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Scientist II

Job ID: req796
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 Clinical Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers Program is responsible for identification of biomarkers of response to new targeted agents entering clinical trials in the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The scope of work includes assay design, development, validation, fitness for purpose testing, transfer of assays to clinical laboratories, and clinical specimen analysis when required. PADIS facilitates mechanistic and performance analysis of putative anti-cancer agents, and therapeutic interventions to clinical applications, including distinct molecular signatures for cancer, refined molecular assays, and state-of-the-art imaging techniques that are too high-risk for industry or academia to pursue.


  • Development, validation and implementation of multiplex immunofluorescence clinical pharmacodynamic assays on fixed tissue
  • Design, perform and analyze in vitro experiments to test pharmacodynamic marker responses to novel anti-cancer therapeutics in multiple formats, but particularly in multiplex immunofluorescence analysis of tissue-based assays
  • Generate materials and data necessary to support the primary experimental objectives of the program
  • Support development and implementation of multiplex immunofluorescence assays in support of clinical studies and initiatives
  • Design experiments and strategies to test and confirm putative mechanism of action of clinical trial candidate compounds
  • Perform imaging and analysis of marker expression in tissue (xenograft, PDX and human) using advanced instrumentation and imaging software
  • Application of validated PD biomarker assays to analysis of preclinical models and human specimens to understand mechanisms of action and therapeutic responses
  • Develop and optimize Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for clinical assays using imaging and analysis approaches and train others to facilitate assay transfer
  • Data analysis and reporting of results from clinical specimen biopsies to the NCI
  • Manage multiple projects, design and perform experiments hands-on, interpret data and present results to the program leadership and to the NCI


  • Possession of a Doctoral degree from an accredited university degree according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in a related field (Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education). Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency.
  • In addition to education requirements, a minimum of two (2) years of competent, innovative research experience beyond doctoral training is required
  • Demonstration of specific training in cancer biology or DNA repair is required
  • Experience in the design and validation of multiplexed immunofluorescence assays and the ability to work across testing platforms during the assay development process
  • Experience with quantitative image analysis software (Definiens)
  • Experience with fluorescence widefield and confocal microscopy
  • Identification and validation of novel biomarkers
  • Design and implementation of cell-based assays to test mechanism of action of candidate compounds
  • Ability to master novel technologies and instrumentation in response to changes in project priorities or breakthrough technological innovations; hands-on instrumentation work is required for this position
  • Ability to independently develop, modify methods and techniques
  • Experience in elucidating mechanism of action of DNA damaging agents and drugs targeted to DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis
  • Ability to communicate with program lead researchers in a demanding scientific environment through preparation of formal reports
  • Ability to maintain precise records
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance


  • Demonstration of experience in elucidating mechanism of action of DNA damaging agents and drugs targeted to DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis
  • A record of publication in the refereed scientific literature


  • Candidate will be working with or have the potential for exposure to animal(s) and/or animal material(s)
  • Candidate will be working with or have the potential for exposure to infectious material(s) or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM), requiring medical clearance and immunization in accordance with protocol requirements
  • Candidate is subject to the following 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)