Principal Scientist, Target Protein Design

West Point, PA, US
March 14 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: CHE005833

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. 

A highly motivated candidate is sought to join the Target Protein Design group in the Department of Biochemical Engineering and Structural Sciences at our West Point, PA discovery site. This group utilizes multidisciplinary approaches to understand protein structure, function, and dynamics of novel drug targets in preparation for their advancement into our drug discovery pipeline.  The job requires the candidate to work in cross-functional discovery teams to understand the protein reagent needs of different functional areas and produce recombinant proteins to enable structure determination. Specific projects will involve cross-functional collaborations across diverse therapeutic areas that target proteins and pathways in oncology, immunology, cardiometabolic diseases, infectious disease, and neuroscience. This is a basic research position that requires critical thinking, flexibility, multitasking, and the ability to bring in new technologies to enable generation and characterization of difficult to express proteins.  



  • Ph.D in Biochemistry, Biophysics, or related disciplines


  • Ph.D in Biochemistry, Biophysics, or related disciplines with a minimum of 7 years experience in a drug discovery or similar high throughput protein production setting.
  • Demonstrated record of team leadership to adopt new technologies or apply innovative solutions to improve scientific workflows 
  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Deep technical expertise in construct design and recombinant protein production with demonstrated record of successful purification and experience with diverse expression systems (e.g. mammalian, insect, bacterial).
  • Demonstrated proficiency in production of challenging protein targets such as integral membrane proteins, multi-protein complexes or protein-nucleic acid complexes for downstream structural enablement (e.g. X-ray crystallography or cryo-EM).
  • Excellent organizational skills with a demonstrated ability to devise protocols, document results, and prepare reports while executing on multiple projects concurrently.
  • The successful candidate must have strong interpersonal skills and be highly motivated to work independently in a collaborative team-oriented setting.
  • Strong analytical and communication skills with ability to effectively present scientific findings to project teams.


  • Experience in biochemical assay development and automated assay platforms is highly desired.
  • Experience with complementary biophysical techniques (e.g. SPR, FSEC, MALS, DSF) to characterize protein quality and homogeneity is highly desirable.
  • Proficiency with analytical techniques, such as LC-MS, DLS, ITC, protein labeling and Tm determination is preferred.
  • Experience in using computational tools for homology modeling, de novo predictions, structure visualization and analysis, protein NMR and crystallography is desirable.

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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Job: Chemistry
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Employee Status: Regular
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Company Trade Name: Merck

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