Merck Stakes a Claim in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Merck Exploratory Science Center (MESC) is focused on exploring the causes of some of the most challenging diseases.

Merck Research Laboratories (MRL), the arm of our company focused on discovering and developing therapies to improve patients’ lives, has had a rich and successful legacy developing medicines and vaccines for some of the world’s most challenging diseases.

The ever-changing landscape of drug discovery means we need to constantly be in-tune with new approaches, which is why expanding our discovery capabilities in South San Francisco and Cambridge, two important centers of biomedical innovation, is vital to our mission of inventing for life.

Scientific disciplines are evolving rapidly. They are creating a convergence of emerging science and technologies that we believe will continue to open new horizons…We are positioning ourselves to take advantage of our core strength – drug invention – and to match that with how the world is evolving in the earliest discovery space in different geographic areas.

— Joe Miletich, senior vice president of Discovery Preclinical and Early Development

Inventing for Life

We’re inventing for life. We continue to invest in discovery because the world needs cures. Watch the video to learn how we’re cultivating invention.

Located in Cambridge’s Kendall Square neighborhood, in the heart of the Boston/Cambridge life sciences corridor, the MESC is near some of the world’s leading academic institutions, research hospitals, many other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and Merck's Boston discovery research site, which opened in 2004.

This Merck outpost aims to explore emerging areas of disease biology to uncover new opportunities for drug discovery research.

The MESC is made up of approximately 40 accomplished researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds but one common goal: To bring together biology, chemistry, technology and drug discovery under one roof to ultimately help MRL’s global network of researchers to discover and develop new and innovative medicines and vaccines.

Scientists here are using their curiosity and creativity to help us better understand how diseases operate. This helps identify new potential targets for our drug and vaccine discovery research. Their research activities include identifying:

  • How infectious organisms (pathogens) interact with host cells
  • Microbiome (collection of micro-organisms residing in and on the body) response
  • Underlying biology of diseases

Meet Daria

The Merck Exploratory Science Center is led by Daria Hazuda. Daria is a world-renowned biochemist and expert in drug discovery whose research in infectious disease biology has led to the discovery and development of multiple novel medicines to treat HIV and chronic Hepatitis C.
Learn more about Daria’s work and career at Merck.

There’s a reason for the ‘and’ in Research and Development…You need to have both. You need to have people exploring new areas of biology to uncover new opportunities – which is what we hope to do in Cambridge — and you need to have those scientists who can recognize what a good molecule looks like in order to successfully deliver a medicine to the market, which is what our MRL global network can do.

— Daria Hazuda, vice president of infectious diseases and vaccines discovery at MRL and the head of MESC.

Merck South San Francisco

* Image represents architectural concept. Courtesy of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Merck Research Laboratories South San Francisco is breaking ground on a new, cutting-edge research facility, scheduled to be operational in 2019. The new discovery research facility will accommodate more than 300 scientists and support research spanning exploratory biology through early clinical development.

Learn more