Cell Culture Associate I

Facility:  Research

Fremont, CA, US

About the Department                                                                                                                                     

Novo Nordisk, a global health care company, is committed to discovering and developing innovative medicines to help people living with diabetes lead longer, healthier lives. To support this, Novo Nordisk is conducting research on stem cell therapy. Stem cell research raises hopes for improved treatment of Type 1 Diabetes and for future treatments with cell transplantation therapy. This treatment could be offered to people with many different serious chronic diseases caused by the degeneration of specific cells, such as Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is manifested by the selective destruction of the insulin-producing cells in the body, which leads to a life-long dependence on insulin injections to control blood sugar levels. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Cell therapy may offer a better treatment by replacing the lost cells with new insulin-producing cells derived from stem cells, thus avoiding daily multiple insulin injections as well as numerous blood glucose tests. This treatment may also offer better blood glucose control, which is crucial to avoid late-stage complications such as blindness and kidney failure. In this project Novo Nordisk will generate new stem cell lines to be used in future cell therapies to treat Type 1 Diabetes, Parkinson’s and chronical heart failure.  Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position

This position will perform a variety of procedures in a manufacturing environment in compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations to manufacture cell therapy products for use in human clinical trials.



The Cell Culture Associate will work at the Stem Cell manufacture facility located in Fremont, California. The Cell Culture Associate will report to a member of the Stem Cell Manufacture Leadership Team. Internal stakeholders include employees in R&D in Novo Nordisk A/S, employees of UCSF, and employees at the Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI) and Novo Nordisk Quality.


Essential Functions

  • Work with team to produce cell therapy products using undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells in accordance with the manufacturing procedures, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and approved protocols in a full GTP and GMP compliant cleanroom environment including full aseptic gowning
  • Assist in writing and/or revising master production records, SOPs, Deviations, change requests, training materials, protocols, reports, and other required documentation
  • Provide support for commissioning and validation activities in addition to other facility start-up activities, as needed
  • Review batch production records for completeness, accuracy, and to ensure cGMPs and Good Documentation Practices are followed
  • Troubleshoot technical process and equipment problems
  • May collaborate with cross-functional teams i.e., Quality, Facilities, Process Development, and Analysis
  • Perform final derivation
  • Perform additional job-related duties as required


Physical Requirements

0-10% overnight travel required. Ability to stand or sit for long periods of time. Ability to do repetitive work, requiring strong dexterity and hand/eye coordination. Ability to lift up to 25 lbs. Novo Nordisk requires all new hires, 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 in the life sciences field is required; advanced degree may be substituted for experience as appropriate
  • 2+ years experience within cell culture required.
  • Must have proven aseptic or sterile technique experience
  • Preferred qualifications:
    • Hands-on experience within cell line derivation development, in vitro fertilization associated technical procedures, mammalian cells, derivation, and or knowledge in GMP/GTP, aseptic handling is preferred
    • Experience with analytical procedures to assess the quality of cells (karyotyping, FACS, RNA, ICC) or cell metabolism (metabolite profiling) is preferred
    • Experience writing investigation, deviations, change control documentation, standard operating procedures and other cGMP documentation
    • Ability to identify, challenge, and implement potential improvements to work procedures preferred
  • Highly motivated and comfortable working in a results-oriented dynamic research and development environment
  • Ability to work independently and in teams consisting of members with different degrees of knowledge or ability
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English


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.