Post-doctoral Fellowship in Stromal Biology and Spatial Imaging

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Job Title: Post-doctoral Fellowship in Stromal Biology and Spatial Imaging
Location: South San Francisco, CA, West United States,

Company: Merck
Industry Sector: Agribusiness

Job Description: Job Description

Our Research Laboratories' Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program aims to be a best-in-industry program for industrial 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.

As part of our goal to promote basic research that will support future therapeutic development, we seek a motivated post-doctoral fellow to perform a tissue-based research project focused on stromal biology in cancer. The candidate will assume a highly interdisciplinary position at the intersection of pathology, oncology, and applied computer science within the Anatomic Pathology Group at our Research & Development Division South San Francisco.

As a post-doctoral fellow, you will leverage an existing dataset on a human colon cancer cohort to explore the spatial dynamics of tumor and stromal cells. This unique position combines tissue-based assays (IF and multiplex imaging) and spatial transcriptomics analysis. Experience in IHC, IF, or multiplex imaging (Vectra, MIBI, CyCIF, CODEX) and image analysis is strongly desired. You will learn to utilize image analysis tools or work with open-source methods to perform custom analyses. Hence, experience with programming (PyTHON, R, or MATLAB) would be particularly valuable. As part of our initiative to automate pathology analytics, you will also interact with a team of machine-learning engineers developing deep-learning models for correlations of tumor microenvironment features with molecular data. You will develop your scientific career in a dynamic network of pathologists, biologists, and bioinformaticians within industry.

The Successful Candidate will:
  • Develop tissue-based assays (IF, multiplex IF, and CODEX) for tumor stromal cell subsets
  • Analyze the spatial characteristics of the colon cancer microenvironment using spatial transcriptomics and multiplex imaging data
  • Perform statistical analysis on imaging data to find correlations with other clinical or molecular signatures
  • Leverage machine-learning tools to perform image analysis and identify image-based biomarkers
  • Interact smoothly with pathologists, pathology bench scientists, statisticians, biologists, computer scientists, and informatics/IT staff, both internally and externally
  • Present data in internal and external venues
  • Write manuscripts for publication.

This position will require a strong background in biology and in conducting scientific experiments. It will require a high level of curiosity and self-motivation to stay current with relevant knowledge in the field, high levels of creativity, an urge to experiment with new methods and technology, and a collaborative approach to science.

Minimal required education and skills:
  • PhD, or will you have completed your PhD within the next year, in biology, immunology, pathology, computational biology, or another related field.

Preferred Knowledge of and/or Experience with:
  • Digital analysis of pathology or other biomedical images.
  • Bulk and single-cell RNA Sequencing data processing and analysis.
  • Programming skills with application in imaging (e.g. Python, MATLAB).
  • Histology/microanatomy.
  • Perkin Elmer Vectra Polaris platform, Akoya's CODEX platform, and HALO image analysis system.
  • Machine learning frameworks.


We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we "follow the science" that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. We believe that a research-driven enterprise dedicated to world-class science can succeed by inventing medicine and vaccine innovations that make a difference for patients across the globe.

Who we are ...

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for ...

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us-and start making your impact today.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

Residents of Colorado

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Post Doc:

Under New York City, Washington State and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate's relevant skills, experience, and education.

Expected salary range:


Available benefits include bonus eligibility, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. For Washington State Jobs, a summary of benefits is listed here .

For positions located in the United States and Puerto Rico - Subject to applicable law, all new hires (including internal transfers) must demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they qualify for a medical or religious exemption to this vaccination requirement. New hires (including internal transfers) to a position that, as determined by the Company, requires routine collaboration with external stakeholders (such as roles in health services or customer-facing commercial or research-based roles) ("Customer-Facing Role") who are not vaccinated must qualify for a medical or religious exemption and be in a position that the Company determines can accommodate unvaccinated employees without causing an undue burden to business operations. If, following dialog with the candidate as appropriate, it is determined that the candidate either a) does not qualify for a religious or medical exemption or, b) for candidates applying for Customer-Facing roles, it is determined that allowing the candidate to work without vaccination would cause an undue burden to the Company, the candidate will be ineligible for hire or transfer, or any offer of employment or transfer (if applicable) will be revoked. Please note that notwithstanding the approval of any reasonable accommodation, the Company reserves the right to monitor, modify, or revoke any such accommodation if it is determined, following dialog with the employee, that the accommodation is no longer effective or results in an undue burden to the Company.

Current Employees apply HERE

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US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

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

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another's thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Residents of Colorado:

Click here to request this role's pay range.

Learn more about your rights, including under California, Colorado and other US State Acts

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, 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.

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Job Post Date: 01/12/23
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