At Novo Nordisk, the work of liver disease researchers is mainly focused on the metabolic liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis - also known as NASH.

Liver disease researchers work cross functionally to provide new biological insights into the disease and to leverage these advances for use in drug discovery efforts as well as the development of molecules that can then be tested in clinical trials.

Liver disease researchers work to develop a deeper understanding of the pathology of metabolic liver disease. This is, of course, not an isolated feat. Our department works alongside bioinformaticians to analyse big datasets and look for metabolic pathways that are dysregulated in the disorder.

Once we find the cellular component that we wish to target, we then study the molecule and find a way to modulate it, so we can test our hypothesis and determine if it can be a potential cure for the disease

A substantial part of our job is to collaborate with academic institutions and other biotechnology companies to drive scientific advancement at this scientific frontier.

It’s an exciting time to join the Liver Disease Research Unit. Currently, there is nothing on the market to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Joining the team means joining a learning journey with the potential for a tangible impact on patients that may be realisable in as little as 6 years.

Five years into the future, we hope to have achieved positive clinical results from the GLP-1 analog that we currently have in development. In addition to that, we would like to have a robust set of molecules that will allow us to deliver differentiated mechanisms, complementary to those that will hopefully be in existence for the treatment of these patients.

In order to reach these goals and expand capacity for more projects and external collaborations on the horizon, we have a need for more talent. 

Our ideal candidate would hold a relevant PhD and have a background in creating and testing hypotheses. As biology is a relatively broad area, we’re not looking for any one particular skillset in the lab.

Your expertise can be anything from molecular to cellular biology, animal work, or ex vivo tissue analyses using various immunoassays, and flow cytometry. The ideal candidate, though, would have expertise within liver biology as well as metabolic disease, inflammation, or fibrosis.

Above all, we’re looking for dedicated people that are passionate about drug discovery, finding early targets to pursue for drug development. While there are a lot of unknowns, our job is to translate these unknows to what can be tested and developed in clinical trials. That is an art. 

Senior scientist in Liver Disease Research, Anne Bugge Gerhart-Hines shares her insights into what it’s like to work in Novo Nordisk’s Liver Disease Research unit.

Watch the video to get a glimpse into the daily tasks, opportunities for collaboration and personal fulfilment that the department offers.