Principal Scientist – In Vivo Pharmacology Neuroscience

West Point, PA, US
January 11 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: PHA001428

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 successful candidate will be a member of the West Point Pharmacology Department, a department that provides in vitro and in vivo pharmacology solutions to support a wide variety of neuroscience, infectious disease, and cardio-metabolic programs. 

The successful candidate will have had experience in designing and executing in vivo behavioral and physiological experiments to determine the efficacy of novel compounds designed to have efficacy across a range of neuroscience indications including neurodegeneration, psychiatry, and pain. In addition, the candidate should have extensive experience in developing novel models in support of neuroscience programs; have experience in PK/PD modeling and a solid grounding in drug discovery research in the Biotech or Pharmaceutical industry. The individual would be expected to act as an independent scientist in leading the in vivo pharmacological needs of multiple projects in a wide array of neuroscience indications, and have shown ability to lead in the field. 

Key responsibilities

  • Performing all aspects of running in vivo models supporting neuroscience indications to drive forward the goals of the Pharmacology and Neuroscience departments.
  • Core and project team member of multiple projects across neuroscience discovery programs. Demonstrate a high degree of influence and leadership in these projects through past experiences at this level.
  • Provide mentorship and supervisory role to researchers at scientist level within the team.
  • Deliver scientific, regulatory and project management leadership within and across departments and line functions. 
  • Interface with other departments including disease area biologists, safety assessment, chemistry, and pharmacokinetics & drug metabolism  

Work with groups external to Merck e.g. contract resource organizations to access novel assays and/or manage workload effectively.



  • A Ph.D. in Neuroscience or pharmacology (with neuroscience background) 


  • A minimum of 8 years of experience post PhD with at least 5 years in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries. 
  • Proven ability to drive projects forward 
  • Extensive knowledge and hands on experience of translational neuroscience animal models 
  • Track record of performance on drug discovery teams 
  • Experience developing practical research strategies, translating strategy into experiments 
  • Experience managing and mentoring direct reports
  • Ability to work in a matrixed organization  


  • Hands on experience with cognitive / behavioral experiments with in vivo and/or primates.
  • Hands on experience with In vivo physiological and/or electrophysiological experiments in in vivo and/or primates.
  • Hands on experience with in vivo neurodegenerative experiments in rodents and/or primates

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


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Job: Pharmacology - DPS
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 5 % of the Time
Number of Openings:
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck

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