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Research Assoc I

Job ID: req1229
Employee Type: exempt full-time
Facility: Frederick: Ft Detrick
Location: PO Box B, Frederick, MD 21702 USA

The Frederick National Laboratory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.  The lab addresses some of the most urgent and intractable problems in the biomedical sciences in cancer and AIDS, drug development and first-in-human clinical trials, applications of nanotechnology in medicine, and rapid response to emerging threats of infectious diseases.

Our core values of accountability, compassion, collaboration, dedication, integrity, and versatility serve as a guidepost for how we do our work every day in serving the public’s interest.  

 Position Overview:


The Laboratory Animal Sciences Program (LASP) provides exceptional quality animal care and technical support services for animal research performed at the National Cancer Institute at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. LASP executes this mission by providing a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art technologies and services that are focused on the design, generation, characterization and application of genetically engineered and biological animal models of human disease, which are aimed at the development of targeted diagnostics and therapies. LASP contributes to advancing human health, developing new treatments, and improving existing treatments for cancer and other diseases while ensuring safe and humane treatment of animals.

The Molecular Histopathology Laboratory (MHL) of LASP provides comprehensive research support for the FNLCR/NIH including hematology and blood chemistry testing, necropsy, fixed and frozen tissue processing, microtomy, cryotomy, histological staining, enzyme staining, 500+ validated immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays, custom in situ hybridization (ISH) assay development and testing.  The MHL also provides a variety of nucleic acid isolation options from frozen/fixed animal and human tissue blocks, cores, and precut slides including goal appropriate yield and quality assessments.  A companion Veterinary Pathology Section (VPS) is staffed by board-certified veterinary pathologists who offer integrated pathology services including consult/design of necropsy protocols, phenotyping of genetically engineered mice (GEM), immunopathology, anatomic pathology, toxicological pathology, and specimen classification/ selection for tissue microarrays or laser micro dissection (LC and LCM).  MHL staff also support a wide range of digital imaging options including bright field and fluorescent digital whole slide imaging (WSI) and digital image analyses. 


  • Performing complex Histotechnology procedures within the specialized scientific service core laboratory as a member of a high-performance project team. 
  • Database accession, specimen tracking, archiving, quality review, and project billing
  • Small animal necropsy, tissue trim and embedding following defined standard operating procedure (SOP)
  • Paraffin microtomy and OCT cryotomy, complex serial and step sectioning
  • Histological staining, buffer preparation, pH assessment, and serial dilutions
  • Manual and automated immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization
  • Tissue microarray production, sectioning, and testing
  • Nucleic acid isolation, yield and quality assessment, and analysis
  • Digital whole slide imaging and digital image analysis


  • Possession of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)in a field related to histology, molecular biology, anatomy or biomedical research or four (4) years equivalent, directly relevant, experience in lieu of degree
  • A minimum of two (2) years related biomedical experience in a research laboratory, histology production facility laboratory, or another commercial production facility
  • Foreign degrees  must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Security Clearance


Histotechnology Certification (HT or HTL, American Society of Clinical Pathology(ASCP)

Practical experience in and knowledge of any number of the following skills:

  • Rodent necropsy, tissue harvest, fixation
  • Human, non-human primate, and/or rodent tissue processing (i.e., gross, trim, infiltration processing and embedding)
  • Microtomy (paraffin, plastic), cryotomy (OCT)
  • Standard histological staining (e.g., H&E)
  • Special histological staining (enzyme, silver, etc.,)
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC), Leica Bond auto-stainers
  • In situ hybridization (ISH), Intavis Insitu Pro auto stainers
  • Leica Laser capture micro dissection (LCM) and/or MMI laser cutting (LC)
  • Nucleic acid isolation and analysis, PCR, qPCR, RT-PCR, Agilent bio analyzer, next gen sequencing
  • Bright field microscopy, fluorescent microscopy
  • Leica Aperio and/or Zeiss Axioscan digital whole slide scanning and QPath, or Indica HALO image analysis software
  • Ability/experience at providing expert customer service to a diverse population
  • Specialized Histology or Pathology experience (e.g., expert in embryology, anatomy, toxicology)
  • Specialized molecular biology experience (NanoDrop, PCR/qPCR, DNA sequencing, RNA seq, mass spec, flow cytometry)
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills as evidenced by prior publications and/or public presentations
  • Strong familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite of computer software (Word, Excel, and Outlook) or comparable
  • GMP/GLP practices, LEAN and Six Sigma process management


  • This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to animal(s) and/or animal
  • This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to infectious material, requiring medical clearance and immunizations

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