Scientist II - Machine Learning Peptide Design

Facility:  Research

Seattle, WA, US

About the Department                                                                                                                                 

Imagine transforming the face of biomedical research, helping patients getting healthier with digital therapeutics, and advanced medical devices in a state-of-the-art research facility. That’s what we do at Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI). Our scientists and engineers apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to People with Diabetes and Obesity. Such projects include applying data science when developing advanced medical devices and digital decision support solutions. At NNRCSI, your skills, dedication and ambition will help us change lives for the better. In exchange, we’ll offer you an opportunity to work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions.


The team is comprised of collaborative, diverse and passionate people who have a true sense of pride in their work and are committed to helping others grow and develop their careers. You’ll also have a platform to engage with key stakeholders on a global scale throughout the entire pipeline process. And while changing the future of diabetes and obesity treatment is no easy task, we also recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which is why we’ve cultivated a culture of fun, ingenuity and innovation. And our competitive compensation package and support of a healthy work-life balance all add to a best-in-class employee experience. We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position

The Scientist II will contribute to the Department of Computational Drug Discovery to invent and create the next generation pharmaceuticals through familiarity with state-of-the-art algorithms for de novo peptide design.  

The machine learning scientist will apply and develop cutting-edge algorithms to generate de novo peptides and peptide binders. The person will collaborate across the organization to build out this platform for in silico design of functional and modified peptides (e.g. protractions, non-canonical amino acids). The senior scientist will actively participate in the design of experiments to improve and refine model predictions to leverage on continuous flow of data from internal experiments. 


This role will ensure that the department can execute world state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms within in silico peptide design and establish the department as world leading within this field by published articles, patents, or through presenting research.   Will consider hiring at the Senior Scientist level commensurate with required experience. 



Reports to of the head of the Computational Drug Discovery department. Internal relationships include project teams and research colleagues both in Seattle, and around the globe. Communicates data externally when required. May oversee parts of computational drug design operations and computational facilities. Individual Contributor: does not manage other employees or contingent workers.


Essential Functions

  • Apply state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms for design of de novo peptides and peptide interactions.
  • Develop and design machine learning platform for design of functional de novo peptides.
  • Demonstrate ability to combine data from different sources and incorporate these into multidimensional optimization of peptide design.
  • Critically evaluate experimental data and incorporate this knowledge into design of experiments to improve predictability and learnings of machine learning algorithms.
  • Collaborate with leading external partners from academia and industry to ensure leadership within the field of computational peptide design.
  • Prepare and present research in top-leading journals or conferences.
  • Prepare and present written and oral reports/dashboards to scientists/non-scientists.
  • Identify new applications or areas for machine learning within protein and peptide prediction and apply these to improve predictions.
  • Leads cross-functional experimental teams to achieve project goals, mentor junior staff, and provide training
  • Influences the research pipeline by proposing new projects that support the strategic agenda


Physical Requirements:

Novo Nordisk requires all employees, 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 with 15+ years’ relevant experience required, focus within computational drug design/discovery preferred 
  • Master’s degree with 10+ years’ relevant experience OR a Doctoral degree within computational drug design/discovery with 4+ years’ post-doctoral and/or industry experience may also be considered
  • Relevant required experience includes:
    • E​​​​​xperience of applying machine learning to de novo design of peptides either from academia or industry is required. 
    • Publications in the form of high-profile papers or patents in design of peptides and machine learning is required.
    • Experience with one of the following areas: Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Reinforcement Learning is required.
  • Preferred experience includes: 
    • Knowledge of structure guided, or data driven design of peptides is preferred.
    • Knowledge of preparing and applying experimental data to optimize machine learning algorithms
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and in teams, and to collaborate with external parties.


Millions rely on us 
At Novo Nordisk, we don’t wait for change. We drive change. 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. Working at Novo Nordisk is working toward something bigger than ourselves, and it’s a collective effort. Novo Nordisk relies on the joint potential and collaboration of its more than 40,000 employees to change the lives for the better for millions of patients living with diabetes and other chronic diseases. Together, we go further. 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.