, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck and Co., is focused on driving early discovery research. Co-located with Merck’s Cambridge Innovation Hub, the ESC’s disease-area-agnostic research agenda fosters hands-on collaboration between our scientists and external academic and biotech researchers to access and explore the most promising emerging science.

Our ability to excel depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, skill, diversity and teamwork of an individual like you. To this end, we strive to create a fast-paced, nimble and flexible environment of mutual respect, creativity, invention and teamwork. With access to our organization's proven global R&D organization, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with talented and dedicated colleagues while developing and expanding your career.

We are seeking an innovative and experienced synthetic organic chemist/chemical biologist to join our organization's Exploratory Science Center (ESC) in Cambridge, MA.

The successful candidate will become part of a highly collaborative, innovative scientific culture, lab-based, creative and fast-paced team that will discover novel therapeutics and invent impactful technologies targeting these areas:

  1. Host-pathogen interactions in important infectious diseases
  2. Interaction between the microbiome and human cells/tissue, including the immune system
  3. Approaches that will impact other key areas of focus within Merck, such as oncology, inflammation, cardiovascular, metabolism, and neuroscience

The candidate is expected to contribute to several projects various stages of development, especially in exploratory stage within our organization's Exploratory Science Center and other organizational sites.

This is a lab-based position and an excellent opportunity for someone seeking scientific and career growth in a multidisciplinary area of drug discovery. Your personal growth and career development will contribute to the success of our team.

Responsibilities include and are not limited to the following:

  • Identify, adopt, and implement innovative chemistry-based technologies into cell-based systems
  • Execute synthetic chemistry across a wide range of chemical space that includes small molecules, peptides, and proteins
  • Leverage advances in synthesis and delivery technologies of complex large molecules to impact multiple ESC programs
  • Design and execute cell-based  experiments to probe new biology and  validate new targets 
  • Act as a leader from the bench, driving research programs, strategies, and ideas to completion  
  • Contribute to the collective knowledge of multidisciplinary teams through extensive idea exchange and collaboration  
  • Stay current on emerging technologies and provide scientific mentoring and technical training of team members as appropriate



Education Minimum Requirement: 

  • PhD or M.S. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Macromolecular Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences or related areas

Required Experience and Skills: 

  • Minimum of 5+  years of Academic or Pharmaceutical industry experience after M.S. or 0+ years after PhD
  • Strong background in organic synthesis with expertise and/or interest in protein chemistry and cell-based experiments 
  • Proven track record of productive bench science
  • Rigorous scientific thinking and effective written and oral communication skills
  • Strong publication record

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience of all techniques associated with modern synthetic organic chemistry, demonstrate critical thinking and trouble-shooting when handling challenging synthesis
  • Experience in novel protein chemistry or cell-based experiments 
  • Experience with activity and affinity based probe synthesis
  • A team player who works effectively within a diverse team of co-workers and across disciplines
  • Passionate about biomedical research and drug discovery

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to


Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 

Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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Job: Research Science
Other Locations: 
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 5 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable): 
Hazardous Materials: Yes, will have access to, or work in labs, with blood borne human pathogens
Company Trade Name: Merck

Nearest Major Market: Cambridge 
Nearest Secondary Market: Boston