Principal Scientist, Biologics

South San Francisco, CA
Apr 10, 2019
Required Education
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 Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (PPDM) function of MRL in Palo Alto/South San Francisco is seeking a dynamic and collaborative scientist for the Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) group.  The Principal Scientist will be a member of the 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 therapeutics of various modalities through integrated understanding of drug disposition and pharmacology.  Therapeutic areas may include immunology and oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and ophthalmology.   The responsibilities of the Principal Scientist will be to work within teams of highly collaborative scientists to contribute to the design, implementation, and analysis of in vitro and in vivo studies to understand the impact of disease biology and pharmacologic response on drug disposition.  The candidate should be an experienced project team representative in the Discovery space with a track record of enabling team decisions by supplying robust but appropriate data packages that identify pharmacokinetic or ADME liabilities that impact the overall therapeutic profile of a drug.  The Principal Scientist should be able to independently forecast potential program derailers in regards to overall drug disposition and implement the appropriate PPDM strategy to derisk potential liabilities and guide molecular engineering, candidate selection, and translational strategy.   The candidate must be able to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment and have excellent scientific, interpersonal and communication skills.    The ideal candidate will have an indepth understanding of ADME and pharmacokinetic principles that impact the disposition of protein therapeutics.  Experience with various protein therapeutic design scaffolds across therapeutic areas desired.   The candidate should have have indepth experience with Phoenix, Berkeley Madonna, Watson, MATLAB or similar software.    Qualifications   Education Minimum Requirement:   

  • PhD. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology, Computational Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Biochemical Engineering, or related field.

  Required Experience and Skills: 

  • 7 + years of combined industry and/or postdoctoral experience in relevant field with focus on pharmacokinetic and ADME characterization of protein therapeutics.
  • Demonstrated experience as a project team representative leading ADME/PK support of protein therapeutics in the discovery space.
    • Track record of integrating preclinical ADME, PK, and pharmacology for establishing exposure-response relationships and enabling PK/PD modeling efforts to guide engineering and set anticipated therapeutic profile boundaries. 
    •  Experience integrating preclinical data package and known target/disease biology to implement appropriate trasltional strategies for lead candidate selection and FIH dose projections.  
    • Experience identifying molecular liabilities of a protein therapeutic that impact overall drug disposition.

  Preferred Experience and Skills:

  •  Experience with discovery support of small molecules and other therapeutic modalities.
  • Experience with preclinical development of protein therapeutics



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. 


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  Merck is an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of it’s manifestations.

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

Job: Pharmacokinetics/Drug Metab

Primary Location: NA-US-CA-South San Francisco

Employee Status: Regular

Travel: Yes, 10% of the Time

Number of Openings: 1

Shift (if applicable): N/A

Hazardous Materials: No