Associate Principal Investigator, Molecular Biology #643

Frederick, Maryland
September 28 2018
Associate PI, Molecular Biology #643
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type


The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is a Department of Homeland Security federal laboratory (DHS) sponsored by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and operated by the Battelle National Biodefense Institute, LLC (BNBI).


Provides Molecular Biology program management, technical support and work prioritization to enhance bioforensic capabilities. Responsibilities include development, evaluation, and optimization of molecular assays and oversight of casework involving molecular assays including Real Time PCR, Sequencing, and Restriction Digests for the National Biodefense Forensic Analysis Center (NBFAC) under the ISO 17025 Standard.


  • Requires a PhD (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline or engineering, and a minimum of 2 years related experience; may include post-doctoral experience.
  • Ability to work on problems of diverse scope in which analysis of data requires evaluation of identifiable factors, with expert knowledge of complex scientific principles and concepts.
  • Proficiency and clarity of oral and written communications are essential.
  • Exemplary organizational skills with a proven track record of working effectively both independently and as a team player.
  • Knowledge or experience with biocontainment facilities and procedures, laboratory safety, biosurety, and decontamination desirable.
  • Skills and experience to support laboratory activities and work in accordance with NBACC’s management system (e.g., ISO).
  • Must be a citizen of the United States, able to obtain an interim secret clearance leading to a top secret clearance, suitability for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a favorable adjudication of the Department of Justice (DoJ) for select agent access, and enrollment in the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP).  Current clearance(s) desirable.
  • Participation in the Immunization Program through Corporate Occupational Health Solutions, LLC (CorpOHS) is required.
  • May be required to participate in NBACC’s alternative work and/or on-call schedule, dependent upon business needs.


  • Oversees and manages ISO 17025 laboratory including program management, technical support, work prioritization, and maintenance of laboratory in a state of immediate readiness to conduct molecular analysis on forensic and environmental samples. Laboratory management includes definition of training requirements for laboratory staff and generation, review and approval of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for laboratory processes following Safety, Surety, and ISO 17025 guidelines.
  • Directs, prioritizes, schedules and provides technical expertise to Molecular Biology Research Assistants to conduct casework which includes: analysis of forensic and environmental samples for the detection and characterization of nucleic acid signatures of select agents, pathogenic, and non-pathogenic organisms using molecular analyses including RealTime PCR, Sequencing and Restriction Digestion. Analyses may be conducted under the ISO 17025 Standard or using Laboratory Response Network (LRN) protocols.
  • Prepares analytical plans, reviewes laboratory results, issues casework reports, gives opinions and interpretation of results and authorizes work and use of equipment. Maintains accurate records of the processing and analysis in a computerized Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).
  • Assures projects are performed in compliance with all regulatory requirements and operational capability of assigned lab space to include maintenance of CDC select agent registration and ISO accreditation.  
  • Participates in the implementation and maintenance of Quality Management Systems (QMS). Ensures that equipment, reagents and supplies are maintained and used properly. Reviews NBFAC data to ensure proper quality control. Prepares necessary SOPs, Work Instructions and other materials required to maintain the QMS under the ISO 17025 Standard.
  • Develops, evaluates, optimizes, and validates/verifies molecular assays used to conduct bioforensic analysis for casework.  Reviews, analyzes, and compiles data into analytical reports for validation of assays under the ISO17025 standard to expand capabilities according to the annual plan.
  • Exercises judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
  • Ability to formulate difficult science hypothesis and demonstrated success in technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaboration with others and independent thought, with the possibility to be a technical project lead on multiple projects.
  • May determine methods and procedures on new assignments, while mentoring personnel.
  • Maintains a safe work environment by participating in specialized training and review of safety manuals and SOPs.
  • Identifies departures from the QMS and initiates actions to investigate and prevent such occurrences.
  • Maintains appropriate records.
  • Performs other assigned duties.

BNBI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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