Associate Director, Computational Biology & Protein Design

Seattle, Washington State
Competitive Base Salary, Bonus, and Excellent Benefits.
May 08 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Associate Director- Computational Biology & Protein Design

About the Department
Imagine transforming the face of biomedical research and building world-class protein technology platforms in a state-of-the art facility. That’s what we do at Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI). Our scientists apply cutting-edge technologies to early discovery projects within the diabetes and obesity areas, with the goal of bringing molecules to market. Such projects include identifying protein-based therapies for obesity, diabetes, and adjacent therapeutic areas, and researching the next generation of medical devices. At the NNRCSI, your skills, dedication and ambition will help us change lives for the better. In exchange, we’ll offer you an opportunity to work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions.

The team is comprised of collaborative, diverse and passionate people who have a true sense of pride in their work and are committed to helping others grow and develop in their careers. You’ll also have a platform to engage with key stakeholders on a global scale throughout the entire pipeline process. And while changing the future of diabetes treatment is no easy task, we also recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which is why we’ve cultivated a culture of fun, ingenuity and innovation. And our competitive compensation package, generous benefits, and support of a healthy work-life balance all add to a best-in-class employee experience. We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?

The Position
The Computational Biology and Protein Design-US groups vision is to explore and develop new technology and methodologies within the fields of Computational Biology and protein design, that adds value to development of new targets and drug designs within the therapeutic areas covered by Novo Nordisk’s corporate strategy. The Associate Director will drive the development of the new research team supporting local activities within the fields and ensure access to talents in North America with particular emphasis in Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Computational Biology and Protein Design and will have the opportunity to help develop Novo Nordisk’s technical culture. The position is critical for establishing a strong presence within the fields in North America and for supporting drug discovery innovation.

The Associate Director will report to the Vice President (VP) of Structure, Bioinformatics and Data Science area placed in Denmark, but will have strong association to local Protein Engineering and Biology groups focusing on Obesity, Diabetes and Kidney Disease.

Internal relationships include employees in the newly established research team and colleagues at Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI) and other Novo Nordisk (NN) research sites. This includes Computational Biologists, Computational Modelling Scientists, Software Engineers and Developers, scientific personnel from biology and protein engineering groups and relevant employees from the NN IT organizations.

External relationships include commercial and academic collaboration partners and may include researchers within the field in North America and Canada with strong-holds within AI-driven drug discovery.

Essential Functions

  • Establish and lead a team that shows excellence in design of peptides, proteins, antibodies and other molecular formats of interest by employing state-of-the art modeling approaches and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The team will also harbor strong competencies within areas covering sequence analysis, different omics technologies, Mode of Action (MoA)/pathway analysis, biomarker discovery and data science methods of integrating analysis of internal and external biomedical data
  • Responsible for developing, implementing, and applying technical tools and distribute obtained knowledge to research projects
  • Utilize and impact computational environments and platforms either cloud-based or on premise and facilitate data pipelines and management of data
  • Work closely with other research scientists in local or global, multidisciplinary research teams, which works in a flexible, collaborative setting with very ambitious scientific goals
  • Develop state-of-the-art structural modelling and AI-driven approaches to improve functional properties of drug candidates. The team should be in the forefront of discovering and validating new targets, target validation, MoA and biomarkers from biological data sets and experiments
  • Engage with stakeholders across the global research organization with sites in Denmark, Indianapolis, UK and China and to disseminate obtained knowledge and technologies where it makes sense
  • Contribute to the development or application of algorithms for in depth analysis of experimental data sets connected to development of new drug designs and cohort data sets with biomedical data
  • Support other scientists to design, code, train, test, deploy, and iterate on machine learning systems and bioinformatics approaches
  • Prepare and present written and oral reports and proposals to peers and management
  • Capture new, relevant inventions in Novo Nordisk patent applications
  • Identify and initiate collaborations with key opinion leaders (KOLs), companies and relevant external partners with emphasis on capturing state of the art methodologies and skills within the field of computational biology and protein design

Physical Requirements
Approximately 15% overnight travel.

Development of People
Ensure that reporting personnel conducts 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. Manage the application and communication of all Novo Nordisk policies, procedures, and Novo Nordisk Way. Ensure that the individual development plan (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.


  • PhD level within a computational structural biology discipline, such as Biophysics or Biochemistry or within Bioinformatics/Computational Biology or Computational science is preferred
  • 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry
  • 7 years of programming and scripting skills (e.g. Python) and experience with advanced statistical analysis, modern data science and state of the art bioinformatics techniques
  • 5 years of experience in building up strong competencies and broad knowledge base within Computational protein design or Computational biology field with deep knowledge within artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning technologies amenable to drug discovery
  • 3 years of experience in managing dynamic and fast paced smaller research teams

Novo Nordisk is an Equal Opportunity Employer - M/F/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.

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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