Paid. Full time or part time. London, UK
The mission we’re on:
Detect Alzheimer’s disease 20 years early, through speech-based algorithms
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will affect 1 out 3 people, causing progressive loss of memory – which is what makes us who we are. No disease modifying treatment exists. Today we know that the disease progresses silently for decades before symptoms become obvious and diagnosis happens. This is a prime reason why treatments don’t work. We also know that very subtle symptomatic changes do exist in the silent stages – in episodic memory, executive function, and language production. With sophisticated enough technology, these changes can be detected in the way someone speaks.
Novoic is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing algorithms to detect neurological diseases such Alzheimer’s disease in their preclinical stages, by analysing audio-linguistic patterns of speech. Building on decades of research, the company is currently testing these algorithms in the clinic, to validate them as software-as-medical-device, and bring the first clinically viable speech-based algorithms to market. The company is venture capital funded, working with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and Gates Ventures to develop a global standard for speech biomarkers, and has been backed by the UK NHS’ AI organisation – as the world’s only speech company–to test out its algorithms in more than five common neurological and psychiatric indications.
Founded by Oxford and Cambridge researchers, our team is a reflection of the pioneering nature of our work. Physicians, clinicians, and neuroscientists work side-by-side with machine learning researchers, software engineers, and developers. All united by a mission to help patients and their families through early, non-invasive diagnosis.
Why we need you now
Developing and validating the first and best speech- and language-based biomarkers for the detection of preclinical Alzheimer’s is a hard mission to accomplish. We’re working from first principles to make something that will actually work, with a culture of “follow-the-science”, not convention. This means leading the first serious clinical research and development in making viable speech biomarkers. As part of this, new scientific problems come up on a weekly basis that need to be solved in a principled, “follow-the-science” way. How do you optimise validity and reliability of speech elicitation at the same time? What task-interactions are most appropriate for true preclinical AD? What domains should you even access? What’s the most scientifically valid neuropsychological assessments to conduct in a remote setting? How do you begin to quantify accents? And many more such questions. Solving these problems often starts with a fast and efficient review of the existing literature by a great scientific mind (you) and speaking with leaders of the given field. We need you to do this, and then help us make decisions in all these topics and beyond.
You’ll become an integral part of our core team, and be a strong scientific voice within the company, contributing to building out a culture of science > convention.
What will you actually do
– Scientific problem solving and decision making. Solving scientific problems that come up on a weekly basis (above). You will conduct literature reviews and other scientific work. You’ll discuss your findings with the management team and other scientists and work together with us to make the best decisions on these scientific questions. Every piece of work you do and decision you contribute to will be important for the company.
– Be a main contributor in writing up high-impact publications from our clinical studies and their intersection with our machine learning research. You will work with us on these together with the rest of the scientific and technical team, and leading professors of the field.
– Be a strong scientific voice within the company. Contribute to building out a pioneering, unconventional, objective, “follow-the-science” culture.
– Present synthesis of your own work in the team, and the most recent clinical neuroscience research at our journal clubs.
– Represent Novoic’s clinical work at conferences.
– Contribute as part of our scientific team to the design of analysis and publication plans for our clinical studies.
– Scale into a scientific leader of a growing research team, pioneering an exponentially growing field.
Who are you
– PhD or PostDoc in a clinical neuroscience field, such as neuroscience, psychiatry, neuroimaging, neuropsychology. You’ve done independent research at top academic and/or industrial institutions.
– Strong “scientific problem solving” and “scientific decision making”. First-principles thinking: understanding the subcomponents of problems at high abstraction level, and structure a tree of different solution paths using good scientific methodology.
– Proven publication record with significant contributions. Ideally (but not required) some in high-impact clinical journals such as Lancet and NEJM. Confident being a main contributor to paper write-ups.
Good traits for the role:
– Strong scientific ethos. You follow the science, not convention/opinions. You form strong, well substantiated opinions, and are not afraid to stand by them and the science, when others disagree. You can stand your ground and disagree with management and the more senior scientific team, when you believe a decision could be better science-driven. Ideally you have potential to scale into a scientific leader within our team.
– Bias to action. Pragmatic. Focussing on the 10% of the possible work that will deliver 90% of the scientific outcome.
– At ease critically processing large bodies of literature in short time scales.
– Open to working and growing in diverse areas: neuropsychological test battery design, earliest cognitive changes in preclinical/prodromal AD, quantifying accents, and much more.
– You can work together synergistically with scientists from other fields: clinicians, machine learning researchers, statisticians.
– You can efficiently disseminate complex scientific synthesis to different parts of our team that have varying levels of context.
– You believe in the importance of giving and receiving frequent and honest feedback.
– Competitive salary and option arrangement. 28 days of paid holiday.
– Flexible working arrangements, including remote work policy.
– Opportunity to write papers together with the best academic minds, and grow into a scientific leader yourself, in a new and important field (speech biomarkers). Authorship on high-impact papers.A deep sense of meaning, having a significant role in changing the way brain diseases are diagnosed, improving the lives of millions.
– High degree of responsibility and the opportunity to grow into a senior role as the company scales.
– Personal development plan and half a day per week to work on your own projects.
– Paid attendance at top clinical research/neurology conferences.
– Exposure to industrial research in the overlap of machine learning, diagnostics, and clinical neuroscience.
Our office is in London (Angel/Old street area), United Kingdom. While during lockdown we don’t expect you to be with us in person, and we will have flexible work from home policy even after restrictions are lifted, ideally we would like you to be able to join us in person then.
We are looking for someone to join us full-time, but part-time arrangements are also possible. The starting date is ASAP.
Novoic is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.