Merck moves Seattle to Boston

When I heard that pharmaceutical company Merck was linkurl:slashing;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55103/ more than 7,000 jobs across the company, my thoughts immediately went to Eric Schadt and his colleagues at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a Seattle-based Merck subsidiary. I linkurl:profiled;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54801/ Schadt, who heads the company's research genetics department, in our July issue. Recent linkurl:reports;http://www.genome-technology.com/issues/blog

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Oct 23, 2008
When I heard that pharmaceutical company Merck was linkurl:slashing;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55103/ more than 7,000 jobs across the company, my thoughts immediately went to Eric Schadt and his colleagues at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a Seattle-based Merck subsidiary. I linkurl:profiled;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54801/ Schadt, who heads the company's research genetics department, in our July issue. Recent linkurl:reports;http://www.genome-technology.com/issues/blog/general/150221-1.html seemed to indicate that Merck was essentially dissolving its Seattle research operations, which include Rosetta and other labs involved in the company's genomics efforts. Apparently, I wasn't the only one with that mistaken impression. "Eric [Schadt] sent me a quick note yesterday saying he had over 100 emails on the Seattle facility closure from friends and associates, many of whom have jumped to the same incorrect conclusion that you did - that Merck is shutting down its integrative genomics and molecular profiling departments," a Merck spokesperson wrote to me in an E-mail. That spokesperson assured me, however, that "a majority of...
ompany, my thoughts immediately went to Eric Schadt and his colleagues at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a Seattle-based Merck subsidiary. I linkurl:profiled;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54801/ Schadt, who heads the company's research genetics department, in our July issue. Recent linkurl:reports;http://www.genome-technology.com/issues/blog/general/150221-1.html seemed to indicate that Merck was essentially dissolving its Seattle research operations, which include Rosetta and other labs involved in the company's genomics efforts. Apparently, I wasn't the only one with that mistaken impression. "Eric [Schadt] sent me a quick note yesterday saying he had over 100 emails on the Seattle facility closure from friends and associates, many of whom have jumped to the same incorrect conclusion that you did - that Merck is shutting down its integrative genomics and molecular profiling departments," a Merck spokesperson wrote to me in an E-mail. That spokesperson assured me, however, that "a majority of the people and the labs in Seattle will be moved to our state-of-the-art basic research facility in Boston." So Schadt's position at Merck is safe? Apparently, yes. "Current plans for the Seattle facility are to close it by 12/2009, so [Schadt] will be continuing his work there and leading his team," the spokesperson wrote. Rather than lopping off whole therapeutic or research areas, such as genomics or molecular profiling, continued the spokesperson, "Merck is taking a long-term, strategic approach to further integrating these valuable technologies, people and resources into its core basic research operations to improve our pipeline productivity." We'll see in the coming months and years what this means to Merck's other employees in Seattle and elsewhere.

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