Extraction Scientist (NCI)

Gaithersburg, Maryland
Jun 12, 2018
Science/R&D, Genomics
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time


The Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory (CGR) investigates the contribution of germline and somatic genetic variation to cancer susceptibility and outcomes in support of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (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 metabolomic and microbiomic assays.


The Cancer Genomics Research (CGR) Laboratory is a fast-paced, high throughput facility dedicated to the support of genetic and epidemiologic studies for investigators at the National Cancer Institute.

The Extraction Scientist will:

  • Develop, implement and oversee a rapidly expanding range of biospecimen applications, including extraction, sample handling, quantification, and quality assessment using both manual techniques and a number of automation platforms and equipment
  • Work with existing extraction, pathology and development staff to optimize and scale nucleic acid extraction methods from a wide variety of starting materials, including frozen and archival FFPE tissues
  • Utilize molecular biology expertise to develop and implement new protocols, troubleshoot and optimize existing protocols, with an eye towards quality, throughput, automation feasibility, and process consistency
  • Design and execute comparative experiments including preliminary QC/analysis of results
  • ensure proper documentation of all experimental and laboratory processes
  • Hire and train new staff 
  • This position is part of the Production Operations group at the Cancer Genomics Research (CGR) Laboratory in Gaithersburg, MD


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/university in a field related to biomedical research. (Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education). Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency.
  • In addition to the educational requirements, a minimum of six (6) years related biomedical experience, including 3+ years of experience supervising or leading teams or projects
  • Extensive experience in extraction of nucleic acids from a variety of starting materials, including fresh frozen and archival FFPE-derived tissues
  • Experience in working with RNA is required, along with various quantitative and qualitative assessments of nucleic acids
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • Methods development experience
  • Experience with basic histological and molecular biology techniques
  • Familiarity with liquid handling robotics (use, maintenance, method development)

Expected Competencies:

  • Management and proper handling of a diverse collection of biospecimens, including tissues, liquid biospecimens, nucleic acids
  • Careful attention to detail. Must be analytical, flexible, innovative, and self-motivated.
  • Ability to organize and execute multiple projects in parallel
  • Ability to carry out a wide range of laboratory techniques and analyses, and troubleshoot with minimal supervision
  • Ability to train and mentor staff
  • Excellent written and oral communication-ability to communicate clearly and effectively with staff and other groups within CGR and DCEG, and able to interpret data and write scientific reports as well as other written communications.
  • Computer literacy (Microsoft Office products, general computer proficiency)