Associate Scientist, Molecular Pathology, CGR

Associate Scientist, Molecular Pathology, CGR

Frederick National Laboratory | toowoomba, QLD, AU

Posted 4 days ago

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Job DescriptionAssociate Scientist, Molecular Pathology, CGR
Job ID: req2984
Employee Type: exempt full-time
Division: Clinical Research Program
Facility: Rockville: 9615 MedCtrDr
Location: 9615 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850 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.
Accountability, Compassion, Collaboration, Dedication, Integrity and Versatility; it's the FNL way.
The Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory (CGR) investigates the contribution of germline and somatic genetic variation to cancer susceptibility and outcomes in support of the NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), the world's most comprehensive cancer epidemiology research group. CGR is located at the NCI-Shady Grove campus in Rockville, MD and operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. We care deeply about discovering the genetic and environmental determinants of cancer, and new approaches to cancer prevention, through our contributions to the molecular, genetic, and epidemiologic research of the 70+ investigators in DCEG. Working in concert with epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and basic research scientists in DCEG's intramural research program, CGR provides the capacity to conduct genome-wide discovery studies and targeted regional approaches to identify the heritable determinants of various forms of cancer. This includes the design and analysis of high throughput studies using various types of "-omics" technologies such as array- and sequence-based genome-wide association studies, studies of tumor characteristics using integrated genomic data analysis, and molecular epidemiologic studies based on novel assays focused on the metabolome and microbiome.
Within CGR, the Molecular and Digital Pathology Laboratory (MDPL) supports the generation of comprehensive data on histological and molecular profiling of tumors and their precursors including histology, various approaches for biomarker analysis, spatial genomics, digital pathology, and image analysis. This laboratory section is tightly integrated with existing CGR capabilities, including somatic genomic analyses and bioinformatics. We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced Associate Scientist within the MDPL to support all aspects of assay development for laser microdissection and other spatial biomarker assays.

Working closely with DCEG investigators and supporting pathologists, design and execute pilots for laser microdissection (LM) studies.

LM sample preparation for RNA, DNA, and protein retrieval.

Work with digital pathology experts within MDPL to assess experimental results, including preliminary QC and analysis and thoughtful summarization and presentation to collaborators.

Create and maintain RNase-free conditions for tissue handling of fixed and frozen biological material and LM workflow.

Develop, optimize, and troubleshoot IHC/IF development on automated platforms for prospective image analysis, including LM -friendly IHC/IF immunostaining assays.

Organize day to day tasks and monitor reagent inventory for LM and immunostaining laboratory projects.

Ensure proper documentation of all experimental and laboratory processes in Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) or other tracking systems as required.

Perform basic histology techniques, including embedding, microtomy, H&E staining, and coverslipping. As necessary to meet project timelines, support MDPL staff in microtomy and hand macrodissection activities.

Digitize H&E and IHC/IF slides using a slide scanner.

Maintain instruments by use of preventive maintenance procedures in accordance with established SOPs and vendor guidelines.

Train new staff on established SOPs and develop SOPs for new procedures.

Collaborate with CGR and MDPL management and technical staff in all aspects of assay development requiring histopathology expertise, including spatial genomics and single-cell efforts.

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

Possession of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (according to CHEA) in a field related to biomedical/biochemical research. Foreign degrees will be evaluated for U.S. equivalency.

A minimum of eight (8) years related biomedical/biochemical experience.

Knowledge of tissue laser microdissection principles and laser microdissection platforms.

Extensive experience with LM sample preparation and LM workflows for RNA, DNA and protein retrieval.

Extensive experience in chromogenic and fluorescent assay development/optimization using human FFPE and frozen tissue sections. Demonstrated ability to troubleshoot immunostaining assays with minimal supervision.

Proficiency with automated histopathology instrumentation, including tissue processors, microtomes, H&E stainers, slide coverslippers, brightfield and fluorescent microscopes, stereoscopes, and IHC stainers.

Knowledge of basic histological techniques, including tissue processing and embedding, microtomy/cryotomy, H&E staining, slide coverslipping, microscopic recognition of major human tissue types, and QC of unstained and stained slides.

Careful attention to detail. Must be analytical, flexible, innovative, and self-motivated.

Team-oriented with excellent written and verbal communication skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail; ability to organize and execute multiple projects in parallel both independently and as part of working groups, demonstrated ability to interact effectively with cross-functional teams

Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance

Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

HT/HTL (ASCP) certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathologists.

Experience with RNA and DNA extraction from LM samples.

Experience with IHC/IF assays on archival human FFPE oncology tissue specimens.

Familiarity with image analysis platforms, including Indica Labs HALO suite.

Experience with ISH and IHC/IF multiplex assays (RNAScope, Ultivue and GeoMx DSP).

Working experience with hand macro-dissection of FFPE and frozen samples, TMA construction on automated tissue arrayer.

Experience with brightfield and florescence slide scanners (Leica AT2 and Zeiss Axio Scan.Z1).

Experience with LabVantage LIMS.

Experience with and demonstrated knowledge of proper storage, management, and handling of a diverse collection of FFPE and frozen human biospecimens.

Proven experience in new technology development and implementation of new assays into a production environment.

Strong sense of personal responsibility and ability to work with a team.

Ability to prioritize, organize, and execute multiple projects.


This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to infectious
material, requiring medical clearance and immunizations.

This position may require continuous or intermittent exposure to and exertion in
environmental conditions such as working outdoors, temperature extremes, humidity extremes.
etc. as part of the job.

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