Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford is an innovative target discovery and translational research unit with a focus on identifying novel, game-changing therapies for patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases.
We employ advanced computational biology, state-of-the-art discovery screening technologies, genetics and human-centric cell systems to dissect pathophysiology and identify novel drug targets. The site is a fusion of the best of academia, biotech and big pharma in order to realize cutting-edge biology and start a target’s journey from bench to bedside.
Research Centre Oxford is one of our four transformational research units, operating at the boundaries of frontier science with a mandate to find dynamic, agile and distinctive new ways of working to diversify the company’s pipeline with disruptive medicines.
Our Research Centre Oxford continuously looks for partners with expertise in type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases, from novel modalities to technologies, in early research to clinical stage. We are interested in academic and industrial partners who use disruptive technologies to challenge traditional ways of thinking and benefit unmet patient needs. We offer partners our disease understanding, human-centric scientific models, state-of-the-art technologies and tailored collaborations.
Contact us to engage with us: NNRCOinfo@novonordisk.com.
We describe ourselves as collaborative, dedicated and ambitious, with an innovative science-oriented approach to drive change to improve patient’s lives. We are a diverse group with backgrounds in bioinformatics, genetics, disease biology, technology and drug discovery.
Our workplace values and culture are spelled out in The Novo Nordisk Way.
Visit the Novo
Nordisk careers page to find opportunities to join our team.
The Novo Nordisk – Oxford Fellowship Programme is run in close collaboration with the University of Oxford. This programme supports the development of a new generation of exceptional diabetes and metabolism researchers, who will become future leaders in the field, while further advancing scientific excellence within diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases ultimately improving the lives of patients.
The programme has approximately five highly competitive research and clinical research training fellow positions available each year. Visit the programme website for open positions and to learn more about current and past fellows.
Our Research Centre Oxford currently has three research teams onsite, working together as thought partners to solve complex scientific challenges using human genetics, big data and cutting-edge technologies. The Oxford site drives in house discovery efforts with external collaborators, in partnership with other Novo Nordisk international sites. The global collaboration contributes to our overall pipeline and to greater scientific understanding to help solve unmet needs in the diabetes and cardiometabolic fields.
Read our manifesto (PDF)
To identify novel targets and add value to other research projects, our teams are using in silico pipelines, novel algorithms and advanced machine learning activities. We achieve this by utilizing state-of-the-art data integration pipelines to analyze large scale data (e.g. clinical biobanks, GTEX, and all types of omics) that are generated by in-house experiments and external collaborators. We then use cloud based computational and flexible environments. Collaborations are an essential part of the group, to strengthen our research for the benefit of patients. Our current partnerships are with academic groups and biotechs.
Department head (interim): Joanna Howson
We establish and apply state-of-the-art genomics and screening technologies to discover and validate novel therapeutic targets for cardiometabolic diseases using human-centric in vitro approaches. Our technologies include high throughput screening, high content imaging, single-cell sequencing, CRISPR editing, functional genomics, proteomics, peptidomics, and statistical modelling. By applying these technologies to human samples and human centric in vitro models, we interrogate disease pathogenesis, elucidate the function of genes and proteins, and identify targets and key biology to discover new disruptive therapeutics.
Department head: Fang Zhang
We utilize cutting-edge technologies to follow research hypotheses from gene, to cell, to tissue, to organ cross-talk, to organism. To do this we capitalize upon stem cell biology, CRISPR and other genome engineering techniques, in vitro differentiation and multi-parametric cellular assays. We plan to extend the complexity of our systems using bioprinting and organ-on-a-chip technologies going forward. Our cellular studies focus on capturing physiologically-representative function and phenotypes to push the boundaries of translational research to validate novel targets in complex systems that mimic human tissues.
Department head (interim): Fang Zhang
The Genetics Department generates and applies human genetics
knowledge to improve drug target prioritisation by identifying novel
targets and biomarkers, their tissue/cell-specific expression and
potential contra-indications. We utilize approaches such as patient
stratification from genetic risk scores for precision medicine;
Mendelian Randomization screens for identifying causal risk factors
for cardiometabolic diseases; perform in silico screens to go
from associated variants to causal genes. In tandem with these
approaches, we perform phenotypic screens to identify
contraindications for any potential targets we identify. We work with
the Discovery Technologies and Genomics Department and the Discovery
Biology and Pharmacology Department to obtain in vitro
validation of our candidate targets.
Department head: Joanna Howson
Research teams are supported by a lean operations team, covering an array of business functions, such as lab and facilities, research IT, procurement, human resources and finance. We strive to provide best in class services.
Department head: Tore Karlsson
With Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford’s strategic location in the golden triangle academic centers of excellence (Oxford, London and Cambridge), the site embraces academic-industrial collaboration opportunities in this unique and innovative ecosystem.
Our relationship with the
University of Oxford started more than 20 years ago, with Novo
Nordisk being one of the founding partners for the Oxford Centre for
Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. The current fellowship
programme with the University of Oxford was established in 2013. Our
strategic alliance with the University of Oxford, as well as the
establishment of our Research Centre Oxford, was announced in
January 2017. The joint ambition for the research centre is to
combine our experience in developing treatments for diabetes with
the expertise of renowned scientists from the University of Oxford.
Dr. Bill Haynes has been the site head of Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford since December 2018. Bill is a physician-scientist with more than 20 years of experience in academic-industry translational research across cardio-metabolic diseases.