Circulating Tumor Cell Analyst

Frederick, MD, USA
Mar 09, 2019
Science/R&D, Oncology
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
The Clinical PD Biomarkers Program is responsible for identification of pharmacodynamic biomarkers of response to new targeted agents entering clinical trials in the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the National Cancer Institute. 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. The program uses biomarker assays that meet or exceed clinical assay performance standards to provide mechanistic understanding of experimental and investigational anti-cancer agents and their optimal use that dovetails with other clinical applications, including distinct molecular signatures for cancer, refined molecular assays, and state-of-the-art imaging techniques. The program operates a number of advanced, specialized instrumentation platforms for image analysis of tumor biopsies, circulating tumor cells, and activated T cells for measuring drug biomarker responses in patients enrolled in clinical trials and in relevant preclinical models.


The Research Associate II will:
  • Enumerate circulating tumor cells in liquid specimens from cancer patients and from mice harboring patient-derived tumors, and analyze their biomarker patterns, using Amnis imaging flow cytometry and other CTC analysis platforms
  • Support monitoring of patient CTC levels on the CellSearch instrument and the Amnis imaging flow cytometer
  • Perform in vitro experiments using cell lines to test pharmacodynamic marker responses to novel anti-cancer therapeutics
  • Perform a variety of laboratory procedures to characterize marker response
  • Assist in the development and validation of novel immunofluorescence assays with guidance from scientific staff
  • Support development and implementation of immunofluorescence assays in support of clinical studies and initiatives


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 the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency
  • Candidate must have completed laboratory science courses in two or more of the following subjects: histology; chemistry; biochemistry; immunology; pharmacology; cell biology; hematology
  • In addition to educational requirements, a minimum of five (5) years of related biomedical experience
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:
  • Circulating tumor cell detection and quantitation on an established platform, preferably CellSearch or Amnis platform
  • Enumeration of circulating tumor cells and analysis of their biomarker patterns in liquid specimens from cancer patients and from mice harboring patient-derived tumors using Amnis imaging flow cytometry
  • Experience with in vitro cell line treatments using multiple test agents and drug combinations of interest to determine PD marker feasibility and validation, drug dose responses, timing of marker activation, and characterization of marker responses in the context of various genetic backgrounds. Perform all calculations of drug treatments independently; molarity, experimental reagents, composition, etc.
  • Experience with image analysis software
  • Experience with GraphPad software
  • Experience working in a GLP (or higher) environment, and familiarity with HIPAA/HiTECH regulations
  • Quantitative laboratory work in biochemistry, cancer biology, cell biology, biotechnology, and/or histopathology

  • Ability to develop, modify methods and techniques independently, under supervision of a lead scientist
  • Ability to maintain precise records. Must be able to provide accurate scientific reports including details of experimental procedures, results and conclusions to supervisor
  • Ability to be flexible to meet changing needs
  • Experience in basic cell biology techniques (antibody-based assays, immunofluorescence assays, cell lysate extraction, protein concentrations, western-blotting, etc.)
  • Ability to manage work on multiple projects simultaneously, and to adapt to frequent changes in project priorities
  • Ability to quickly master new and novel measurement technologies and instrumentation
  • Experience in widefield and fluorescence microscopy
  • Excellent written and spoken English language and computer skills (essential)
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software (Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint)

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