Associate Principal Scientist, Computational Biology

Date: May 22, 2019

Location: Boston, MA, US

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Requisition ID: BIO005513

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 Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (GpGx) department is seeking a passionate and creative computational biologist to help discover the next wave of oncology therapies. Oncology research at Merck is driven by a deep interest in the basic biology of the tumor microenvironment and how diverse points of intervention can be combined to achieve ever higher rates of durable response and patient overall survival. You will collaborate closely with colleagues in Discovery Research and will be based at our Research Lab in Boston, MA.

In this exciting role, you will:
  • Contribute to multiple stages of drug discovery by interrogating genomics and transcriptomics datasets. Help experimental scientists characterize novel targets coming from genetics, translational and disease pathway exploration, explore target engagement, research mechanisms of action, and provide functional validation of novel drug targets.

  • Be proactive and work collaboratively, as well as communicate effectively with various project teams across scientific disciplines and functions, bringing together genetics, pharmacology, chemistry and molecular biology.

  • Contribute to iterative experimental design and mechanistic hypotheses generation through the mining and interpretation of complex biological data.   


In addition, but not limited to, you will: 

  • Engage with Discovery Teams to identify biological hypotheses for computational interrogation

  • Lead efforts on the experimental design, analysis and interpretation of DNA and RNA sequencing experiments in support of discovery research programs
  • Identify, analyze and integrate internal and external data and knowledge resources to enable data mining in a biological context to inform target validation and mechanism of action
  • Work with in-house, open-source and/or commercially available software platforms for the processing and analysis of DNA and RNA data
  • Assist with project management by coordinating efforts with internal and external collaborators
  • Survey the literature on novel bioinformatics analysis methodology and algorithms, and introduce them in-house when appropriate


Education Minimum Requirement: 

Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Computational biology, Computer Science, Genetics, Immunology, Mathematics, Molecular Biology, Statistics or related field


Required Experience and Skills: 

  • A minimum 2 years experience in a biotech/pharmaceutical setting, or in an academic or non-profit research organization
  • Demonstrated experience on the computational analysis and interpretation of large-scale DNA and/or RNA sequencing datasets
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language, such as R or Python
  • Excellent attention to detail and strong communication (oral and written) skills 
  • Highly self-motivated and capable of prioritizing deliverables among multiple simultaneous projects
  • Builds strong relationships within highly collaborative, multidisciplinary teams
Preferred Experience and Skills:
  • Knowledge of immunology or cancer biology
  • Critical thinking around experimental design, statistical hypothesis testing, and biological interpretation
  • Familiarity with public databases and repositories of DNA and RNA profiling data
  • Capable of integrating information generated from multiple sources to strengthen research hypotheses
  • Understanding the pros and cons of various algorithms for DNA-seq, RNA-seq and single-cell RNA-seq analysis
  • Experience with high-performance Linux cluster and cloud computing
  • Previous experience with statistical learning techniques is a plus
  • Strong publication record
  • 15-20% travel is required, primarily to the Merck Research Lab site in San Francisco

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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Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.
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Job: Bioinformatics
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 15 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck

Nearest Major Market: Boston

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