Research Associate lll, Process Development (req2126)

Posted: 9/8/2021
Location: Rockville, MD
Employee Type: exempt full-time
Job ID: req2126

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

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 Gaithersburg, 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.

KEY ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES

CGR is seeking a detail-oriented preclinical Research Associate to support Development, Optimization, and Implementation (DOI) activities within the overall CGR laboratory. The successful incumbent will be responsible for independently performing research and development under the review of a scientist serving the technology development and implementation function within the CGR operations group. New assignments, program goals and objectives are reviewed with the supervisor and are carried out with little direct supervision. Coordination with numerous technical and administrative resources are required for development and optimization of a controlled production pipeline. Implementation of new laboratory processes includes 1) documentation of standardized procedures, 2) design, development and testing of LIMS workflows and data capture methods, 3) establishment of pricing structure and project management approaches, and 4) development of routine data analysis and QC reporting capabilities. This position operates independently in a rapidly changing environment of next-generation sequencing and genotyping technologies and handles problem recognition, research, resolution and follow up for routine and complex problems.

  • Troubleshoot issues relating to both existing and new laboratory techniques and provide feedback and potential solutions to scientists and management
  • Continual improvement efforts around all CGR pipelines, including optimization of automation capabilities, identification of process modifications to increase throughput while decreasing turnaround time and reducing process-related failures
  • Identification, testing, optimization and implementation of new technologies and/or applications that support DCEG and CGR production laboratory and research efforts. This will include independent experimental design and execution, analysis and interpretation of results, and mapping out follow up work
  • Communication of results and interpretation to a diverse audience, including senior CGR scientists, DCEG collaborators, and internal stakeholders including bioinformatics, LIMS and project management staff
  • Perform molecular biology techniques including PCR, RTPCR, DNA/RNA extraction

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS

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) 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 eight (8) years of progressively responsible experience in a related field – molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry or other life science
  • Basic general knowledge of general laboratory techniques
  • Basic subject matter in biology, chemistry, biotechnology, genetics and genomics
  • Strong organization skills with the ability to multitask
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate scientific results and exchange information on factual matters, requiring courtesy, tact and flexibility
  • Highly trustworthy and thus able to work with both expensive equipment and highly precious samples
  • Analytical skills to resolve problems that require basic scientific, mathematical, or technical principles
  • Working knowledge of Windows-based computer operating systems and Microsoft office suite
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a clearance

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • Experience with development of user requirements for a Laboratory Information Management System
  • Experience with nucleic acid extraction, DNA/RNA handling, quantitation and quality assessment techniques
  • Experience with NGS technology platforms and/or analysis for human, viral and bacterial research
  • Experience with genotyping technologies and/or analysis
  • Experience with qPCR techniques and/or analysis
  • Assay Development expertise, with proven experience in quantitative analysis techniques
  • Experience with method development/scripting for automated liquid handlers
  • Experience with coding languages
  • Experience with histopathology, molecular and digital pathology applications

JOB HAZARDS

  • 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 the environmental conditions such as working outdoors, high humidity areas indoors, dampness and chilling, dry atmospheric conditions, etc. as part of the job