Head,Translational Oncology:

Upper Gwynedd Pennsylvania
Requisition ID: CLI007039

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. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases. 


Merck Oncology is a leader in the field of immuno-oncology and in particular in efforts to use biomarkers to identify patients most likely to benefit from either monotherapy or combination immuno-oncology treatments.  Merck Translational Oncology includes basic, clinical, and information and quantitative scientists, and focuses on development of next-generation biomarkers and research tools to inform precision medicine, combination therapy strategy, as well as in identification of new targets based on understanding mechanisms of action and resistance for immuno-oncology agents.

While anti-PD1 antibody treatments have transformed the lives of many cancer patients, not every patient responds, and there is a great need to identify patients most likely to respond, as well as to identify optimal combinations for specific patients.  Merck has the largest number of ongoing clinical trials in immuno-oncology, which can be utilized to investigate the tumor immune microenvironment and mechanisms of response and resistance.  These data will guide target identification/prioritization and inform next-generation biomarker strategies.  These efforts are also enabled by an established network of academic, nonprofit, and company-to-company collaborations.   Through these efforts, Merck Translational Oncology is able to pilot strategies based on access to clinico-genomic data, other big data sources, and associated systems biology and machine learning tools. Such efforts have the potential to evolve or transform use of human biology to inform oncology drug development. 

Merck is currently recruiting a talented individual to lead Translational Oncology. This position reports to the Senior Vice President of Early Oncology Clinical Development. Key responsibilities include charting the course for translational oncology efforts and delivering results based on this strategy.  Additionally, this leader will oversee communication of emerging translational observations with clinical, diagnostics, discovery, and translational research leaders at Merck. This individual will lead a team of both direct reports (clinical and translational medicine/biomarker leads), as well as a cross-functional group with representatives from several functional areas including discovery science, translational biomarkers, pharmacogenetics, computational biology, information technology, and statistics.  Translational Oncology supports both early and late clinical oncology development teams and is responsible for biomarker and translational research strategies and protocol-level biomarker plans across the oncology portfolio. 


  • A minimum of a MD and/or PhD degree with at least 10 years experience in biomarker and diagnostics development and/or translational and early stage clinical oncology research
  • Demonstrated broad understanding of the end-to-end drug and diagnostic development process, proven leadership ability, and specific expertise in oncology and/or immunology
  • Demonstrated leadership, management, and mentorship ability
  • Experience leading cross-functional, highly matrixed collaborative groups
  • Excellent communication skills that cross technical areas
  • Ability to apply a strategic mindset to the generation and interpretation of exploratory biomarker data, with an understanding of how such data can be used to accelerate preclinical and clinical drug development
  • Proven mastery of both technical and bioinformatic aspects of translational research and biomarker development
  • Facility with the generation and interpretation of high-dimensionality datasets


Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to staffingaadar@merck.com.


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Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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Job: Clinical Research (M.D.)
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Company Trade Name: Merck
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