Johnson & Johnson Careers

Principal Scientist - team lead ML/AI for small molecule profiling

Beerse, Belgium

Job Description

Requisition ID: 1905708542W

Principal scientist / team lead position in machine learning and AI for small molecule profiling


Janssen Research & Development seeks to drive innovation and deliver transformational medicines for the treatment of diseases in six therapeutic areas: neuroscience, cardiovascular diseases and metabolism, infectious diseases, immunology, oncology and pulmonary hypertension. In these areas, Janssen aims to address and solve unmet medical needs through the development of small and large molecules, as well as vaccines. The Janssen campus in Beerse (Belgium) has a unique ecosystem covering the complete drug development life cycle, with all capabilities from basic science to market access on one campus. The integrated environment of our campus gives our people the chance to experience many different aspects of drug development throughout their career. It has a successful track record of over sixty years of drug discovery and development and is one of the most important innovation engines of the Janssen group worldwide.


Developing innovative therapeutics to treat diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, various types of cancers and infectious diseases like Hepatitis B, influenza is our passion. In this endeavor, we are seeking to recruit new talent for the comprehensive analyses of high-dimensional datasets using state-of-the-art data science methods applied to drug discovery programs. This team lead position will be opened on the Beerse campus, which is the flagship R&D center for small molecules within Janssen, investing over 1 billion euros each year in R&D.




The position frames in the ongoing virtualization of parts of the research process. The successful candidate will coordinate a team of multiple PhD level data scientists who introduce large scale machine learning and artificial intelligence to leverage the extensive datasets accessible to the company. Accessible datasets include chemical descriptions and annotations of desired and undesired biological activities for millions of small molecules across thousands of assays, and information-rich but hard-to-interpret documentation of small molecules like microscopy images or transcriptomics profiles acquired at high throughput (hundreds of thousands of profiles in each of several assays). In addition, dozens of millions of chemical reactions can be mined. The goal is the selection and design of small molecules to make and test en route to better and safer drugs for patients with unmet medical needs.


The team lead will design, initiate, drive and coordinate projects with the other team members to improve Janssen’s ability to predict the biological activity of small molecules. To this end the successful candidate will identify and execute on opportunities to collaborate with pioneer external labs on approaches to unlock and combine new types of internal and external data and information from simulation technologies that were conventionally slow but can now be accelerated with state-of-the-art machine learning approaches. Moreover, the team lead will organize the translation of these predictive capabilities into concrete and actionable recommendations for research biologists and medicinal chemists in support of the small molecule project portfolio from hit identification to lead optimization. Finally, the team lead will coordinate the interaction with R&D IT, statistics and computational chemistry colleagues to ensure the maturation from proof-of-concept implementations that demonstrate value addition to the discovery process into robust enterprise-grade solutions that are broadly accessible by stakeholders.


The successful candidates will be responsible for

  • coordinating the design, development, internalization and combination of state-of-the-art machine learning methods to select and design small molecules to make and or test
  • encourage the formulation new and creative ways of unlocking information from accessible data sources and theoretical concepts
  • ensure the application of the resulting capabilities to support portfolio projects
  • emphasize the translation of questions of biologists and chemists to a quantitative analysis formulation
  • interaction with R&D informatics to make proof-of-concept solutions robustly accessible to users, with visualization solutions
  • interaction and coordination with counterparts from computational chemistry, drug metabolism and pharmacodynamics and toxicology to account for their insights and needs
  • incentivize team contributions to peer-reviewed papers and presentations at relevant conferences

  • PhD in machine learning with Master level training in organic chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology or pharmacology, or PhD in organic chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology or pharmacology with Master level training in machine learning or equivalent interdisciplinary training in related quantitative fields
  • demonstrated multiple years of experience of working in different matrix teams (preferably in an industrial or semi-industrial setting), with at least two years of experience in a leadership position
  • excellent communication, reporting, planning and team interaction skills, self-motivation, proactivity and the ability to work independently
  • ability to build bridges between colleagues, disciplines, departments and collaborators
  • strong track record of delivering on complex projects over the entire project life cycle
  • advanced hands-on programming and scripting skills that enable the development of functional prototypes
  • experience with advanced machine learning frameworks, like PyTorch, Keras, Tensorflow
Interested to apply for this position?
Please send your resumé and recent CV

Primary Location
Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. (7555)
Job Function
Requisition ID