It’s good to occasionally mention that a drug company is opening a new facility and is looking to hire people. Merck is looking to open a newBay Area research site and employ up to 100 researchers there. Now, this is mixed news if you don’t feel like doing drug discovery around either San Francisco or Boston/Cambridge (where Merck is also moving people), but if you feel that way you’ve been getting not-so-great news for a while.
As usual, there’s also room to wonder about the pixie-dust effect of those two coastal research hubs, when there are people with ideas all over the map. The geography of small companies is more spread out, but in drug research, the geography of the larger ones is anything but (and the coastal hubs, of course, have plenty of small outfits, too). When I talk to graduate students and postdocs, I’ve been telling them to get ready to at least think about a move to SF or Boston, because the odds are that a job search will take you to possibilities in at least one of them. I speak from personal experience!