Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Brain Tumor Analyst

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

Brain Tumor Analyst

Job ID: req2391
Employee Type: exempt full-time
Division: Applied & Development Research Program
Facility: Frederick: Ft Detrick
Location: PO Box B, Frederick, MD 21702 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 Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL) is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and operated by the prime contractor Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. FNL is responsible for pursuing a unique mission in translational and applied biomedical research that is unsuitable for academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or other federal contractors.  The selected candidate will join the Clinical PD Biomarkers support group located at the NCI-Frederick campus.

The Clinical PD Biomarkers support group is responsible for identification of biomarkers of response to new targeted agents entering clinical trials in the Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) of the National Cancer Institute. The scope of work of the project that has this opening involves: 1) development of highly specialized protein extraction and tissue-handling methodologies for brain tumor (CNS tissue) specimens to preserve labile biomarkers (e.g., phosphoproteins); 2) development, validation and fit-for-purpose demonstration of PD biomarker assays in clinical specimens and laboratory models (e.g., spontaneous brain tumors in human patients, PDX models, in vitro neurospheres, etc.), (3) application of validated PD biomarker assays to the analysis of brain cancer specimens to understand therapeutic response and resistance, including analysis of clinical trial biopsies; and (4) application of validated PD biomarker assays to the analysis of other unusual/rare cancer types for which therapeutic response is poorly understood.  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.


  • Develop procedures to preserve protein biomarkers and their post-translational modification in freshly-acquired clinical specimens from brain tumor patients enrolled in NCI-sponsored clinical studies to implement currently validated PD biomarker assays.
  •  Develop effective procedures for extraction of labile protein biomarkers from brain tumor specimens ensuring maximum solubilization, recovery, stability and accurate quantitation of protein biomarkers of interest, many of which will be post-translational modifications.
  • Implement/adapt currently validated PD Biomarkers for the analysis of CNS biopsy specimens collected before and after drug treatment.
  •  Perform ELISA and multiplex assays of de novo pharmacodynamic biomarkers on Luminex platform, write “standard operating procedures” (SOPs), performs analytical validation of assays, process assay data by appropriate analysis and statistical methodologies and implement PD biomarker assays in preclinical and clinical studies.
  •  Independently perform complex assignments associated with all aspects of immunoassay validation, processing of biopsy samples for immunoassays analysis, and data interpretation and presentation.
  •  Perform Luminex assays on semi- or fully-automated platforms.  Requires knowledge about integration of liquid handling systems with peripherals such as orbital plate shakers, plate chillers, magnetic plate washers, multi-label ELISA readers, and Luminex readers.
  •  Train others on techniques in multiplex immunoassay and perform SOP based inter-laboratory transfer of PD biomarker assays.
  •  Prepare and characterize key reagents (antibodies, conjugates, calibrators, stabilizers, etc.) to support Luminex assays for clinical and preclinical analysis of brain specimens.  Characterize critical reagents using affinity purification, immunoblotting, and spectral analysis.  Prepare quality control materials from xenograft tumor models, animal tissues and cancer cell lines and qualify them for different PD biomarker assays.
  • Responsible for general lab upkeep to ensure compliance with relevant NCI safety regulations and Leidos corporate policies. Ensures that instruments/safety-cabinets are in compliance with QC requirements and preventive maintenance is performed in timely manner.


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 (CHEA).  Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency.
  •  In addition to educational experience, a minimum of two (2) years related experience.
  •  Scientific background in biomarker analysis and in neuroscience or other biomedical field related to the study of the brain.
  •  Some experience in processing solid tumor samples for analysis of labile protein biomarkers.
  •  Demonstrated ability to operate semi- or fully-automated laboratory developed tests.
  • Experience in integration of high precision liquid handling system with peripherals such as orbital plate shakers, plate chillers, plate washers, multi-label ELISA readers, and Luminex readers.
  •  Proficiency in writing SOPs.
  • Should be able to independently conduct experiments, process quality control data, and process results into presentable scientific reports under oversight by a senior scientist.
  •  Computer skills (including proficiency in Microsoft Office programs) and ability to perform basic laboratory math including some knowledge of basic statistical methodologies.


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  •  Experience with the analysis of protein endpoints or biomarkers in brain or brain tumor specimens, or laboratory models High level.
  •  Experience in multiplex immunoassay development using the Luminex platform.
  •  Experience in implementation of PD biomarkers for fit-for-purpose studies using tumor tissues.


  • This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to animal(s) and/or animal material(s).
  • This position is subject to working with or have potential for exposure to infectious material, requiring medical clearance and immunizations.

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