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About the Department

Dicerna, a Novo Nordisk company, is focused on driving innovation in RNAi (ribonucleic acid interference) to selectively target and silence genes that cause or contribute to disease. Our proprietary GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technologies have the potential to address conditions that are difficult or impossible to treat with other modalities. Established as a Transformational Research Unit (TRU) following Novo Nordisk’s acquisition of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2021, the Dicerna TRU is a unique new organization within Novo Nordisk that brings together the best of both worlds – the agility, collaborative pioneering spirit and calculated risk-taking profile of a biotech along with the scale, resources and capabilities of a global leader in drug development. With approximately 200 researchers, scientists, drug developers and operational staff, we are a team of inventive and entrepreneurial thinkers pushing the boundaries of science to create and drive new RNAi-based therapies for both rare and more prevalent diseases from the bench to the clinic. Together, we are driving change. Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position

Dicerna, a Novo Nordisk Company is seeking a highly skilled and motivated Scientist with a strong background in Oligonucleotide Synthesis to join the Chemistry Team. The Scientist will be responsible for the design and synthesis of novel oligonucleotides, oligonucleotide conjugates, nucleoside analogues, and small molecule and peptide ligands. This position will contribute to the development of novel nucleic acid drug discovery platforms and support therapeutic programs in multiple disease areas.



The Scientist will closely work with external collaborators and CROs where applicable. Reports to the Director in Chemistry.


Essential Functions

  • Review research publications and intellectual property literature and propose novel target molecules to support nucleic acid drug discovery
  • Synthesis of oligonucleotides, deprotection, purification, annealing and lyophilization of oligonucleotides to support all disease programs
  • Analytical characterization of the synthesized oligonucleotides for purity determination and impurity profiling
  • Support new chemistry discovery for the development of novel oligonucleotide conjugate platforms
  • Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot lab instruments such as oligonucleotide synthesizers, purification systems, HPLC and LC-MS
  • Design, plan, and execute multi-step organic synthesis of novel target compounds
  • Operate and maintain analytical and chromatography instruments including HPLC and LCMS for the purification and characterization of complex molecules
  • Where applicable, oversee the research efforts of external and/or internal chemists by leading from the bench
  • Present research results in department and cross-function meetings
  • Actively participate in the creation of Dicerna intellectual property
  • Collaborate with Chemistry and Biology colleagues in scientific publications and presentations


Physical Requirements

0-10% overnight travel required. Ability to lift 0-10 lbs.



  • Ph.D. in organic chemistry or medicinal chemistry with 3+ years of relevant experience in Nucleic Acid Drug Discovery highly preferred
  • Strong knowledge of nucleic acids chemistry, oligonucleotide synthesis, deprotection and purification techniques
  • Extensive experience in oligonucleotide synthesis
  • Thorough understanding and hands-on experience of state-of-the-art analytical and purification techniques e.g., RP-UPLC, SAX-HPLC, LC-MS and data interpretation as well as desalting techniques
  • Detail-oriented in both data analysis and project planning
  • Self-motivated with a proactive mindset
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and oral)
  • Ability to thrive in a multi-disciplinary and fast-paced research environment with tight deadlines
  • Preferred Qualifications:
    • Experience with ÄKTA 100 Oligopilot, Dr. Oligo, Mermaid, or similar instruments
    • Experience in bio-conjugation chemistry
    • CRO management experience
    • Experience in modern medicinal chemistry and drug discovery


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.


Lexington, MA

Published on 09/14/2023

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