Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Neuroscience Early Discovery

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.

Be a part of the legacy: MRL Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program

The Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program aims to be a best-in-industry program for postdoctoral researchers, designed to provide you with an academic focus in a commercial environment. With the resources, reach, and expertise of a large pharmaceutical company, postdoctoral researchers will be positioned to excel in an institution committed to breakthrough innovation in research and discovery to improve human health.

Position Overview:

A recent and rapidly emerging body of work in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) has shifted scientific emphasis increasingly toward innate immune pathways and have therefore implicated microglia as a key cellular determinant of human AD pathophysiology. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Neuroscience Early Discovery Unit (Boston), you will be part of a community of postdoctoral fellows working across different departments and with academic collaborators as well. You will collaborate closely with a team of scientists who possess diverse scientific backgrounds - from neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics, proteomics and other drug discovery disciplines. Support for you or your projects will not be the limiting factor. Your project will focus on (i) establishing human iPSC derived microglia, (ii) establishing disease modeling assays using these cells, and (iii) collaborating on various molecular profiling projects with collaborators. You will be responsible for conceiving, designing, planning and executing experiments independently, but you will work within an integrated team already active in this space. You will also have the opportunity to see how a deep understanding of biology contributes to the drug discovery process.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Lead the development and implementation of cellular models of human and/or primary rodent microglia support functional and genomic insights into neurodegenerative disease.
  • Work with the scientific mentor to establish near and long-term goals, both scientific and professional.
  • Analyze, interpret and communicate data in a timely manner to the postdoctoral mentor (and collaborators) to drive data-driven decisions and scientific prioritization insights.
  • Present your research at internal and external scientific meetings, including publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

Education Minimum Requirement:
  • PhD in Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Bio-engineering or related discipline with 3 years or less of postdoctoral experience or met all the requirements for a PhD by May 2017
Required Experience and Skills
  • A solid foundation in cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology will be central to the postdoctoral work.
  • Established skills in culturing and expanding induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines; Ideal (but not required) is experience using macrophage/microglia differentiation protocols. Alternatively, experience with primary microglial and neuronal culture and/or organotypic ex vivo slice methods will be considered.
  • Experience with in vitro (or ex vivo) high content imaging. The ideal candidate also possesses background with automated imaging platforms, flow cytometry and/or FACS/MACS cellular sorting.
  • Soft skills include a track-record of working flexibly between independent goals and collaboratively within teams, as well as being a clear communicator to enable synergies between individuals.
  • Strong track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals..
Preferred Experience and Skills
  • Knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases and genetics is a plus, but training will be provided.
  • General expierence or understanding of various molecular profiling platforms, in particular RNA-seq/Next-generation sequencing platforms (or quantitative proteomics).
  • Background in automated image analysis of high-content imaging.

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