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Scientist - peptide design

About the Department                                                                                                                                             

At Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI) our scientists apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to people with Diabetes and Obesity. Our scientists apply state-of-the-art technologies within the diabetes and obesity areas, with the goal of bringing molecules to market. Your skills, dedication and ambition will help change lives for the better and you will work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive changes to defeat serious chronic conditions. We recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which stimulates a strong culture of ingenuity and innovation and our support of a healthy work-life balance adds to a best-in-class employee experience. 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 obesity 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. We are changing lives, are you ready to make a difference?


**** alternative location for this position can be our Seattle, WA facility****


The Position

The Scientist II will contribute to the Department of Computational Drug Discovery to invent and create the next generation pharmaceuticals through familiarity with state-of-the-art algorithms for de novo peptide design.  

The machine learning scientist will apply and develop cutting-edge algorithms to generate de novo peptides and peptide binders. The person will collaborate across the organization to build out this platform for in silico design of functional and modified peptides (e.g. protractions, non-canonical amino acids). The senior scientist will actively participate in the design of experiments to improve and refine model predictions to leverage on continuous flow of data from internal experiments. 


This role will ensure that the department can execute world state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms within in silico peptide design and establish the department as world leading within this field by published articles, patents, or through presenting research.   Will consider hiring at the Senior Scientist level commensurate with required experience. 



Reports to of the head of the Computational Drug Discovery department. Internal relationships include project teams and research colleagues both in Seattle, and around the globe. Communicates data externally when required. May oversee parts of computational drug design operations and computational facilities. Individual Contributor: does not manage other employees or contingent workers.


Essential Functions

  • Apply state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms for design of de novo peptides and peptide interactions.
  • Develop and design machine learning platform for design of functional de novo peptides.
  • Demonstrate ability to combine data from different sources and incorporate these into multidimensional optimization of peptide design.
  • Critically evaluate experimental data and incorporate this knowledge into design of experiments to improve predictability and learnings of machine learning algorithms.
  • Collaborate with leading external partners from academia and industry to ensure leadership within the field of computational peptide design.
  • Prepare and present research in top-leading journals or conferences.
  • Prepare and present written and oral reports/dashboards to scientists/non-scientists.
  • Identify new applications or areas for machine learning within protein and peptide prediction and apply these to improve predictions.
  • Leads cross-functional experimental teams to achieve project goals, mentor junior staff, and provide training
  • Influences the research pipeline by proposing new projects that support the strategic agenda


Physical Requirements:

Novo Nordisk requires all employees, both Field and Office-based, to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Novo Nordisk will consider requests for reasonable accommodation for those unable to be vaccinated. You will be required to upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccine card at the time of hire and/or on your first day of employment



  • Bachelor's Degree with 15+ years’ relevant experience required, focus within computational drug design/discovery preferred 
  • Master’s degree with 10+ years’ relevant experience OR a Doctoral degree within computational drug design/discovery with 4+ years’ post-doctoral and/or industry experience may also be considered
  • Relevant required experience includes:
    • E​​​​​xperience of applying machine learning to de novo design of peptides either from academia or industry is required. 
    • Publications in the form of high-profile papers or patents in design of peptides and machine learning is required.
    • Experience with one of the following areas: Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Reinforcement Learning is required.
  • Preferred experience includes: 
    • Knowledge of structure guided, or data driven design of peptides is preferred.
    • Knowledge of preparing and applying experimental data to optimize machine learning algorithms
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and in teams, and to collaborate with external parties.


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.

Scientist - peptide design

Lexington, MA
Full Time

Published on 06/10/2022

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