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Research Associate I, Extraction and Staging Laboratory, CGR

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
Rockville, MD
Start date
Aug 5, 2022

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Regulatory, Science/R&D, Research, Laboratory
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
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Job Details

Research Associate I, Extraction and Staging Laboratory, CGR

Job ID: req2896
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 expanding and recruiting for multiple positions within CGR’s Extraction and Staging Laboratory that supports all aspects of biospecimen management within CGR, including sample receipt and organization, extraction, quantitation, and normalization/plating of the extracted nucleic acid for all sequencing and genotyping efforts. Successful candidates will enable key efforts for research at CGR and the Frederick National Lab and will have opportunities to learn valuable skills in biospecimen and inventory management, best practices in sample handling, and high throughput liquid handling technologies and automated extraction methods. The successful incumbent will focus on sample management and extractions from multiple types of biospecimens, including aliquoting of biospecimens to support internal and external assay requirements. You can work seamlessly within all areas of the Extraction and Staging laboratories and may be involved in the day-to day execution of multiple laboratory processes and applications including:

  • Support for sample logistics, including preparation of sample collection kits for distribution to collaborators, receipt and organization of incoming sample shipments and reconciliation/organization for downstream activities
  • 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 manual methods in BSL-2+ controlled laboratory space to support biospecimen aliquoting tasks for both in house and outsourced assays
  • Organization of samples, including sorting by tube type and relabeling as needed for automation workflows
  • Support for sample inventory efforts, including freezer consolidation activities and preparation of samples for return to external collaborators and/or NCI Central Repository
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 (CHEA) 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
  • A minimum of two (2) years of related molecular biology experience is required
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Computer literacy (Microsoft Office products, general computer proficiency)
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • Experience handling a wide variety of biospecimen types, primarily (but not limited to) blood and saliva derived samples.
  • 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
  • Experience in utilization of a LIMS for sample and process tracking
  • Familiarity with liquid handling and sample purification 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
  • 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)



A rewarding career with global impact

Whether you’re an expert in your field or just starting out, we have a career opportunity for you. We’re always looking for people to join us in fulfilling the mission of the Frederick National Laboratory: discovery, innovation, and success in the biomedical sciences.

Our team of 2,400+ scientists, technicians, administrators, and support staff work at the forefront of basic, translational, and preclinical science, with a focus on cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases.

We collaborate with colleagues across the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and others throughout the National Institutes of Health. We also engage with extramural investigators in academia, government and industry.

Your path to joining our team begins with the desire to work for the only national laboratory dedicated to biomedical research. Our employees share a common desire to help make a difference in cancer research and public health concerns. As you search for a career that fits your education, skills, and abilities, explore the core values that guide us and emphasize work-life balance.

Discover why joining the Frederick National Laboratory team could be the most important career step you take



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