Director, Neurogenetics

  • Company: Merck
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Posted: December 03, 2016
  • Reference ID: BIO004746
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. Today, we are building a new kind of healthcare company - one that is ready to help create a healthier future for all of us.

Our ability to excel depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, skill, diversity and teamwork of an individual like you. To this end, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork. As part of our global team, you'll have the opportunity to collaborate with talented and dedicated colleagues while developing and expanding your career.

We are currently recruiting for a key individual to contribute to Merck's human genetics effort. This Director will perform both a critical strategic role, as well as hands-on role, in overseeing the scientific direction of programs involving neurogenetics for target identification and validation.

This Boston-based position will report into the VP of Genetics and Pharmacogenomics. The qualified individual will be a recognized expert in the field of neurogenetics from either the discovery/quantitative perspective or the web lab functional genomics perspective (with an emphasis on human genetics of complex traits) and have a strong understanding of discovery genetics using various approaches, functional interrogation of genetic findings, systems biology, and drug development. In addition to providing strategic and operational leadership, the incumbent will sit on the local site management team for Boston, lead a team of approximately 9 direct reports, and work closely with teams in discovery genetics and functional biology across all major therapeutic areas. He/she will be expected to operate in a highly collaborative environment, partnering with peers on site (all therapeutic areas, pharmacology, chemistry, experimental medicine) and at other locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and emerging markets. This position will also require extensive interactions with external partners, including leaders in academia as well as other Pharma/biotech companies.

Specific responsibilities include:
  • Participating as part of 9-person leadership team in developing, and driving, the strategy to identify and prioritize programs entering the early pipeline across all therapeutic areas.
  • Leading a team of ~6 individuals (~3 discovery geneticists, 3 wet-lab scientists) responsible for applying the tools of human genetics and functional genomics to target identification and validation rooted in the area of neurosciences
  • Managing a budget responsible for the application of human genetics to drive target identification and validation.
  • Developing new external collaborations with academia and industry partners to leverage tools to exploit human genetics in order to discover new drug targets.
  • Engaging with internal peers in diverse areas - informatics, pharmacology, chemistry, therapeutic area biology, experimental medicine - to identify opportunities for drug development based on human genetic discoveries.
  • Integrate diverse 'omics / biological datasets with human genetic data to identify novel pathways for drug development across all therapeutic areas.
  • Providing neurogenetics expertise to Boston site.
  • Collaborating across functional areas and in a matrixed environment to develop integrated research plans, optimize resource allocation, and maximize efficiencies to best execute on programs.
  • Working closely with genetic discovery, functional biology, and clinical teams to design genetic studies, including writing and defending project approval documents
  • Working with other data analysts and experimentalists to identify genes and variants associated with human phenotypes in families with rare Mendelian traits, as well as individuals from the general population, or distinct population cohorts;
  • Integrating genetic data with other 'omics data sets to identify causal alleles, genes and pathways relevant to a wide-range of human diseases, particularly with respect to non-coding variants
  • Written and verbal communication of study results to project team and the scientific community, including proposals for further experiments and publications in leading journals;
  • In collaboration with strategic operations, manage a portfolio of projects to review and prioritize new and on-going projects

  • MD or PhD required


  • Demonstrated experience with a minimum of 6 years of experience in human neurogenetics expertise (peer reviewed publication, history of achievement, patents, etc.) with an appreciation of the role of human genetics for target identification and validation or functional genomics.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills. Proven ability to create and work within high performance teams and/or matrix organization, strong influencing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct research individually and collaboratively and prioritize work against departmental and company goals.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to establish and maintain productive cross-site and high caliber external collaborations.
  • Proficiency to critically evaluate scientific and therapeutic proposals and adopt novel technologies to facilitate groundbreaking research.
  • Proven track record in change management including ability to eliminate obstacles/barriers in order to implement change.
  • Ability to create partnerships with key stakeholders.

Our employees are the key to our company's success. We demonstrate our commitment to our employees by offering a competitive and valuable rewards program. Our Company's benefits are designed to support the wide range of goals, needs and lifestyles of our employees, and many of the people that matter the most in their lives. If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at

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