Lead, Translational Science Resources Program - Assay Guidance Manual

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH
Commensurate with experience
August 07 2019
Organization Type


The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to recruit a dynamic, collaborative scientist to lead its growing Translational Science Resources program, including the Assay Guidance Manual (AGM), within its Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation (DCI).

The AGM is a free, best-practices online resource devoted to the successful development of robust, early-stage drug discovery assays. Since its genesis 15 years ago, the AGM has become a standard reference in the field, with over 50,000 users in 131 countries. Investigators worldwide can use the manual to design biologically and pharmacologically relevant assays for high-throughput screening (HTS) and lead optimization to evaluate collections of molecules that modulate the activity of biological targets, pathways and cellular phenotypes. NCATS manages the content of the manual with input from industry, academia and government experts. More than 100 authors from around the world have contributed content to this free resource, which is updated quarterly and housed by the National Library of Medicine. The chapters have PubMed citations that identify the contributing authors. NCATS offers a variety of AGM training workshops throughout the year, designed to share best practices and advice on robust assay design, development and implementation for researchers involved in the drug discovery process.

The candidate will be based within the Early Translation Branch (ETB) of the DCI. The ETB is a successor of the NCATS Chemical Genomics Center, and its staff scientists seek to understand the underlying principles driving the translation of basic research discoveries into tangible improvements in human health by focusing on the early stages of this process. Research efforts include the functionalization of the human genome through discovery of diverse tools, such as small molecules, antibodies, constrained peptides and others, by way of screening, directed evolution and rational computational design methods, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, development of innovative methods for assaying biological activity of novel gene targets and pathways, and derivation of general principles governing the interaction between the biological and chemical spaces.

Core Responsibilities

The selected candidate will be responsible for a range of programs and will serve as editor-in-chief of the AGM and its related workshops. He or she will apply their knowledge of pre-clinical translational science to ensure that the AGM continues to be the flagship resource for translational scientists, and liaise with an advisory committee of industry, academia and government experts. Other editorial responsibilities include recruiting new authors, setting the editorial direction and policies of the AGM, reviewing submitted chapters, budgeting and strategic planning. In addition to overseeing AGM-related activities, the candidate will collaborate with other components of NCATS involved in education and training to develop and disseminate new translational science resources and activities with the goal of introducing a broader audience to translational science principles and establishing this field. The candidate also may participate in mentoring junior scientists participating in translational research in NCATS laboratories.


The ideal candidate will possess a doctoral degree or equivalent in cell biology, molecular biology, pharmacology or a related discipline. Industry and/or academic drug discovery experience is required, along with deep knowledge of translational science and research. Hands-on experience with assay development and HTS is required. Experience with molecular biology, HTS detection technologies, cell imaging, and/or cell engineering is highly preferred; knowledge of other aspects of therapeutic discovery is also desirable. Experience in an editorial and publishing role is a plus. The candidate should be a thorough and meticulous experimentalist, flexible, have a collaborative and outreach-focused nature, and a passion for translational science. Effective communication and presentation skills are required. Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S. for any employer.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in this position, a current curriculum vitae and complete bibliography to Abigail Grossman at abigail.grossman@nih.gov. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

All information provided by candidates will remain confidential and will not be released outside the NCATS search process without a signed release from candidates. The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities and individuals with disabilities. DHHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers. NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.

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