Job Details

Refer Job: Send to a Friend
  • Share this on Facebook
  • Share this on LinkedIn

Add Add to Saved Jobs


Principal Scientist- Lab Head, In Vitro Screening and Pharmacology

Job ID: req1029
Facility: Frederick: Ft Detrick
Location: PO Box B, Frederick, MD 21702 USA

The Frederick National Laboratory is dedicated to improving human health through discovery and innovation in the biomedical sciences, focusing on cancer, AIDS, and emerging infectious diseases. 

Position Overview:

The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. With more than 2,000 employees, the FNLCR is responsible for pursuing translational and applied biomedical research that is unique from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or other federal contractors. The selected candidate will join the Molecular Pharmacology Branch’s (MPB) laboratory program, located at the NCI-Frederick campus, which is composed of four laboratories seeking to deliver new treatments for recalcitrant, rare, and neglected cancers through the discovery of novel targets and the evaluation of investigational therapeutics and new drug combinations using state-of-the-art approaches.


The successful candidate will lead both the NCI60 and the High-throughput Screening Laboratories while making hands-on contributions in the lab through the design, optimization, and implementation of assays for high-throughput screening and mechanism of action studies. Additionally, this leader will work closely with other MPB Laboratories and FNLCR groups to interrogate the activities of drugs and drug combinations that hold promise for future clinical trials. Success in this role will require not only outstanding technical skills at the bench, but also the ability to both effectively manage a team and develop impactful collaborations with other groups, including early clinical trial physicians, therapeutic development specialists, and drug discovery teams, all of whom depend upon robust, fit-for-purpose assays and model systems to inform drug development. The candidate must possess the demonstrated ability to translate scholarly knowledge across multiple scientific fields (pharmacology & therapeutics, chemical biology, biochemistry, cell biology and cancer pathobiology) into clinically-meaningful hypotheses, the testing of which deepens knowledge in the areas of in vitro pharmacology and molecular mechanism of action that impacts and accelerates the (pre)clinical development of new therapeutics for treating cancer. 


  •  Serve as Lab Head of In Vitro Screening and Pharmacology, leading technicians/scientists of the NCI60 and High-throughput Screening Laboratories with direct responsibility for their management, motivation, and career development
  •  Lead the development and implementation of new assays and technologies for screening, discovering new drug combinations, and initiating new scientific projects
  •  Prepare, review and publish scientific articles, reviews, and patents
  • Present data at relevant national and international meetings and conferences
  •  Work collaboratively with the Translational Support and Molecular Pharmacology Laboratories as well as the Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers Group to interrogate the activities of drugs and drug combinations that hold promise for future clinical trials
  •  Serve as the main contact point for multi-disciplinary project teams for compound screening campaigns, hit validation and follow up testing to support SAR optimization of compounds
  •  Maintain a current understanding of technical and scientific advancements in the field and apply this knowledge to advance the MPB mission


  • Possession of a Doctoral degree (e.g., D.V.M., D.Sc., M.D., or Ph.D.) from an accredited college or university according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.  Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency
  •  In addition to the educational requirement, a minimum of eight (8) years of independent and innovative research in the field of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, enzymology, pharmacology, drug discovery or a similar discipline
  •  Must be an excellent team player with well-documented leadership skills and experience in managing a scientific team
  •  In-depth knowledge and practical expertise in target identification and validation strategies, cell culture, small molecule screening, assay design and optimization, hit confirmation and validation, data mining, high-content screening, enzyme kinetics and protein-protein interactions
  •  Practical experience in applying in vitro assays for small molecule screening, including assay development and troubleshooting
  •  Working knowledge of common laboratory automation and data analysis software
  •  Experience in designing and executing small molecule screening campaigns (biochemical, cell-based, siRNA) for various target classes
  •  Experience with data processing and data reduction along with expertise in interrogating, interpreting, and summarizing large volumes of data by appropriate statistical analytical procedures and reporting practices to provide scientific insight
  •   Must be able to obtain and maintain security clearance


  •  Prior industry or biotech experience
  •  Expertise in imaging and microscopy applications and methodologies
  •  Practical laboratory experience with 3D model systems
  •  Practical laboratory experience with patient derived in vitro models
  • Forward-thinking with exceptional problem-solving skills
  • Highest integrity and standards for research rigor and reproducibility
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, troubleshooting, and organizational skills


  • This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to animal(s) and/or animal material(s)
  • This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to infectious material, requiring medical clearance and immunizations
  • This position is subject to working with radioactive material and requires to become an approved radiation worker

Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) | Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran (M/F/D/V) | Drug Free Workplace (DFW)