Associate Scientist - Chemical Development

Facility:  Research

Boulder, CO, US

About the Department   

The Boulder Site is home to the specialized technical operations/CMC team for oligonucleotides and RNAi therapeutics, continuing its legacy as the hub for all manufacturing-related activities for GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ investigational therapeutics developed from Novo Nordisk’s acquisition of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2021. With a new laboratory completed in 2021 to support analytical and process development, the CMC team works alongside Quality, Regulatory, Technical Operations and RNAi Early Development professionals at our Boulder, Colorado facility and works closely with our teams in Lexington, Massachusetts. Ranked the No. 1 Place to Live for the second consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report, Boulder is experiencing a renaissance in biotech investment and is one of the world’s leading centers for oligonucleotide innovation and manufacturing. Together, we are driving change. Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position

Dicerna in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a highly motivated scientist to join its Chemical Development team in Boulder, Colorado. The candidate will be responsible for analytical and process development support as part of the chemical development group. Although the focus of the position will be analytical support for oligonucleotide chemical development projects, this position will have the opportunity to contribute across a wide range of chemical development activities including oligonucleotide synthesis and downstream processing. Duties will include sample preparation and analytical analysis primarily by HPLC (IPRP & AX). This position is expected to evolve and expand in responsibility to include operation and maintenance of the analytical instruments as well as working to develop new methodologies for oligonucleotide upstream and downstream processes. The idea candidate will need to be able to work in a highly functioning team setting.



Reports to a Manager (or above) within the Chemical development department. Manages mutually beneficial relationships within entire Technical Operations group. This may include external partners relevant to the planning and implementation of bulk manufacturing of oligonucleotide API. Provides excellent customer service and builds strong working relationships within Chemical Development and internal/external partners.


Essential Functions

  • Primary responsibility to provide analytical support of current chemical development projects utilizing state of the art techniques including reverse phase, ion-exchange and mixed mode medias
  • Execute investigations developing improved methods for scalable synthesis, deprotection and downstream processing of highly modified oligonucleotides
  • Prepare analytical samples, analyze and process data, primarily by HPLC and LC-MS
  • Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot lab instruments such as purification and HPLC systems
  • Conduct laboratory work in safe, efficient manner that ensures a safe working environment for colleagues
  • Ability to complete assignments that meet clearly defined deadlines and time schedules
  • Keep accurate records of the experiments utilizing GDP documentation and summarize the results in electronic notebooks, written reports, and presentations
  • Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Exercise judgement within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results
  • Occasional overnight travel may be required


Physical Requirements

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



  • BS/MS in Chemistry, Biology or related field with 5 years of industrial experience
  • Experience in a cGMP environment is desired
  • Experience with HPLC techniques on multiple platforms (e.g. Waters, Agilent, Thermo)
  • Knowledge of nucleic acids preparation and analytical techniques
  • Knowledge of nucleoside, nucleic acid chemistry and the synthesis of oligonucleotides is valuable, but not required
  • Experience with GE AKTA synthesis and purification systems is preferred


In compliance with Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, see compensation and benefits below: 


The base compensation range for this position is $90,000 to $110,000. Base compensation is determined based on a number of factors.  In addition, this position is part of the Annual Performance Incentive Plan. The role may also be eligible for a long-term incentive bonus depending on level and other Company factors. 


Employees are also eligible to participate in Company employee benefit programs including medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; disability insurance; 401(k) savings plan; flexible spending accounts; employee assistance program; tuition reimbursement program; and voluntary benefits such as group legal, critical illness, identity theft protection, pet insurance and auto/home insurance. The Company also offers time off pursuant to its uncapped sick time policy, flex-able vacation policy, and parental leave policy. 


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.