Executive Director Computational Biology Job - United States
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 lead computational biology activities for Merck’s oncology effort, and to contribute to efforts in other immune-related therapeutic areas.
This Executive Director must have scientific excellence in the field of computational biology, leadership and management skills to direct a group of at least 5 individuals, and excellent communication skills. In addition, this individual will perform a critical strategic role, as well as hands-on role, in overseeing the scientific direction of programs involving immuno-oncology and cross-therapeutic area initiatives. The Executive Director will have the opportunity to guide the collection and analysis of an unprecedented wealth of translational data from Merck’s immuno-oncology and other oncology programs and partnerships, and to lead initiatives with relevance for other immune-related disciplines such as vaccines, infectious diseases and autoimmunity/inflammation.
This Boston or South San Francisco-based position will report into the VP of Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (GpGx). The qualified individual will be a recognized expert in field of computational biology with deep experience in systems immunology, oncology and/or immuno-oncology. This individual will work in a dynamic cross-functional environment, developing experimental and bioinformatic approaches to understand the immune context and molecular underpinnings of cancer, and using the insights to inform novel therapeutic and biomarker strategies. The candidate will also develop other projects focused on cross-functional, immune-related efforts. In addition to providing strategic and operational leadership, the incumbent will lead a team of at least 5 direct reports with growth potential. Additionally, the candidate will be a member of the Translational Oncology Leadership Forum, consisting of key functional area leaders including discovery biology, GpGx, computational biology, discovery biomarkers, statistics and IT, and companion diagnostics. This group coordinates cross-functional activities and sets and executes the strategic vision for oncology translational research. The candidate will also participate in other cross-functional strategy forums. He/she will be expected to operate in a highly collaborative and matrixed environment, partnering with peers on site and at other locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and emerging markets. This position will also require leadership to deepen and expand an already extensive network of external partners, including leading academics, nonprofits, and technology/informatics companies.
- Interface and collaborate internally and externally with biologists, geneticists, physicians, pathologists, and other bioinformatics scientists to investigate immune-mediated pathogenesis in cancer and to define novel immune-relevant targets.
- Use translational datasets to help set strategy for Mercks’ biomarker discovery and patient stratification approaches in oncology, and contribute to experimental and clinical study designs as appropriate.
- Lead analysis of an extensive and rapidly expanding body of genomics and biomarker data from internal and external clinical and pre-clinical genomics data sources.
- Provide insights into novel mechanisms of response and resistance that will support target identification and validation, and growth of the Merck immuno-oncology portfolio.
- Identify and develop novel predictive, pharmacodynamic and safety biomarkers, generate hypotheses relating to patient stratification, and inform indication selection and clinical trial design.
- Lead partnering efforts with external academicians, nonprofits and technology companies. Participate in the evaluation of vendors, services and platforms in immuno-oncology genomics arena for scientific investigations relating to disease characterization or potential diagnostic applications.
- Present results and provide scientific reports as needed or requested by the project teams as a component of project reviews, milestones, governance and external interactions related to portfolio.
- Influence and shape bioinformatics strategy.
- Provide regular input to the larger team and drive strategy around the acquisition and sharing of information regarding specialized biomedical databases, innovative computational methods and advances in genomics.
- Facilitate bringing in data / knowhow or learning into the broader organization—in particular, by leveraging activities in Oncology to facilitate cross-therapeutic area initiatives.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Participating as part of 8-person leadership team (including VP) in developing, and driving, the strategy to identify and prioritize programs entering the early pipeline across all therapeutic areas.
- Leading a team of at least 5 individuals – including the hiring of new, outstanding scientists in computational biology
- Participate in the Translational Oncology Leadership Forum, including ~12 cross-functional scientists
- Working with information technology and statistical sciences colleagues, develop best practices and expand capacity for data storage, sharing and stewardship and for data visualization.
A minimum of a PhD degree (with at least 10+ years' experience) in bioinformatics, immunology, computational or statistical sciences or related field with research in one or more aspects of cancer immuno-biology.
- Prior experience in related areas with expertise in computational methods, tools and databases utilized in genomic and genetic data analysis. Relevant academic or industry experience is highly desired.
- Specific expertise in systems immunology, oncology and/or immuno-oncology is highly desired.
- Project experience in biomarker discovery, mechanisms of action of drugs candidates, correlating genomic/genetics data with clinical and biochemical phenotypes.
- Proven ability to provide testable hypothesis to project teams based on systematic analysis of data from pre-clinical and clinical studies. Expertise in a range of biological databases (e.g. TCGA, ICGC, etc.) and use for translational or basic research.
- Experience with publicly and commercially available bioinformatics pathway/network analysis tools, genomics and genetics databases.
- Experience in applying computational systems biology or integrative analysis approaches to facilitate interpretation and hypothesis generation from results of genetics, genomics and epigenetics studies, preferably in a cross functional setting.
- Hands-on experience of analyzing data generated using one or more of the following:
- Microarrays -- Expression / Genotyping,
- Next Generation Sequencing platforms,
- Flow cytometry with emphasis on immunophenotyping,
- Single-cell-based analytics (genomics and proteomics).
- Experience to include pathway level data analysis and interpretation. Familiarity with one or more genomics platforms from vendors such as Illumina, Complete Genomics, Affymetrix etc. around applications such as WGS, Exome Capture-Seq, RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq, Microarray based Expression, micro RNA, DNA Methylation and Genotyping.
- Outstanding computational biology programming skills in scripting or programming languages such as R, Python, Perl, C/C++ etc. and related bioinformatics packages.
- Contributions to external scientific community through presentations and participation in appropriate scientific conferences and through other avenues such as journal articles, book chapters.
- Experience managing a team of bioinformaticians
- Experience in cross-functional, highly matrixed collaborative groups
- Excellent communication skills that can cross technical areas
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Job Title:Exec. Dir, Biology-Discovery
Primary Location: NA-US-MA-Boston
Other Locations: NA-US-CA-San Francisco
Employee Status: Regular
Number of Openings: 1
Company Trade Name:Merck
Nearest Major Market: Boston
Job Segment: Manager, Oncology, Pathology, Immunology, Biotech, Management, Healthcare, Science