Associate Principal Computational Biologist

Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Aug 01, 2021
Sep 09, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Job Description
We are seeking a highly qualified and motivated Computational Biologist with a strong background in RNA Biology (e.g., structure, function, and engineering) to join our Company's Exploratory Science Center (ESC) in Cambridge, MA. This individual will join the Systems Biology team at the ESC and collaborate closely with colleagues in Infectious Disease and Vaccines (IDVAX), Discovery Chemistry and Information Technology (IT). The successful candidate will have a track record of innovative and collaborative research using approaches in bioinformatics and machine learning. This Associate Principal Computational Biologist will operate in a highly collaborative and matrixed environment.
In this exciting role, you will:
- Lead computational efforts to design and optimize mRNA molecules for vaccines and other therapeutics.
- Adopt creative approaches to design and implement bioinformatic and machine learning approaches to characterize mRNA molecules and address other biological questions.
- Use your expertise to evaluate internal and external solutions to mRNA design to accelerate vaccine programs.
- Utilize experimental results to refine mRNA design and computational approaches.
- Integrate heterogenous data types (e.g., preclinical and clinical) using the appropriate models to drive results and decision making.
- Thrive within multi-disciplinary teams to communicate scientific findings in an exciting fast-paced exploratory environment to drive progress.
- Embody FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) to maintain a well-documented, reproducible, and versioned codebase.
- Participate in drafting of patent filings to generate intellectual property, as well as drive subsequent publications.
Required Education:
- Advanced degree (e.g., PhD, MSc) in biological discipline (e.g. molecular biology, immunology) with expertise in Computer Science or an advanced degree in Computer Science or another informatics discipline (e.g. bioinformatics, information technology) with an expertise in applied research to biological problems.
Required Experience:
- Minimum of 1 year of Postdoctoral and/or equivalent Industrial experience after a PhD and 5 years after an MSc.
- Competency in multiple aspects of RNA biology and nucleic acid sequence analysis (e.g., structure, stability, function, expression, immunogenicity, regulation and engineering).
- Practical knowledge of machine learning approaches (deep learning, neural networks, tree-based algorithms, and support vector machines) with application to predicting features and behavior of mRNA molecules.
- General computational biology skills: mathematical modelling, algorithm development, programming (e.g., python), statistics (e.g. R), high performance computing (e.g. local servers and cloud services), and best practices in coding (e.g. Docker, Jupyter Notebooks, and Git).
- Clear communicator with excellent scientific writing and presentation skills. Ability to present results in visually interpretable manner to drive home key concepts.
- Approximately 10% Travel.
Preferred Experience:
- Familiarity with analyzing readouts from assays used to measure response to vaccination and protection from challenge.
- Knowledge of methods utilized in antigen identification and discovery (e.g., pathogen genome sequence analysis, comparative genomics, immunoproteomics and reverse vaccinology).
- Awareness of aspects of antigen design (e.g., epitope prediction, glycosylation profiling, and structural modelling).
- Exposure to concepts in Information Technology (e.g., knowledge management, ML operations, data capture, databases, and biopolymer registration).
- Understanding of vaccine discovery and development process.
- Knowledge of the pathogenicity and immunology associated with infectious disease pathogens.
We are a research driven bio-pharmaceutical 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 .
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.
Residents of Colorado
Click here ( to request this role's pay range.
Current Employees apply HERE ($1533/rel-task/3001$14.htmld)
Current Contingent Workers apply HERE ($4020.htmld)
US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:
Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here ( if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.
For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:
EEOC Poster (
EEOC GINA Supplement?
OFCCP EEO Supplement (\EEO\Supplement\Final\JRF\QA\508c.pdf)
Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination
We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another's thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.
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:
Flexible Work Arrangements:
Work Week
Valid Driving License:
Hazardous Material(s):
Number of Openings:
Requisition ID: R131252