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Associate Vice President/Therapeutic Area Head, Translational Medicine - Cardiovascular & Respiratory



Durham, NC, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Job Description

The Associate Vice President (AVP) will be responsible for leading the Translational Medicine (TMed) Cardiovascular & Respiratory Therapeutic Area and strategy, bridging the continuum from Discovery Research through Late-Stage Clinical Development. The AVP provides strategic oversight for the early clinical space, determining and implementing the initial clinical strategy through proof-of-concept/pharmacology/principle and the transition from early to late-stage governance. In addition, responsibility will include the clinical pharmacology support of the Common Technical Document (CTD) and label, including relevant compound/program life-cycle management.

The successful candidate will have an essential strategic and tactical role in overseeing the scientific direction of clinical programs involving translational research and early clinical development for the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Therapeutic Area. They are expected to operate in a highly collaborative and matrixed environment, partnering with peers across the company network agnostic of geographic location in the US and globally. The position will also require strong strategic leadership to deepen and expand an already extensive network of key cross-functional partners both within TMed, Discovery, and Global Clinical Development.

The candidate will be expected to understand the our company's portfolio and collaborate with Discovery Research, bringing a clinical perspective to the disease biology, identifying target engagement (TE) approaches, leveraging biomarkers (soluble and imaging), supporting programmatic dose selection, and representing TMed at governance for the Cardiovascular & Respiratory portfolio (discovery therapeutic area review, early and late-stage clinical governance), and fully supportive of external-based therapeutic opportunities.

The role will require deep scientific and therapeutic-area expertise in Translational Cardiovascular & Respiratory, thorough familiarity, and experience with the principles of drug development to ensure compound transition along the pipeline, management experience, and importantly the ability to work with ambiguity and embrace uncertainty. The role will demand critical, timely, independent decision making and requires a high degree of autonomy.

The AVP reports to the Vice President/Global Head of Translational Medicine, and sits on the T-Med leadership team. The leader must have scientific excellence in Translational Cardiopulmonary with a rich understanding of drug development, leadership, recruitment capabilities, management skills to direct a group of individuals, and excellent communication and collaboration skills to deliver on the Cardiovascular & Respiratory portfolio strategy.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Serve on TMed core leadership team (LT)

  • Serves as the deep subject matter expertise in Translational Cardiovascular & Respiratory Medicine

  • CMD Discovery Review core member

  • Represent TMed at core governance (early and late stage)

  • Provide core TMed input at external licensing committee for Cardiovascular & Respiratory.

  • Provide clinical updates at early (Discovery – Translational) governance

  • Present and contribute at governance committees (early and late) as required

  • Present Translational Cardiopulmonary strategy at governance portfolio reviews

  • Oversee and provide strategic and tactical oversight to early development teams in Cardiovascular & Respiratory

  • Coordinate dose selection and endorsement at late-stage governance Dose Day

  • Establish and own Cardiovascular & Respiratory strategy with other TA Heads (Discovery/Late-Stage)

  • Lead key technical reviews for Cardiovascular & Respiratory assets

  • Conduct DRC reviews (protocols, strategy, other)

  • Sign off on clinical pharmacology CTD submissions and NDAs

  • Regular updates with key cross-functional partners (Discovery/Late-Stage/Regulatory), as well as other disciplines

  • Establish novel endpoints for early clinical assessment leveraging experimental medicine paradigms

  • Enable clinical leads and TMed co-chairs on early development teams to establish and deliver programmatic strategy

  • Responsible for attracting, hiring, developing and retaining talent within the discipline

  • Contribute to shaping TMed department strategy

Education Minimum Requirements:

  • Advanced Degree (MD, MD/PhD) with at least 15 years of academic and/or industry (pharma, biomedical research) experience and expert scientific and translational knowledge in Cardiology, Pulmonology and/or Critical Care Medicine required.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Possess a strong scientific profile with a track record of publication in top-tier, peer reviewed journals are a prerequisite for this role, to establish internal credibility with a highly sophisticated scientific team.

  • Understanding of systematic discovery approaches (e.g., functional genomics, computational biology, chemical biology).

  • Rich understanding of both physiology and pathophysiology in Cardiovascular & Respiratory.

  • Demonstrate a strong track record in early clinical drug development, including the principles of clinical pharmacology, biomarkers of target engagement, experimental medicine platforms, early clinical trial designs and conduct, and operational understanding for implementation.

  • Strength in delivering results on firm deadlines in support of the pipeline.

  • Ability to develop, analyze and communicate scientific information.

  • Experience in attracting, developing, and retaining talent.

  • Proven ability to build and lead high performance cross-functional teams.

  • Strong interpersonal, communication and collaboration skills, and executive presence to successfully engage senior leaders in governance meetings as well as the ability to function in a team environment.

  • Strong decision-making skills, weighing advantages, disadvantages, and business impact for rapid decisions.

  • Ability to work successfully with ambiguity and embrace uncertainty.

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and network effectively within a matrixed organization.


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.

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.

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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:

$326,300.00 - $513,600.00

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.

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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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*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:06/24/2024

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:R294596