Senior Machine Learning Scientist

Facility:  Research

Seattle, WA, US

About the Department                                                                                                                                             

At Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI) our scientists apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to People with Diabetes and Obesity. Your skills, dedication and ambition will help change lives for the better and you will work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive changes to defeat serious chronic conditions. We recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which stimulates a strong culture of ingenuity and innovation and our support of a healthy work-life balance adds to a best-in-class employee experience.  As a new focus area, we aim to build up a dynamic computational team, which will leverage structure-based design, computational biology and machine learning expertise to the drug discovery process.  Our aim is to strengthen target identification and drug design processes at NNRCSI and through global collaboration across our R&D sites. This team will implement state-of-the-art structural modelling and machine learning technologies to improve functional and biophysical properties of proteins, peptides and new molecular format for future therapies. They will build up bioinformatics expertise spanning areas from sequence analysis, computer vision and different omics and pathway analysis. This team will work in a flexible, cross-functional setting in close collaboration with experimentalists to drive pre-clinical projects with very ambitious scientific goals. They will have external collaborations with academic and biotech partners within computational drug discovery in North America.  We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position

The Senior Machine Learning (ML) Scientist 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 and relevant engineering techniques.


The Senior Machine Learning Scientist will develop and identify new machine learning algorithms that can improve computational protein/peptide design as well as structure prediction of protein and complexes. The Senior scientist will collaborate across the team to identify problems where state-of-the-art ML algorithms can improve predictability and scalability within these fields. The person will ensure interactions and collaborations with leading academic groups as well as companies within the field of machine learning. The role will have the responsibility to have the overview with and critically be able to assess the rapid evolving field of machine learning and AI. The person will communicate relevant new findings/changes to stake holders across the organization and ensure the right strategy is pursued.  This role will ensure that the department can execute state-of-the-art, cutting-edge machine learning algorithms and relevant engineering techniques while establishing the department as world leading within this field by published articles, patents, or through presenting research.



The Senior Machine Learning Scientist will report to the Director in Computational Drug Discovery. The role will interact with people in various projects as well as departments involved with computational and experimental research as well as IT infrastructure. External stakeholders include commercial and academic collaborators.


Essential Functions

  • Apply state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to problems in computational protein/peptide design and structure prediction, for protein and complex prediction and refinement; or for design of de novo peptides and peptide interactions
  • May develop and design machine learning platform for de novo protein design or for protein and complex prediction and design or for design of functional de novo peptides
  • Develop, design, and implement cutting-edge machine learning algorithms
  • May develop scalable protein prediction pipeline to assist scientists in projects across the organization
  • Demonstrate ability to combine data from different sources and analyze these or incorporate these into multidimensional optimization of peptide design
  • Lead a technical team to implement ML algorithms in protein and peptide design, engineering, or prediction
  • 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 fields of machine learning or computational protein and/or peptide design
  • Prepare and present research in top-leading journals or conferences
  • Prepare and present written and oral reports/dashboards to scientists/non-scientists
  • May identify new applications or areas for machine learning within protein and peptide engineering or prediction and apply these to improve predictions


Physical Requirements

0-10% overnight travel required.



  • PhD required. Degree within machine learning, statistical modeling, computational biology/chemistry/physics, or mathematic modeling or other relevant areas required
  • 6+ years of relevant experience required either from academia and/or industry
  • Relevant experience includes:
    • Experience of applying machine learning from academia or industry
    • Experience with machine learning packages e.g. TensorFlow, Pytorch, sagemaker, etc.
    • Experience with high-performance computing for machine learning
    • Experience with Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Reinforcement Learning
  • Publications in the form of high-profile papers or patents within machine learning required
  • Working knowledge of de novo protein design, antibodies, or nanobodies preferred
  • Knowledge of preparing and applying experimental data to optimize machine learning algorithms preferred
  • Knowledge of structure guided, or data driven design of peptides preferred
  • Ability to work independently and in teams, and to collaborate with external parties
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills


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.