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Research Associate II, Molecular Pathology, CGR

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
Rockville, MD
Start date
Sep 14, 2022

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

Research Associate II, Molecular Pathology, CGR

Job ID: req2983
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 Rockville, 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. 

Within CGR, the Molecular and Digital Pathology Laboratory (MDPL) supports the generation of comprehensive data on histological and molecular profiling of tumors and their precursors including histology, various approaches for biomarker analysis, spatial genomics, digital pathology, and image analysis. This laboratory section is tightly integrated with existing CGR capabilities, including somatic genomic analyses and bioinformatics. We are seeking an enthusiastic and experienced Research Associate II for the MDPL.


  • Perform basic histology techniques, including embedding, microtomy, H&E staining, and coverslipping.
  • Digitize H&E and IHC/IF slides using a slide scanner.
  • Support spatial genomics through use of multiple technologies, including Nanostring GeoMX.
  • Maintain instruments by use of preventive maintenance procedures in accordance with established SOPs and vendor guidelines.
  • Support development and optimization of IHC/IF immunostaining assays on automated platforms for prospective image analysis.
  • Ensure proper documentation of all experimental and laboratory processes in Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) or other tracking systems as required.
  • Organize day to day tasks and monitor reagent inventory for immunostaining and other laboratory projects.
  • Train new staff on established SOPs and develop SOPs for new procedures.


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 CHEA) in a field related to biomedical research. Foreign degrees will be evaluated for U.S. equivalency.
  • Minimum of five (5) years relevant experience.
  • Extensive experience in chromogenic and fluorescent assay execution on automated staining platforms (Leica Bond and Ventana Discovery Ultra preferred) using human FFPE and frozen tissue sections.
  • Proficiency with automated histopathology instrumentation, including tissue processors, microtomes, H&E stainers, slide coverslippers, brightfield and fluorescent microscopes, stereoscopes, and IHC stainers.
  • Knowledge of basic histological techniques, including tissue processing and embedding, microtomy/cryotomy, H&E staining, slide coverslipping, microscopic recognition of major human tissue types, and QC of unstained and stained slides.
  • Careful attention to detail. Must be analytical, flexible, innovative, and self-motivated.
  • Team-oriented with excellent written and verbal communication skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail; ability to organize and execute multiple projects in parallel both independently and as part of working groups, demonstrated ability to interact effectively with cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance.


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • HT/HTL (ASCP) certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathologists.
  • Experience with IHC/IF assays on archival human FFPE oncology tissue specimens.
  • Familiarity with image analysis platforms.
  • Experience with basic molecular biology techniques, such as RNA, DNA, and protein purification; RNase-free tissue handling of fixed and frozen biological material.
  • Experience with ISH and IHC/IF multiplex assays (RNAScope, Ultivue and GeoMx DSP).
  • Working experience with hand macro-dissection and laser capture microdissection of FFPE and frozen samples, TMA construction on automated tissue arrayer.
  • Experience with brightfield and florescence slide scanners (Leica AT2 and Zeiss Axio Scan.Z1).
  • Experience with LabVantage LIMS.
  • Experience with and demonstrated knowledge of proper storage, management, and handling of a diverse collection of
  • FFPE and frozen human biospecimens.
  • Strong sense of personal responsibility and ability to work with a team.
  • Ability to prioritize, organize, and execute multiple projects.


  • 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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