Skip to main content

Senior Scientist, Cell Immunology & Pharmacology

Job Description

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.




Our In Vitro Pharmacology group in South San Francisco is seeking an experienced and innovative Senior Scientist with a strong background in cellular immunology and pharmacology. The successful candidate will support multiple programs in the discovery of novel treatment for diseases with dysregulated immunity, such as chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and tumor immunology. Primary responsibilities include immunological and pharmacological studies of targets, pathways and therapeutic agents in relation to disease mechanisms, using in vitro and ex vivo models. As part of a multidisciplinary team with broad scientific and technical expertise, he or she will participate in highly integrated drug discovery research across diverse therapeutic areas (cardiovascular, metabolic, immunology and oncology). Successful candidates should demonstrate strong experimental and technical capabilities, have excellent analytical and communication skills, and excel in a highly collaborative cross-functional environment.

Key responsibilities:

  • Provide cellular immunology and assay development support for preclinical drug discovery programs that target diseases with underlying immune dysregulation.
  • Establish essential immunological assays and models, suitable for mechanistic investigation and therapeutic evaluation of small molecules and biologics.
  • Independently design, perform and interpret complex biochemical and cellular studies that enable the identification, characterization and differentiation of lead candidates.
  • Represent the Pharmacology function on interdisciplinary project teams and collaborate both internally and externally to drive program success.

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • Ph.D. in Immunology, Cell Biology, Pharmacology or a related scientific discipline

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Broad experience in immunology-based drug discovery preferably in a pharma or biotech setting
  • Expert knowledge of adaptive and innate immunology and immune tolerance, including the roles of various immune cells and cytokines in immune regulation and disease pathobiology
  • Solid expertise in cell-based immunological assays such as T-cell, B-cell and dendritic cell differentiation, proliferation and function, as well as receptor binding, occupancy and signaling assays using advanced biochemical, cellular and pharmacological techniques
  • Highly skilled in the aseptic isolation and culture of rodent and human primary immune cells and functional analysis using flow cytometry and cellular imaging
  • Hands-on experience in molecular techniques for gene targeting/editing and cell line generation, such as RNAi, viral transduction, CRISPR and exogenous gene expression
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively to advance drug discovery projects in a cross-functional environment, with excellent organization and communication skills

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Prior experience with complex co-culture and/or 3D models and the integration of such systems into mechanistic characterization of lead candidates

If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

EEOC Poster
EEOC GINA Supplement​
OFCCP EEO Supplement

OFCCP Pay Transparency Rule

We are an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

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:


1st - Day

Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:RES002229

Senior Scientist, Cell Immunology & Pharmacology

South San Francisco, CA
Full Time

Published on 11/18/2019