Executive Director, Biotherapeutics Discovery

South San Francisco, CA
Apr 15, 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 Protein Sciences Department of MRL in Palo Alto/South San Francisco is seeking a dynamic and collaborative leader who can bridge the interface of discovery biology and biologics.  The Executive Director, Biotherapeutics Discovery will lead a team of biotherapeutics experts with therapeutic area focus and experience across immunology and oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, neurobiology, opthamology, and infectious disease.  The successful candidate provides a primary interface between disease biology discovery groups and biotherapeutics discovery and will contribute to translational strategy.  S/he will be an active partner in early biologics discovery and will identify and drive new opportunities across therapeutic areas in collaboration with biology discovery teams.   S/he will enable TIDVAL with assays and tools and promote project progression through aggressive assessment of multiple approaches to establish the best therapeutic modality for target biology.  In collaboration with biology teams, they will implement the necessary in vitro and in vivo assays necessary to select and optimize biotherapeutic candidates across all therapeutic areas and work with Department leadership to assure their successful transition and progression into the development pipeline.  This leader will be responsible for ensuring that biotherapeutics formats and discovery strategies are appropriate for the target biology.  The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with other protein science functions to evaluate and advance therapeutic candidates.  They will be part of the senior leadership team within Protein Sciences and will contribute to strategy and prioritization across the Department. 


An ability to build and assess in vitro and in vivo disease models across multiple therapeutic areas.  A deep understanding of the principles of biotherapeutics in relationship to disease models.

Contribute experience with multiple therapeutic modalities including therapeutic antibodies, small molecules, engineered proteins and protein-small molecule conjugates.  

An ability to assess from multiple opportunities and modalities, and prioritize/pursue those most meaningful to patient health.  Willingness to explore novel modalities and uncharted biology.

Demonstrated ability to enable discovery research through establishing  the tools and infrastructure necessary to explore new biology.  Enabling of TIDVAL activities by creating unique resources.  Demonstrated contributions to new targets and approaches.  Open partnership between biology and platform technologies.

Ph.D. in immunology, pharmacology, or related biology area and 10+ years of leading projects and teams.  Must have an understanding of the unique aspects of complex/multi-functional protein therapeutics.  Strong preference for candidates with experience with multiple therapeutic modalities.

Preferred Experience
Expertise in multiple therapeutic areas including:  immunology, metabolic disease, cancer biology, neurobiology, infectious diseases and innate immunity.

Understanding of cytokine biology and their role in disease.

Engineering of Fc receptor properties.

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 staffingaadar@merck.com.


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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: Biology- Discovery

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

Employee Status: Regular

Number of Openings:1

Company Trade Name: Merck