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Associate Director - Computational Biology - Target Discovery

Novo Nordisk
Lexington, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Jan 18, 2024

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Genetics, Biology
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
About the Department

You will be leading the US Target Discovery team within the Novo Nordisk Artificial Intelligence and Digital Research (AIDR) Computational Biology department. AIDR Computational Biology is a global department with colleagues in China, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. This role will be setting up a new team based in the Boston area. Our scientists have significant expertise across a diverse set of disciplines in computational biology, bioinformatics, and machine learning, including multi-omic data analysis, functional genomics, systems biology and biomarker analysis. The focus of the US Target Discovery team will be drug target identification through the analysis of high throughput functional genomics, transcriptomics and cell imaging data. The use of cutting-edge machine learning techniques to identify novel drug targets in our core disease areas is a key objective for AIDR as we seek to strengthen the Novo Nordisk drug discovery portfolio and deliver new medicines for patients.

The AIDR team sits within the wider Digital Science & Innovation (DSI) organi-sation. DSI is supporting the digital journey across all our therapy areas in No-vo Nordisk Research and Early Discovery (R&ED). In DSI, we work in multidisci-plinary teams - in strong collaboration with all areas across R&ED and R&ED IT. We participate in drug development projects across the value chain, from early discovery to pre-clinical development. We engage in external collaborations to ensure access to the latest research and technology enablers, and we auto-mate our labs and processes, and we focus on developing and retaining top talent.

The Position

As the Associate Director you will be leading the US Target Discovery Computa-tional Biology team with line management responsibilities for a local team of computational biologists. You will have a mandate to set the scientific research and operational strategy for the team in collaboration with the VP of Computational Biology and other global Computational Biology department heads. Your team's objective will be to use computational analysis and machine learning to discover and validate novel drug targets in Novo Nordisk's key disease areas, including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.


The Associate Director reports to the global VP of Computational Biology. The role will work closely with the heads of the AIDR Genetics and Machine Intelligence teams and the Target Discovery Engine (TDE) team within Global Drug Discovery. The Associate Director will build external relationship in the Boston biomedical research ecosystem, including with industry and academia.

Essential Functions
  • Line management of a team of computational biology professionals.
  • Set objectives for the Target Discovery US department and deliver re-sults that have a significant impact on the results of AIDR, DSI and Glob-al Drug Discovery.
  • Understand cutting edge computational biology techniques in target discovery through genetics, machine learning and functional genomics.
  • Develop relationships with key stakeholders in Global Drug Discovery, especially the Target Discovery Engine, to ensure alignment with the global Novo Nordisk drug discovery strategy and portfolio.
  • Input into the global AIDR Computational Biology strategy, including sci-entific direction, resourcing discussions, and operations.
  • Perform computational biology data analysis and present results to di-verse drug discovery teams.

Physical Requirements

Up to 10% overnight travel required, potentially international

Development of People

Supervisory, ensure that reporting personnel have Individual Development Plans (IDP), with annual goals and measurements that are consistent with the priorities of the business, and that interim reviews are held so that their work is focused on those priorities, and they understand their level of accountability for results and the measurement process. Ensure that the IDP forms include completed learning and aspiration plans and are in place for all reporting personnel to enable the achievement of goals and capability to assume increased levels of responsibility. Manage the application and communication of all Novo Nordisk policies, procedures, and Novo Nordisk Way.

  • Master's degree required, PhD preferred; degree within computational biology discipline, such as bioinformatics or genomics preferred
  • 8+ years' relevant experience with a Master's degree or 6+ years' relevant experience with a PhD
  • Relevant experience includes:
    • Leadership of research teams in the field of drug target identifica-tion and validation within industry or academia (required)
    • Experience of applying computational biology and machine learning to target discovery through genetics or functional genomics.
    • Experience analysing diverse omics data including one or more of RNASeq, scRNASeq, CRISPR gene editing & screening
    • Experience working in Python or R to curate and analyze data
    • Experience in working in multidisciplinary teams and working environments
    • Ability to perform in-depth data analysis and present results and conclusions to project and leadership teams
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills
    • Detail oriented with strong presentation and documentation skills
Preferred experience includes:
  • Experience analysing in vitro high throughput imaging data with machine learning.
  • Experience working with cloud compute services such as AWS or Azure

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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