Principal Scientist - Microphysiological Systems- Kidney

Facility:  Research

Watertown, MA, US

About the Department

Our US Research & Development hub, located in the Greater Boston area, brings together the best talent to drive life science innovation. Located in Lexington, Watertown and Cambridge, our teams reflect the full scope of R&D, from early research through late-stage clinical development. We are building for the future by creating a distinct R&D community based on collaboration, partnerships, and cutting-edge research across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas. We recognize that improving human health starts here and that patients rely on us. By combining the speed and agility of biotech with the quality, resources, and stability of a large pharmaceutical company, our US R&D hub will benefit from the best of both worlds to develop new medicines that meet the needs of patients.


Novo Nordisk is building an R&D hub in Greater Boston to further accelerate its efforts to bring forward novel therapies for people living with chronic disease. As part of these efforts, Global Drug Discovery (GDD) is establishing a dedicated microphysiological systems (MPS) department with the purpose of identifying and integrating the next generation of human disease models into our drug discovery efforts. The department will be anchored in the Integrated Physiology Research area and will have strong integration with the biology areas across GDD.

The Principal Scientist will be part of a highly ambitious multidisciplinary team dedicated to setting up and implementing human cell-based disease relevant MPS platforms to support validation and progression of early drug candidates. The position will report to the Head of the MPS. Working closely with the cardiometabolic therapeutic areas across Research & Early Development (R&ED) organization the individual will lead the organ-specific disease model development efforts with the initial focus of developing multicellular kidney disease models. In addition, the Principal Scientist will help establish this new unit by setting scientific direction and utilizing its strong international network. The individual will drive the in vitro technology development in multidisciplinary teams requiring being hands-on in the lab, guiding junior scientists, and working closely with the external partners on specific model development projects. The Principal Scientist will help set scientific direction and help shape the growing department.


The Principal Scientist will report to the head of the Microphysiological Systems (MPS) department at Novo Nordisk in Greater Boston 

Internal relationships include working closely with technical staff and scientists within the MPS department as well as with the head of MPS. Moreover, the individual will work closely with scientists within the cardiometabolic therapeutic areas across the global Research & Early Development (R&ED) organization, with project managers, and with Therapy Area Heads 

The Principal Scientist will have significant interaction with external research collaborators both academia- & industry.
The individual may supervise and mentor less experienced team members. 


Essential Functions

  • Proven subject matter expertise in the field of: Microphysiological Systems, kidney biology, and bioengineering.
  • Demonstrates a specialized depth of expertise and engages relationships with other key areas related to drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Work with full autonomy on extremely complex tasks requiring highly specialized knowledge of strategic importance to SVP area.
  • Lead the organ-specific disease model development efforts especially within multicellular kidney disease models
  • Drive the in vitro technology development in multidisciplinary teams, guiding junior scientists, and working closely with the external partners on specific model development projects.
  • Provide expert-level guidance for project teams related to experimental strategies to evaluate emerging technologies, biologies, and targets.
  • Contribute with subject matter expertise to develop the research agenda with a clear understanding of the link between scientific project goals and overall long-term business needs.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate across global sites and sets project strategy by providing leadership of cross-functional project teams.
  • Propose and lead external collaborations and strategic partnerships to develop the MPS technology platform 
  • Propose new technologies and projects that support the strategic agenda and address gaps in technological capabilities and therapeutic areas.
  • Represent the organization through external communication of impactful scientific research in the form of presentation at external conferences and publication in scientific journals and patents.
  • Leads global, cross-functional experimental teams to achieve project goals. Provides significant mentorship and training of junior and senior colleagues within field of expertise.    


  • PhD with 10 years relevant industry or post-doctorate experience OR Master's Degree with 16 years relevant industry or post-doctorate experience OR Bachelors with 22+ years’ relevant experience can be considered
  • Required experience includes: 
    • Profound expertise in developing advanced human model systems. Specifically, multicellular kidney disease models including setting up disease relevant functional endpoints. 
  • Preferred experience includes: 
    • Current molecular biology techniques, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), and analytics such as high content imaging and scRNAseq as well as programming (eg. Python or R).
  • Establishing, shaping and driving complex cross-functional collaborations both within an organisation and with external partners, commercial and academic.
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written 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.


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.