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Merck Principal Scientist, Peptide Computational Chemistry in Kenilworth, New Jersey

Job Description

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.

We are seeking a creative, self-motivated peptide-focused computational chemist with exceptional interpersonal and problem-solving skills to join the Computational and Structural Chemistry (CSC) group in Boston, MA or Kenilworth, NJ and lead our scientific and strategic efforts in peptide modeling.

CSC is a diverse and inclusive team of approximately 90 computational chemists, informaticians, structural, and protein scientists who employ state of the art capabilities to drive drug design. We are an integral arm of both discovery and process chemistry and collaborate seamlessly with teams across the globe to innovate and invent better molecules faster. With an unbiased approach to drug modalities, in-house access to the newest screening techniques, and world-class medicinal chemistry, molecules in the beyond-rule-of-five space are a critical component of our portfolio. We’re looking for a strategic thinker who can propel our peptide modeling capabilities to new heights, challenge the current paradigms, and exceed expectations.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Scientific leadership of peptide modeling

  • Strategic ownership of capabilities and best practices for peptide computational chemistry

  • Design and optimization of novel peptide and macrocycle drug candidates using advanced computational techniques as a member of peptide discovery teams

  • Building close collaborations with stakeholders in our peptide medicinal chemistry and screening organizations and contributing to the overarching peptide drug discovery strategy

  • Scientific mentorship of computational chemists supporting peptide discovery efforts

Candidates for this position must have a Ph.D. in chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics or equivalent with a computational emphasis and 8 years of professional experience beyond graduate and postdoctoral training. Demonstrated ability to advance peptide drug discovery through computation is required. Outstanding communication skills, along with the ability to work well in multidisciplinary teams, are non-negotiable. Evidence of creative application of computational approaches to problems of pharmaceutical interest is essential.

We recognize that the diversity in our team is our strength and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Successful candidates must demonstrate inclusive behaviors in working with a diverse group of scientists to drive our core mission.

Positions Qualifications:

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • Ph.D. in chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, or equivalent with a computational emphasis

Required Experience and Skills:

  • 8 years of professional experience beyond graduate and postdoctoral training

  • Evidence of creative application of computational approaches to problems of pharmaceutical interest, specifically to advance peptide drug discovery

  • Strong oral and written communication skills, with a recognized ability to positively influence team decisions

  • Ability to communicate, collaborate and deliver results in a fast-paced, global environment and to manage multiple priorities simultaneously

  • Ability to see the 'big picture', and identify opportunities for impact now and in the future

  • Strong track record of publications, presentations, and speaking engagements

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Expertise in computational methods for peptide and macrocycle

  • discovery (e.g. mRNA display screening analysis)

  • optimization (e.g. predicting affinity, stability, and permeability)

  • modeling (e.g. side-chain design, conformational sampling, SAR analysis, machine learning)

  • Expertise with peptide modeling software (e.g. Bioluminate, MOE, Rosetta)

  • Experience in leading strategic efforts relevant to drug discovery

  • Proficiency in general molecular modeling techniques (docking, molecular simulation, homology modeling, quantum mechanics, QSAR / machine learning, ligand- and structure-based design) with modern software packages (e.g. Schrodinger, OpenEye, CCG)

  • Skilled in scientific programming (e.g. Python, Pipeline Pilot) and data analytics (e.g. Spotfire)

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

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

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 .





In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at staffingaadar@msd.com

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

EEOC Poster at https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/pdf/eeopost.pdf

EEOC GINA Supplement​ at https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migratedfiles/employers/eeocgina_supplement.pdf

OFCCP EEO Supplement at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/pdf/OFCCPEEOSupplementFinalJRFQA508c.pdf

OFCCP Pay Transparency Rule at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/pdf/pay-transp%20EnglishformattedESQA508c.pdf

We are an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:

No Travel Required

Flexible Work Arrangements:


Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID: R83879