Sr. Scientist, Structural Biologist (X-ray crystallography, Cryo EM)

Merck & Co.
South San Francisco, CA
Apr 07, 2020
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Our Research Scientists are our Inventors. We identify and target steps in disease mechanisms or pathways that could be inhibited or enhanced. Our goal is to isolate a compound that is effective against a disease target. Using innovative thinking, state-of-the-art facilities and robust scientific methodology we collaborate to discover the next medical breakthrough.



This position within the Computational and Structural Sciences Department at Our Company's Research Laboratories (South San Francisco, CA USA) will support drug discovery through the use of atomic resolution single-particle cryo-EM and x-ray diffraction to determine the structure of therapeutically important targets. The successful candidate will join our growing structural biology team and be responsible for all aspects of the structural biology process, from sample preparation and data collection through data processing and structure determination and will work in collaboration with medicinal and computational chemists. The successful candidate will work closely with molecular biologists, biochemists, and biophysicists for sample optimization.   



Productive and collaborative interactions with other members of the global, cross-functional department are required. There is an expectation for periodic travel to other locations. Cooperative and collaborative use of internal expertise and resources will be essential to success. The position requires active interaction with the external scientific community to continually improve scientific understanding, including presentations at national or international meetings.



Consistently cited as a great place to work, our company employs talented people who discover, develop, manufacture and market a wide range of vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. Each of us is joined by an extraordinary sense of purpose — bringing our company's finest achievements to people worldwide. The South San Francisco campus is located within the heart of the industry in the Bay Area. This close proximity allows for close interactions with the quickly expanding high-resolution single-particle cryo-EM community as well as the structural biology field at large, giving easy access to the latest developments in the field.



Education Minimum Requirement:  Candidates for this position must have a Ph.D.



Required Experience and Skills:

  • PhD degree in the structural biology field.
  • Demonstrated experience in a broad range of activities for x-ray crystallography and/or atomic resolution single-particle cryo-EM, including sample preparation, data collection, image processing & structure determination.
  • Excellent communication skills (written, presentation, and oral) that enhance team-based progress is required. Application of those skills both within and outside the department to ensure the maximum understanding of program status for therapeutic area project teams and management is required.
  • Demonstrated potential to develop project management skills and identify/develop new areas of scientific expertise in structural biology.
  • Ability to work effectively and flexibly within timelines.
  • Ability to prepare peer-reviewed publications.



Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • PhD degree with at least two years of postdoctoral training in the structural biology field.
  • Experience with biophysical and functional characterization methods (e.g.  Sterile Product Release (SPR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), thermal shift and colorimetric assays) to guide construct design and optimization of solution conditions for successful structural outcomes
  • Experience with structure determination of antigen: antibody complexes.
  • Experience with structure determination of small molecule protein complexes
  • Experience with the application of hybrid structural techniques to answer biological questions
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and subsequent prioritization
  • Experience using computational tools for protein engineering and design

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” and that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. And 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 … 

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products. 

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development. 



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. 









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Travel Requirements:




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Valid Driving License:



Hazardous Material(s):

standard biochemistry lab chemicals



Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:R47220