Senior Scientist - Biocatalysis

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

Novo Nordisk is seeking a Senior Scientist to join our RNAi Chemical Development group in Boulder, Colorado. You will lead and drive process development for the enzymatic ligation of oligonucleotides, biocatalytic processes pertaining to RNA synthesis, bioconjugation, and transglycosylation of nucleosides. The successful candidate will be a scientific contributor in the development of enzymatic processes used to manufacture raw materials and API candidates in our portfolio.



Reports to Senior Director, Chemical Development (within the CMC team).


Essential Functions

  • The successful candidate will build, lead, and execute development projects directed at biocatalytic methods of oligonucleotide production, including template dependent and independent methods
  • Be a subject matter expert in the use of enzyme classes relevant to biocatalytic methods of nucleic acid production including enzyme screening, protein engineering, reaction kinetics, and scale up of enzymatic reactions
  • Direct both internal and external facing research projects that focus on the sustainable manufacturing of oligonucleotides
  • Contribute to the design of laboratory space for expansion of research capabilities into enzymology and biocatalysis
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams at various locations within Novo Nordisk and externally at CMOs/CROs
  • Responsible for composing technical reports, tracking sustainability metrics and transferring biochemical and bioanalytical methods to CMOs/CROs and help with the direction of outsourced studies


Physical Requirements

0-5% occasional overnight travel (domestic or international) to support technology development and technology transfer to commercial manufacturing. Ability to lift 0 – 20lbs.


Development of People

Ensure that reporting personnel have individual development plans (IDP), with annual goals and measurements that are consistent with the priorities of the business, and that interim reviews are held so that their work is focused on those priorities, and they understand their level of accountability for results and the measurement process.


Ensure that the IDP forms include completed learning and aspiration plans and are in place for all reporting personnel to enable the achievement of goals and capability to assume increased levels of responsibility.


Manage the application and communication of all Novo Nordisk policies, procedures, and Novo Nordisk Way.



  • PhD or MS degree in oligonucleotide chemistry, biochemistry, biocatalysis, enzymology, structural biology, or a related field
  • In-depth knowledge of nucleic acid/oligonucleotide chemistry, and standard analytical methods
  • 6+ years industrial experience with oligonucleotides and/ or biocatalysis in the discovery, development, and scale-up of enzyme catalyzed reactions
  • Outstanding aptitude for experimental design and execution, efficient assay development, and creative problem solving
  • Familiar with GMP and regulatory requirements around the drug development process
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills, along with multiple examples of a strong technical background
  • Ability to function in a timeline-driven, dynamic environment, and rapidly adapt to new techniques and protocols
  • A strong work ethic and high level of motivation


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.


The base compensation range for this position is $160,000 to $189,000. Base compensation is determined based on a number of factors. This position is also eligible for a company bonus based on individual and company performance.  
Novo Nordisk offers long-term incentive compensation and or company vehicles depending on the position's level or 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 sick time policy, flex-able vacation policy, and parental leave policy. 


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.


The job posting is anticipated to close on 05/06/2024. The Company may however extend this time-period, in which case the posting will remain available on our careers website at www.novonordisk-us/


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.