Scientist - High Throughput Process Development
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.
Scientist - High Throughput Process Development
West Point, PA
Job # BIO004918
Applications are sought for an Automation Scientist within the High Throughput Process Development (HTPD) group in Vaccine Bioprocess Research and Development (BPR&D), Merck Research Labs. The HTPD group seeks to optimize processes and improve robustness while minimizing resources and cycle time through experimental parallelization, miniaturization, automation, next-generation analytics, and informatics.
The scientist will serve as an individual scientific contributor responsible for maintaining and operating laboratory automation systems and performing high throughput experiments to support the development of vaccine candidates encompassing multiple modalities including live/attenuated viruses, recombinant protein subunits, and protein conjugates. The job function will require the integration of automation, information technology, and bioprocess development skill sets, with the successful candidate working closely with upstream (cell culture/fermentation) and downstream (purification) vaccine process development groups.
The primary job responsibility will involve helping to deliver high throughput solutions to process development teams and supporting these teams in the execution of experiments. The candidate will hold responsibility for a range of specific activities including, but not limited to: (1) helping HTPD team develop automation tools and HT analytics; (2) supporting process development experiments such as cell culture, reaction chemistry, and chromatography screening; (3) operating and maintaining robotic systems, liquid-handling hardware, and/or automated mini-bioreactors, and (4) and analyzing data.
The successful candidate will have a background in biological science or bio/chemical engineering, with some experience in either upstream (fermentation, cell culture) or downstream (purification) bioprocess development. Experience operating automated laboratory systems is also required (e.g. liquid handling workstation such as Tecan or Hamilton). Strong IT/computer skills, including proficiency in a general-purpose programming language will be considered as a strong positive factor. The candidate should be self-motivated, well-organized, have strong problem-solving skills, and be able to think strategically. The individual will be expected to demonstrate the ability to communicate results of his/her work in both verbal and written formats. In addition to the core responsibilities outlined above, the candidate will be expected to keep careful notes, comply with all required training, and maintain a focused attention on laboratory safety.
- BS degree in Chemical Engineering or Biological Sciences with a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience or a /MS degree in Chemical Engineering or Biological Sciences with technical background in bio-process development of biological molecules and experience in laboratory automation/robotics.
- Experience operating and maintaining laboratory automation/robotic systems.
- Experience in cell culture and/or purification of proteins, viruses, VLPs, and/or other biological molecules.
- Ability to understand and execute experiments independently in fulfillment of assigned program objectives in a manner that meets quality and time line expectations
- Well-developed organizational, record-keeping, and problem solving skills
- Ability to work independently and/or in a team environment and is results oriented
- Biotechnology/pharma experience, with at least one year of experience in bioprocess development and two years working with laboratory automation/robotics.
- Experience with one or more of the following automated systems: Hamilton, Tecan, Ambr15, Ambr250, HighRes Biosolutions, compacT, or ThermoScientific
- Experience in cell culture and maintaining cell lines.
- Experience working with live viruses and familiarity with established safety practices for working with such organisms including hands-on experience with Biosafety Level 2 operations
- Experience in programming (e.g. Visual Basic, CC+, Python, MatLab) and statistical/visualization software (e.g. JMP, Spotfire).
- Communication of scientific information through oral presentations and written documents.
- Conflict management and negotiation skills
- Familiarity with GxP principles and regulations.
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