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Innovation Lead - Programmable Medicines - Bioinnovation Hub

Novo Nordisk
Cambridge, MA
Start date
Nov 4, 2023

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Science/R&D, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology
Required Education
Position Type
Full time
Genetown, Best Places to Work

Job Details

About the Department

Our Cambridge Innovation Center is an extension of our Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI).  We apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to People with Diabetes and Obesity.  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 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 and 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. And our competitive compensation package 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

As the direct scientific interface to our local external partners this role is crucial for the success of creating a diversified external research pipeline and has the specific purpose of:

  • Actively engage with the local external partners to mature adaptive partnership opportunities within break-through therapies, specifically programmable medicine. Actively shape product concepts or breakthrough technologies to fit Novo Nordisk's demand for a diversified R&D pipeline and capability development. Collaborate with partners and Novo Nordisk R&D functions to advance product concepts
  • Actively connect and feed knowledge into the Global Novo Nordisk R&D organization
  • Actively coordinate and participate in establishing win-win solutions in complex stakeholder landscapes



The Innovation Lead reports to the Director of Innovation Team at the Bioinnovation Hub. It is crucial that the holder of the role will have daily proactive collaboration with colleagues in the Boston organization, external partners including Biotech companies, Venture capital, and Academia Institutions as well as the scientific network within the Global Drug Discovery, Global Research Technologies, and Global Device Research organizations. The role thus functions as an interface between the Bio Innovation Hub and the external partners.


Essential Functions

  • Actively engage with the local external partners to identify adaptive partnership opportunities within break-through therapies
  • Actively participate in scanning the Boston innovation ecosystem for collaborative opportunities to co-create disruptive therapeutic concepts or technology projects
  • Drive decision on choice of optimal modality for a given therapeutic concept with a focus on utilization of programmable platforms
  • Drive processes together with identified partners to generate early ideas/hypothesis for breakthrough innovations locating the synergy between the platform of a potential partner and the therapy need of Novo Nordisk
  • Proactively acquire knowledge outside of one’s own core areas of expertise
  • Validate opportunities and contribute to co-created research plans
  • Participate in consolidation of innovative partnership models and proposals for endorsement in relevant Novo Nordisk governance board
  • Actively participate in shaping product concepts to fit Novo Nordisk’s demand for a diversified R&D pipeline
  • Participate in solving unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the business
  • Collaborate with partners and R&D functions to shape and advance first-in-class product concepts or technology solutions
  • Participate in review of co-created projects, targets and concepts
  • Demonstrate ability to maintain state of the art competences and know-how within field of expertise
  • Actively connect and feed knowledge into the Global Novo Nordisk R&D organization
  • Function as key link between the Bio Innovation Hub and specific scientific experts within the global research and development organization. Actively engage in learning opportunities in relation to the external partnerships and diverse external engagement models


Physical Requirements

0-10% overnight travel required. 5-10% overnight travel, both domestically and internationally required.



  • MD or PhD required. Degree within Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Cell biology preferred 
  • 3+ years of relevant scientific experience required 
  • Broad scientific knowledge within technology platforms including programmable advanced next generation therapeutic concepts, such as RNA, genome editing or others; Cardiovascular and metabolic area knowledge a plus
  • Proven track record to ideate and advance new product concepts (Innovator mind-set)
  • The ability to acquire new knowledge fast
  • Strong pharmaceutical industry knowledge and understanding
  • Strong knowledge and skills relevant for Novo Nordisk cross-business understanding 
  • Good business understanding across R&D – Preferred
  • Strong intercultural understanding – Preferred
  • Managerial experience (if applicable): No line managerial experience required. The incumbent will participate in driving initiatives through influence. Project management skills will be preferred


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 a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 54,400 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. For more information visit

Our US Research & Development hub, located in the Greater Boston area, brings together the best talent to drive life science innovation. Located in Lexington, Watertown and Cambridge, our teams reflect the full scope of R&D, from early research through late-stage clinical development. We are building for the future by creating a distinct R&D community based on collaboration, partnerships, and cutting-edge research across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas. We recognize that improving human health starts here and that patients rely on us. By combining the speed and agility of biotech with the quality, resources, and stability of a large pharmaceutical company, our US R&D hub will benefit from the best of both worlds to develop new medicines that meet the needs of patients.


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