Principal Scientist - Discovery Biology

Novo Nordisk
Lexington, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Oct 7, 2023

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
About the Department

Our Boston Research & Development hub, anchored in the greater Boston area, brings together the best minds in life science innovation. The teams located in facilities in Lexington, Watertown and Cambridge reflect the full R&D continuum, from early research through late-stage clinical development. Here, we are building for the future, creating a distinct R&D community based on collaboration, partnerships, and cutting-edge research across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas. We recognize that improving human health starts here and that patients rely on us. Our greater Boston R&D hub merges biotech speed and agility with large pharmaceutical company quality, resources, and stability, uniting the best of both worlds to develop new medicines for patients.

The Position

The Target Discovery Engine (TDE) is a global, multidisciplinary team that focuses on accelerating the path of target discovery and validation at Novo Nordisk. Scientists, in the TDE, take a human-centric approach to drug discovery, utilizing cutting-edge approaches to model human disease combined with advanced techniques in functional genomics and machine learning to identify and characterize novel targets. By doing so, the TDE team aims to redefine how the industry approaches target discovery, with the ambition of accelerating the drug discovery process, through unlocking a deeper understanding of disease and treatment outcomes.

The Principal Scientist, Discovery Biology, TDE Boston, will be responsible for proposing and driving in vitro research strategies and leading cross-functional project teams to model human cardio-metabolic disease in vitro, and leverage these systems for novel target discovery. This person will also be responsible for identifying and championing new targets into the NN drug discovery pipeline.


Reports to the Director, Discovery Biology (Boston). The person in this role will work closely with Discovery Biology and Technology teams in Boston, and with global Therapy Area and Biology Innovation teams, to guide efficient delivery of target discovery and validation efforts. Additional internal relationships include working with research employees, project managers, as well as with global colleagues across Novo Nordisk Inc. This position may mentor or indirectly supervise the next generation of target discovery scientists. External relationships include those with contract research organizations, key opinion leaders, innovative academic and biotech partners.

Essential Functions
  • Development and application of in vitro models of human cardio-metabolic disease to support expansion of the broader TDE strategy, and accelerate the advancement of targets into the NN pipeline
  • Propose and drive innovative research strategies to deliver scalable, human-relevant cell and assay systems and high-quality translatable data for cardio-metabolic drug discovery.
  • Lead cross-functional discovery research projects and teams
  • Develop and communicate a vision and engage people in that vision
  • Establish and manage project goals, timelines and deliverables to ensure efficient delivery of high-quality data for go/no-go decisions
  • Mentor and coach team members to help achieve the project goals
  • Communicate strategies, progress, and challenges across the organization and to leadership
  • Promote relevant cross-organizational collaborations and ensure efficient transfer and knowledge sharing with key stakeholders and customers across global sites, including China and Europe
  • Build and maintain strong relationships and collaborations with external researchers
  • Establish relevant external collaborations with academia to facilitate constant development of core technologies
  • Develop and manage CRO relationships in support of research goals

  • PhD with 10+ years OR Master's Degree with 16+ years of relevant industry or post-doctorate experience can be considered
  • Bachelor's degree in Biology or related field with 22+ years of relevant experience required
  • Extensive knowledge of neuronal cell biology, including primary and induced-pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived models, in vitro differentiation and characterization techniques
  • Strong expertise in fluorescence microscopy, cell imaging and analysis
  • Familiarity with cell engineering, high-throughput and high-content screening, cellular functional assays, and their application to drug discovery
  • Knowledge of CNS biology relevant to obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • Demonstrated track record of scientific leadership and delivery on projects related to target discovery and validation and/or progression of a drug discovery program
  • Experience building and maintaining productive internal relationships across complex research organizations, and the ability to effectively represent Novo Nordisk in external settings
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

We commit to an inclusive recruitment process and equality of opportunity for all our job applicants.

At Novo Nordisk we recognize that it is no longer good enough to aspire to be the best company in the world. We need to aspire to be the best company for the world and we know that this is only possible with talented employees with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. We are therefore committed to creating an inclusive culture that celebrates the diversity of our employees, the patients we serve and communities we operate in. Together, we're life changing.

Novo Nordisk is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal laws, rules or regulations.

If you are interested in applying to Novo Nordisk and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply, please call us at 1-855-411-5290. This contact is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

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