Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Post Doctoral Fellow - RAS Initiative

Frederick, MD
Jun 08, 2022
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

Post Doctoral Fellow - RAS Initiative

Job ID: req2768
Employee Type: exempt full-time
Division: Cancer Research Technology Program
Facility: Frederick: ATRF
Location: 8560 Progress Dr, Frederick, MD 21701 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.


More than 30 percent of all human cancers – including 95 percent of pancreatic cancers and 45 percent of colorectal cancers — are driven by mutations of the RAS family of genes. NCI established the RAS initiative in 2013 to explore innovative approaches for attacking the proteins encoded by mutant forms of RAS genes and to ultimately create effective, new therapies for RAS-related cancers.

We are looking for highly motivated post-doctoral fellows to join the RAS Initiative. Candidates who recently obtained a Ph.D. with a strong background in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, microscopy, cell biology, or related fields are encouraged to apply.  All projects will entail collaboration with other scientists in the RAS Initiative, as well as colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco and potentially other partners. 

We are specifically, but not exclusively, searching for postdoctoral fellows in the following areas:

Structural Biology:  

The RAS Initiative Structural Biology group focuses on structural analysis of KRAS complexed with various effectors and regulators to gain mechanistic insights into RAS biology. The group uses multiple structural biology techniques such as crystallography, cryoEM, and NMR, along with various biophysical, biochemical, and cell biology assays in collaboration with other groups within the RAS Initiative. The structural biology group is well equipped with crystallization robotics and an in-house X-ray generator. It has regular access to the Titan Krios for cryoEM data collection and synchrotron beamline (24-ID) at the APS for crystallographic data collection.

RAS Membrane Biology: 

To fully test the hypothesis that RAS nanoclustering and lipid interactions in the membrane of cells initiates signaling, the fellow will apply advanced imaging methods to quantify the dynamic behavior of KRAS4b using synthetic membranes and cells, and such techniques as fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence lifetime microscopy (FLIM), single molecule tracking, and super resolution microscopy.  In addition to testing the lipid fingerprinting and RAS clustering hypothesis, these approaches will serve as a platform for the fellow to interrogate RAS effector complexes (including studies with novel interactors and small molecules), and to develop imaging assays suitable for studying these interactions in tumor cell lines.  g of their roles in RAS biology and potential for drug discovery.  


  • Conduct independent research
  • Analyze data and present research findings to other scientists
  • Stay informed of the latest findings in RAS biology and relevant techniques
  • Submit manuscripts for peer reviewed publication
  • Collaborate with other members of the program or with external institutions


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

  • Possession of a Doctoral degree from an accredited college/university according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in a field related to cell biology, structural biology, biochemistry, or biophysics.
  • Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency 
  • Proficiency in laboratory research performing biochemistry, biophysics, or related techniques.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance 


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • Basic knowledge of protein structure determination by crystallography and/or cryoEM
  • Proficiency in biochemical and biophysical characterization of protein-protein Complexes
  • Fluorescence and Confocal Microscopy
  • Single molecule techniques
  • Proficiency in image analysis using Matlab and/or IamgeJ

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