Principal Scientist - Oral Biologics

Novo Nordisk
Lexington, Massachusetts (US)
Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 5, 2023

Principal Scientist - Oral Biologics

Facility:  Research


Lexington, MA, US

About the Department                                                                                                                                 

As part of the establishment of our R&D Hub in greater Boston, Novo Nordisk is growing its efforts within advanced drug delivery. A cornerstone of this is an expansion of our efforts in advancing oral biologics-based treatments to address unmet needs within a broad range of serious chronic diseases. Building on our success in developing the world’s first GLP-1 peptide in a tablet, we are rapidly growing our activities in our relentless pursuit of the next generation of oral-based therapies across a range of new modalities. 
You will join and help build a vibrant and science-focused team of scientists, where innovation is at the core. One of the core focuses of the hub is to drive early-stage innovation within oral drug delivery sciences with a focus on new modalities such as peptides, proteins and oligonucleotides. In growing our presence in the greater Boston area via our R&D Hub, we seek to bring together the 100-year heritage and experience of Novo Nordisk with the unparalleled innovation eco-system found in Boston.
We will be based in new, purpose-built lab facilities in Lexington and co-located with our Dicerna Transformational Research Unit (TRU). As part of a team of leading scientists and innovators, you will bring your own ideas and collaborate with others to develop the next generation of oral biologics. It’s ground-breaking work with the promise of improving the lives of millions of people with chronic conditions. If you want to make a difference, join us to do pioneering research that can impact people everywhere.


The Position

The Principal Scientist will provide scientific leadership in the identification and development of novel advanced drug delivery systems to achieve oral administration of biologics including peptides and proteins. This will be achieved by functioning as a subject matter expert that provides strategic guidance to project teams, evaluates emerging technologies, and proposes and oversees external collaborations and strategic partnerships. The Principal Scientist may mentor senior colleagues in formulation and drug delivery sciences and will represent the organization to the external scientific community through publication and presentation of highly impactful research.



Internal relationships include project teams and research colleagues both in Denmark, Boston, and around the globe. It is crucial that the holder of the role will have daily proactive collaboration with colleagues in the team, together with close colleagues based in Denmark. Communicates data externally when required. May oversee parts of oral formulations operations and laboratory facilities. Individual Contributor: does not manage other employees or contingent workers.


Essential Functions

  • Advances research projects by demonstrating technical mastery, creativity, and scientific leadership in oral drug delivery, and broad knowledge of related disciplines including a strong understanding of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Analyzes highly complex data with high degree of sophistication, connecting disparate datasets to reach conclusions and set direction on experiments.
  • Effectively communicates and collaborates across global sites and sets project strategy by providing leadership of cross-functional project teams. Represents the organization through external communication of impactful scientific research in the form of presentation at external conferences and publication in scientific journals and patents. Proposes and oversees external collaborations.
  • Maintains a deep understanding of theoretical knowledge and a connection to the external scientific community through continuous evaluation of relevant literature. Expands the capabilities of oral drug delivery sciences through the generation of new ideas, evaluation of oral drug delivery methodologies, and implementation of technologies that add value.
  • Leads global, cross-functional experimental teams to achieve project goals. Provides significant mentorship and training of senior colleagues.
  • Contributes subject matter expertise to develop the research agenda with a clear understanding of the link between scientific project goals and overall long-term business needs. Proposes new projects that support the strategic agenda and address gaps in technological capabilities and therapeutic areas.



  • Bachelor’s degree required. Masters or PhD strongly preferred. Relevant Post-graduate/industry experience required
    • PhD with 10 years relevant industry or post-doctorate experience OR  Master's Degree with 16 years relevant industry or post-doctorate experience OR Bachelors with 22+ years’ relevant experience can be considered
  • Relevant required experience includes: 
    • Working understanding and experience within oral drug delivery
    • Excellent understanding of the physiology of the gastrointestinal tract
    • Experience of formulation-related processes (including, but not limited to, tableting, spray-drying, solid state characterisation)
    • Demonstrated evidence (publications, patents etc., ) of innovation within novel drug delivery systems
    • Experience with developing and optimising novel in vitro and in vivo models for testing of  formulations/drug delivery systems
    • Track-record of leading multi-disciplinary teams within complex projects
    • Business understanding and cross-functional stakeholder management skills T
    • Track record in setting scientific direction and driving projects along the value chain
    • First-hand experience with driving external innovation (e.g., academic collaborations, strategic partnerships etc.,)
  • Preferred experience includes: 
    • Experience with working with new modalities (e.g., peptides, proteins, oligonucelotides etc.,)
    • Knowledge of active transport mechanisms for delivery across the gastrointestinal tract
    • Insights into nanoparticles or other nano/micro-sized drug delivery systems
    • Experience with a global organization and interculturally competent
    • The ability to acquire new knowledge quickly and with little direction/oversite
    • Good business understanding across the R&D value chain 
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written 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.


Novo Nordisk requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Novo Nordisk will consider requests for reasonable accommodation.


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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