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Research Associate I

Job ID: req1875
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 AIDS and Cancer Virus Program (ACVP) is an integrated, multidisciplinary program that pursues basic and applied studies aimed at improving our understanding of AIDS-associated viruses, including studies intended to facilitate the improved diagnosis, prevention and treatment of HIV infection and AIDS, and AIDS related tumors, particularly those associated with other viruses such as KSHV. The Program consists of five independent but highly interactive research Sections headed by Principal Investigators, whose work spans from fundamental molecular virology through in vitro studies, to in vivo studies in non-human primate (NHP) models, to international viral epidemiology.  The ACVP also has eight Research Support Core Groups (Cores) that provide critical and often unique technical support capabilities to ACVP laboratories and other laboratories within the NCI and NIH, and to extramural investigators.


The Quantitative Molecular Diagnostic Core is looking for a Research Associate I to join our dynamic, interactive, multidisciplinary research team working on AIDS pathogenesis and development of treatments for prevention of HIV infection and AIDS through the use of nonhuman primate models. The successful candidate will be able to work in a team-oriented environment, consistently follow detailed protocols and instructions, and keep careful records. The successful candidate will utilize standard molecular biology techniques including, but not limited to, nucleic acid extraction, purification and quantification, PCR, reverse transcription, and quantitative PCR for the highly sensitive detection of low copy-number nucleic acid targets. Additionally, the successful candidate will be able to work, simultaneously, on several sample sets, adjusting to changing priorities as needed.

  • Receiving and proper storage of samples from internal and external sources
  • Proper sterile and molecular biology techniques for phase separation extraction of nucleic acids following a well-established, detailed protocol
  • Use of an established LIMS database for tracking of samples, creation of instrument files, analysis of data
  • Use of established protocols on a liquid handling robot for proper assay setup
  • Troubleshooting errors and/or difficult samples
  • Detailed written and/or verbal communication with supervisor regarding progress, data, technical issues and data analysis
  • Maintenance of an organized, contamination free work environment
  • Other related duties as assigned by a responsible authority


To be considered for this position, you must minimally meet the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below:

  • Possession of Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in biology, chemistry or a related field or four (4) years relevant experience in lieu of degree.  Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency
  • In addition to the education requirement, a minimum of two (2) years of progressively responsible experience
  • Experience with large sample sets and highly repetitive workflows is required
  • Experience with real-time PCR instruments, liquid handling robots and laboratory LIMS systems is highly desired
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance


  • 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 or have the potential for exposure to VACCINIA VIRUS, requiring medical clearance and immunizations
  • This position is subject to the environmental conditions such as working outdoors, high humidity areas indoors, dampness and chilling, dry atmospheric conditions, etc. as part of the job

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