Senior Director - Data & Analytics Engineering, Translational Informatics

Facility:  Information Technology & Telecom

Lexington, MA, US

About the Department                                                                                                                                             

At Novo Nordisk, we don't wait for change. We drive it. We're a dynamic company in an even more dynamic industry, and we know that what got us to where we are today is not necessarily what will make us successful in the future. We embrace the spirit of experimentation, striving for excellence without fixating on perfection. We never shy away from opportunities to develop, we seize them. From research and development, through to manufacturing, marketing and sales - we're all working to move the needle on patient care.  As such, The successful candidate will have experience working collaboratively in a matrixed organization. They will have a proven track record of creating business results with impact at various levels in a large complex global organization. They will have responsibility for being a strong team player, manager and coach.


The Position

Are you an engaging and motivating leader who can bridge between digital and science, and do you have the drive and experience to take a leadership role focused on data solutions in a global, scientific environment? If so, then become part of the next wave of scientific discovery by joining Digital Science & Innovation (DSI).


As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies, with a legacy in the field of Diabetes, Novo Nordisk is expanding into new therapeutic areas such as fibrosis and rare disease. As we expand and perturb disease with new modalities (RNAi, cell and gene therapy) we seek an experienced Data Engineering Leader in our DSI organization to build and manage a team of data engineering experts. These experts will deliver high quality data that are used by scientists, operational leads, data scientists, and application developers to accelerate drug discovery and development. The Leader will have responsibility for enabling our computational and end user scientists to find, access, interoperate and use a range of internal and biomedical data sets (e.g. genomics, single cell, transcriptomics, human trials). The intended use for these single- and multi-modal data include disease understanding with the scope of this position focused on translational informatics use cases including target identification and validation, patient stratification and additional disease indications for our products.


The Lead will have strong technical acumen in designing, building and onboarding data assets into an integrated R&D data ecosystem. As a platform strategist, the lead will partner with internal stakeholders, external partners (academic institutions, consortia and industry) to deliver technical capabilities that drive scientific innovation. The Lead will deliver integrated data from various parts of the value chain into the data ecosystem. The Lead will manage the interface with the IT organization for the Data Platform in partnership with our research architects.


The Lead will also own the strategy and delivery of our AI/ML platform capability that enables the nascent models to be industrialized, persisted and scaled within a computational hub.


The Lead will create a learning culture environment that includes a multi-dimensional team of data, product and software engineers that have the scientific acumen to understand these complex data sets across our therapeutic areas. The lead will have the responsibility for coaching and mentoring the specialists who build data products by automating the processing of data (e.g. lab instrument, CRO, collaborator) for primary and secondary use by scientists, data scientists, bots and application developers.


The Lead will have and maintain their key opinion leader perspective as a data and analytics technologist.


The Lead will be able to hire, mentor and grow an industry leading data engineering organization focused on translational informatics.



Reports to VP, Data Products. Interacts with Leaders and scientific specialists across R&ED, project leaders for scientific projects in R&ED, Data Science and Innovation leadership team, Data Management and Informatics leadership team, architects and key specialists. Partners with the Business Capability organization to ensure that the Global Head of Translational data requirements are met across our Therapeutic areas.


Will own the relationship with the Scientific Architecture team to ensure that the data platform and AI/ML Platform Capabilities are well architected to meet our scientific and business needs. Builds and maintains meaningful productive relationships with Research and Corporate IT, the Global Data Office and the Clinical Informatics Teams. External relationships include relationships with commercial and academic collaboration partners.


Essential Functions

  • Leadership:
    • leading the department in line with Novo Nordisk Way
    • Prioritize and accelerate delivery of data products to impact target and translational informatics use cases
    • Collaborate and influence to shape and deliver the data platform strategy
    • Build and deliver an ecosystem model for AI/ML models
    • Securing global cross-organisational collaboration
    • Change management
  • Technical Influence:
    • Build, manage and coach a team of data engineers, product owners and software engineers
    • Management of the business through managers or specialists
    • Develop technical leaders with strong scientific and business acumen
    • Build our external reputation as an industry thought leader
    • Explore the use of next-generation data (mesh, automated annotation) and computing (quantum) for R&ED
  • Scientific Ownership of data products:
    • Define and prioritise activities to enhance data products, and increase scope and usage
    • Work with stakeholders and team to ensure data flow
    • Ensure work is delivered in partnership with Data Management and Informatics Stakeholders
    • Contribute to team and programme events and activities
  • Ensure and optimise scientific value of data products:
    • Implement data governance capabilities with a focus of data quality and business stewardship
    • Assess required data assets (required to deliver data products) and ensure appropriate and sufficient ownership of each asset
    • Train users to use, derive, measure and report value from the data ecosystem


Physical Requirements

The candidate would be expected to travel to conferences and other Novo Nordisk sites up to 10% of the time. This will include some international travel. There are no physical requirements, e.g. ability to lift 50 lbs. A driver’s license is not required.


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 with minimum 8 years relevant experience or Master’s with 12 years’ relevant experience
  • Relevant experience includes:
    • Gather/organize large & complex data assets, recommend appropriate data models for different needs and implement systems for data ETL/ELT, audit, QC, governance, and optimized consumption
    • Partner with business owners, data scientist, engineering, and IT to understand business needs, translate into technical specifications, and prioritize implementation plan
    • Deep domain knowledge in translational informatics data dictionary and business and technical meta data curation
    • Influential Technical Thought Leader and Architect for Translational Informatics Data and Computational Platforms
    • Experience developing and deploying solutions in cloud environments such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud
    • Experience mentoring and/or building a team of engineers
    • Technical Leadership in version control (Git, GitHub) and agile software management tools (JIRA,Confluence)
  • Preferred experience include:
    • Experience in pharmaceutical industry, healthcare industry, regulated medical device development or in another regulated field.
    • Experience with UKBiobank, Single Cell Analytics, Public-Private Translational Consortia 
    • Proven Innovation mindset with a focus on emerging technologies including model and feature stores, quantum computing for AI driven target discovery and molecule design
    • Working knowledge of scripting languages (Python, R, Scala, Julia a plus)
    • Experience working within GxP and cybersecurity requirements is a plus
  • Ability to influence, collaborate, and lead technical teams in a complex organization
  • Excellent written and oral communication 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.


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.