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Executive Director, Cardiovascular



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Job Description

The Executive Director of Cardiovascular (Cardio-renal disease & Heart Failure) will be responsible for overseeing and facilitating research in cardiovascular disease with an emphasis on cardio-renal disease & heart failure, in the Cardiometabolic Disease (CMD) Discovery Biology Department, which is located at a new state-of-the-art center in South San Francisco, CA. The Executive Director will contribute to the design, prioritization, and execution of the strategic plan within CMD, including integration of new technology platforms, pre-clinical models, human biology, data science, while focusing on uncovering novel biology that delivers high-quality drug discovery pipeline.

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” and 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.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Lead and help shape the departmental strategy in cardiovascular disease with an initial focus on cardio-renal & heart failure
  • Implement the strategy working together with key stakeholders within the department and across the network, in addition to collaborating with key opinion leaders in academia
  • Lead the development and implementation of in vitro and in vivo assays to conduct investigation of disease biology to establish and support evolution of a robust pipeline of cardio-renal diseases and heart failure therapeutic targets
  • Manage and mentor a team of scientists in cardiovascular disease research
  • Review and seek out potential external research collaborations and licensing opportunities to capitalize on novel insights and complement internal pipeline
  • Monitor emerging biology and basic & clinical research within cardio-renal diseases & hear failure, and more broadly across the scientific spectrum
  • Champion diversity and inclusion within the department and across the broader organization
  • Recruit, develop, and retain a talented team that delivers on target identification & validation and advances CMD pipeline


  • Ph.D., MD, or MD/Ph.D. in a cardiometabolic related discipline and relevant experience

Required Experience and Skills:

  • A minimum of 10 years’ research experience in cardio-renal biology, heart failure, with a proven track record substantiated by peer-reviewed publications
  • Research & development experience within academia and/or industry setting
  • Experience in overseeing research projects, setting priorities and trouble shooting in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Broad knowledge and first-hand experience in cardiovascular in vitro and in vivo models
  • Solid understanding of drug discovery and clinical development and working knowledge of biomarker discovery, translational research, data science and human genetics
  • Exceptional partnering and team skills as a trusted colleague and team leader; record of accomplishment of leading and supporting a collaborative team
  • Excellent track record of providing mentorship and guidance to reports and peers
  • Proficient in utilizing innovative technologies for preclinical research
  • Ability to communicate effectively with and relate to a broad range of stakeholders, including senior leaders, peers, direct reports, partner organizations and external collaborators

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Prior industry experience
  • Ability to understand, analyze and interpret complex problems and data while developing appropriate action plans to achieve results
  • Strong leadership skills to build and lead an agile team. Ability to successfully influence, build credibility and work effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders and both internal and external partners
  • A team player, who works effectively in a matrix organization, collaborates functionally across multiple stakeholders, and builds trust and credibility at all levels. Someone who builds consensus and achieves agreement on key priorities
  • High-level of business acumen and judgment is preferred for this role; ability to make practical, realistic, data-driven, and timely decisions
  • Encourages and maintains the highest quality and rigor of research output and commitment to scientific inquiry, ethics, and diversity


Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

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.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. For more information about personal rights under the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment laws, 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.

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

U.S. Hybrid Work Model

Effective September 5, 2023, employees in office-based positions in the U.S. will be working a Hybrid work consisting of three total days on-site per week, generally Tuesday, Wednesday and either Monday or Thursday, although the specific days may vary by site or organization, with Friday designated as a remote-working day, unless business critical tasks require an on-site presence. This Hybrid work model does not apply to, and daily in-person attendance is required for, field-based positions; facility-based, manufacturing-based, or research-based positions where the work to be performed is located at a Company site; positions covered by a collective-bargaining agreement (unless the agreement provides for hybrid work); or any other position for which the Company has determined the job requirements cannot be reasonably met working remotely. Please note, this Hybrid work model guidance also does not apply to roles that have been designated as “remote”.

Under New York State, Colorado State, 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:

$247,700.00 - $390,000.00

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.

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.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:


Flexible Work Arrangements:

Not Applicable


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Job Posting End Date:


*A job posting is effective until 11:59:59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Job Posting End Date:06/30/2024

A job posting is effective until 11:59:59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Requisition ID:R281360