Pathologist (NCI)

Rockville, Maryland
Feb 09, 2018
Required Education
Position Type
Full time


The Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.’s, staff of scientific, technical, and support professionals conduct basic and applied research in cancer and AIDS. It operates and manages the federal government’s only vaccine manufacturing facilities (Vaccine Pilot Plant [VPP] and Biopharmaceutical Development Program [BDP]) and runs the high-performance Advanced Biomedical Computing Center. It also operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center focused on cancer and AIDS research.

The Leidos Biomedical Research Group’s Biospecimen Research Group (BRG) supports projects across the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that require expertise in the infrastructure needed to support the collection and use of human biospecimens for cancer research as well as other areas where scientific knowledge of advanced computing and/or scientific technologies is required. 

The NCI’s Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB) and the Leidos Biomed BRG are jointly responsible for developing a common biorepository infrastructure that promotes resource sharing and team science, to facilitate multi-institutional, high-throughput genomic and proteomic studies. Currently, Leidos Biomed is supporting the NCI Cancer Moonshot℠ Biobank program. The NCI’s Cancer Moonshot℠ program is intended to accelerate cancer research in key strategic areas. The strategic areas were deliberated and identified by experts in the cancer research community convened in 2016 through a “Blue Ribbon Panel” (BRP). The BRP produced a set of recommendations that are now publicly available ( The strategic areas addressed in the BRP recommendations have in common two core elements: (1) critical scientific and medical questions, the answers to which could rapidly accelerate progress in cancer research, and (2) the need for nationwide participation by a diverse group of research participants who have agreed to share their biospecimens and/or derived data to contribute to progress in cancer research. The latter element, an engaged and diverse research participant population and their donations of biospecimens and data, will be critical to accelerating research progress and is the subject of the project for which Leidos Biomed is seeking an experienced Pathologist. The Cancer Moonshot℠ Biobank will provide a networked biospecimen resource that will serve the goal of the Cancer Moonshot℠ to accelerate research progress in cancer.

Up to 2,000 longitudinal cases from patients with 10 different cancer types will be collected, to include tissue resections, core biopsies, fine needle aspirates, and blood. The biospecimens will be utilized by researchers studying the mechanisms of drug resistance and sensitivity and other important cancer research questions. Subcontracts with up to 100 different cancer centers will be put in place to enable the engagement and participation of physicians and patients, including minority and underserved as well as adolescent and young adult cancer patients. Tumor molecular characterization tests will be performed as part of the program to help inform patient treatment decisions. Some tissues will be sent for Patient Derived Xenograft (PDX) model development at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. A central Biospecimen Core Resource will be engaged for biospecimen processing and storage. Project data will be uploaded to the NCI Genomic Data Commons to enable data analysis by the broader research community.

The BRG also supports work being performed for the NCI’s Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI), specifically the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC), a comprehensive and coordinated effort to accelerate the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer with the primary goal to improve the ability to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer by systematically identifying proteins that derive from alterations in cancer genomes and related biological processes, and provide this data with accompanying assays and protocols to the public.


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

The Pathologist will direct the activities of the Pathology Resource Center (PRC) in support of the Cancer Moonshot℠ Biobank program and CPTAC III to include:

  • Work closely with other pathologists at Leidos Biomed and NCI and at the Biospecimen Core Repository sites subcontracted to Leidos Biomed to provide significant expertise to the programs supported by the BRG, including coordination of approaches and standards needed for histological evaluation of tissues collected by CPTAC III and the Moonshot℠ Biobank program. Conduct review of histopathology slides or their digital images to confirm diagnosis, percent tumor nuclei, and percent necrosis on slides evaluated by local pathology groups at Medical Research Centers under subcontract to Leidos Biomed.
  • Document findings electronically in a pathology report format in the system required for each program
  • Work closely with the Scientific Program Manager to guide the program and contribute to the review of protocol and clinical data requirements to ensure clarity
  • Provide oversight and feedback on the likelihood of collecting particular cancer types when tumor nuclei and necrosis exclusion criteria are applied. Play a role in reviewing Project Manager analysis of requirement changes to the protocol based upon the need to meet accrual goals
  • Provide consultative services to the principal investigators utilizing the Biobank specimens within NCI and Leidos Biomed in support of a wide variety of research activities that include a major focus on functional genomics and disease mechanisms utilizing genetic approaches, including patient-derived genographs
  • Technical expertise expected includes immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, mutational analysis, and laser capture microdissection
  • Contribute to experimental design discussions, and contribute significantly to the writing and review of the protocol and standard operational procedures required for tissue collection, storage, shipment, and pathology review
  • Work with human patient tumor images and data with the possibility of communicating results back to the patient
  • Review research protocols regarding safety and clinical efficacy
  • Evaluate and recommend appropriate actions to ensure the program’s quality meets required standards set by the BRG Quality Director
  • Review Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) certified reports as needed


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

  • Possession of a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from an accredited college or university according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency
  • In addition to education requirements, three (3) years of experience in molecular pathology-related work
  • Will be required to obtain State of Maryland medical license once offer is accepted
  • Ability to travel up to 15% during the first two years of the program is expected
  • Completion of medical residency and/or fellowship in applicable specialty area
  • Experience in biobanking processes, including informed consent, laboratory processes for biobanking, use of unique identifiers and specialized containers and preservatives, quality control of biospecimens for advanced molecular analysis, and collection of clinical data for research use
  • Thorough understanding of the current landscape of molecular diagnostic testing for cancer
  • Understanding of laboratory and molecular testing requirements under federal regulatory frameworks (FDA, CLIA)
  • American Board of Pathology certification in Anatomic Pathology
  • Background working with federally regulated research grants, clinical trials, or pharmaceutical projects
  • Possess a working knowledge of ICH Good Clinical Practices
  • Possess a strong medical background with an interest in cancer research
  • Possess excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • American Board of Pathology certification in Clinical Pathology and/or Molecular Pathology
  • Knowledge of best practices in biobanking operations and biobanking data standards
  • Experience in biospecimen sciences research with knowledge of pre-analytical influence

* Candidates interested in part-time work to maintain a part-time position at a medical institution may be considered. Please address this in your application.