Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Research Associate II, Extraction, CGR

Rockville, MD
Jun 04, 2022
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Research Associate II, Extraction, CGR

Job ID: req2598
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 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.  


The Cancer Genomics Research (CGR) laboratory is a fast-paced, high throughput organization that supports histology, molecular and digital pathology, nucleic acid extraction, sample staging, genotyping, sequencing, and analysis for genetic and epidemiologic studies for the investigators within DCEG. We are recruiting for a Research Associate II position within CGR’s Extraction and Staging Laboratory that supports sample extraction, quantitation, and normalization of the extracted nucleic acid for all sequencing and genotyping efforts. The RAII position will focus on sample extractions from multiple types of human biospecimens, including aliquoting of biospecimens to support internal and external assay requirements. The successful candidate will work seamlessly within the extraction, development and molecular and digital pathology teams and will have responsibility for the day-to day execution of laboratory processes and applications including: 

  • Participate in all facets of the sample extraction and QC pipeline, including nucleic acid extraction from various sample types (BSL-1 and BSL-2), sample handling and quantification using multiple automation platforms and laboratory equipment
  • Use of automated liquid handling robotics and additional methods in BSL-2+ controlled laboratory space to support biospecimen aliquoting tasks for both in house and outsourced assays
  • Use of LIMS for tracking all aspects of sample management
  • Responsible for performing, documenting, and reporting results and deviations for a variety of procedures and assays in the laboratory, governed by SOPs
  • Utilize molecular biology expertise to perform assignments of highly specialized nature requiring technical proficiency, judgment, and ability to troubleshoot
  • Assist with the optimization of protocols for total nucleic acid extraction from FFPE/ fresh/ frozen tissues in consultation with management and development team
  • Liase with other teams within CGR for sample preparation, extraction and to follow through the QC results of the extracted samples
  • Assist in writing, editing, and implementing standard operating procedures and other essential documentation
  • React to any non-conformances or opportunities for improvement, by taking appropriate corrective actions in consultation with management, development team and other relevant staff members
  • Experience with training laboratory staff
  • Ensure proper documentation of all laboratory processes performed in the laboratory and maintain equipment records
  • Perform routine maintenance of laboratory equipment and maintain a clean work area
  • Practice safe work habits, including complying with all safety, health and environmental rules and regulations
  • Other duties as assigned and available                 


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 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 education requirements, a minimum of five (5) years of related molecular biology experience
  • Experience with DNA and RNA extraction from a variety of biospecimen types
  • Experience with DNA and RNA assessment for quantity and quality utilizing various instruments
  • Strong written and oral communication-ability to communicate clearly and effectively with staff and other groups within CGR
  • Computer literacy (Microsoft Office products, general computer proficiency)
  • Ability to apply routine mathematics to laboratory calculations 
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration: 

  • Excellent laboratory skills and in-depth knowledge of molecular biology
  • Experience in utilization of a LIMS for sample and process tracking
  • Familiarity with liquid handling robotics (use and maintenance, including but not limited to Tecan, Kingfisher, Qiagen platforms)
  • Experience with data analysis and visualization tools such as Excel, Spotfire, Tableau
  • Experience in troubleshooting issues that arise with extraction of nucleic acids from blood, buccal and tissue samples
  • Demonstrated attention to detail
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task


  • 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)