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Scientist I - Neuro Discovery

Novo Nordisk
Lexington, MA
Start date
Nov 20, 2023

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Science/R&D, Biotechnology, Neuroscience
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time
Genetown, Best Places to Work

Job Details

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 is a rapidly growing biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics for rare diseases, chronic liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, and  diseases of the brain and eye. The Company is using its proprietary GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technology platforms to build a broad pipeline in these therapeutic areas. We offer a unique and exceptional culture that thrives on energy, sharing of ideas and overall excellence. We believe in career development and enhancing the work environment with industry-leading perks (daily catered lunches, fun corporate outings, community volunteering opportunities, bonus incentive program). We offer competitive salaries and excellent benefits.

We are seeking a highly skilled PhD scientist to join their Neuro Discovery group. This individual will be a key player in the identification and establishment of new targets utilizing Dicerna's RNAi therapeutics in the central and peripheral nervous systems in order to broaden Dicerna's CNS pipeline. This individual will also play a key role in bridging the gaps between platform development and target lead ID.



This position reports to the Scientist II, Research – Neuro/Ocular.


Essential Functions

  • Leading internal and external research efforts to understand the mechanism of action, activity, and efficacy of siRNAs in the central and peripheral nervous system and the eye
  • Conducting siRNA drug candidate screening hit identification, and in vivo lead optimization
  • Contribute to the understanding of CNS/Ocular RNAi safety and tolerability profiles
  • Apply learnings from SAR studies to related CNS/Ocular applications
  • Establish and validate murine models of CNS/PNS/Ocular and related diseases
  • Reviewing literature and providing insights to drive CNS/Ocular pipeline, while predominantly making hands-on contributions to research

    Physical Requirements

    0-10% overnight travel required. Ability to lift 0 - 50 lbs.



  • PhD in Neuroscience, Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, or equivalent and 0-2 years of experience in a relevant industrial or postdoctoral setting, with emphasis on the study of eye disorders or eye pathology. Experience with CNS disorders a plus. (Candidates with MS degree and 4+ years relevant experience may also be considered)
  • Expertise in standard biological laboratory techniques. Key assays for this role include RT-qPCR, FISH, IHC, IF, ELISA, and Western blot
  • Ocular-focused dosing abilities (intravitreal) in both mouse and rat. CNS dosing (stereotaxic surgery, intrathecal lumbar puncture, intra-cisternal delivery) a plus
  • Familiarity with neuroanatomy including performing CNS/PNS/Ocular rodent tissue dissection (brain, spinal cord, nerves)
  • Experience with systemic dosing (IP, PO, SC, IV, IN) and biofluid collection in rodents (cerebrospinal fluid, whole blood/plasma/serum) desirable but not required
  • Histology experience is a plus. Preference will be given to candidates with ocular histology experience.
  • The ideal candidate is flexible, adaptable, positive, and a self-starter, with exceptional communication and organizational 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.


    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.


    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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    United States

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