Director, Laboratory Program in Molecular Pharmacology (NCI)

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Job Category:
Scientist / Research & Development
Day Job
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Clearance Level Must Be Able to Obtain:
Public Trust


The Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis (DCTD), National Cancer Institute is actively exploring drug molecular mechanisms in conjunction with tumor gene expression, mutation and protein profiling to pair the development of newer anticancer agents with specific molecular vulnerabilities in the precision oncology medicine setting.  The Leidos Biomedical Research program in molecular pharmacology at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research supports the NCI Molecular Pharmacology Branch (MPB) pursuit of this DCTD initiative in the Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP).


The Director will serve as the scientific leader and director for the three contractor operated MPB labs (i.e., the NCI60 screening, Target Validation and Screening, and the Molecular Pharmacology Laboratories) at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) as well as the co-investigator of the MPB Branch. The incumbent must have expertise in cancer biology, genomics, molecular pharmacology, and experimental therapeutics.

The Director will

  • Create and implement an integrated and comprehensive laboratory program for investigating key molecular pharmacology questions that closely align with the mission of the DCTD/DTP/MPB while adding significant translational value
  • Guide the design, execution, and interpretation of in vitro studies to validate drug targets and to explore the therapeutic potential of these targets
  • Design and develop cell and molecular assays to define the mechanism of action (MOA) of compounds that can be converted into pharmacodynamic endpoints in pre-clinical and clinical studies
  • Lead collaborations with computational biologists and statisticians to identify deregulated cellular processes utilizing patient derived models and –omic databases to inform therapeutic choices
  • Develop testable mechanistic hypotheses suitable for clinical trial evaluation and explain differences in drug sensitivity between individual PDX models
  • Manage the activity and performance of direct reports and oversee their supervision of technical staff
  • Identify important, mission-critical problems in molecular pharmacology to investigate and will design and deliver the scientific investigations to address them
  • Interpret, present, and report research findings at internal, national, and international scientific meetings
  • Publish findings in high impact peer-reviewed journals



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

Education requirements: Possession of a Doctoral degree (e.g., D.V.M., Ph.D., D.Sc., or M.D.) in biomedical sciences from an accredited college or university according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

In addition to education requirements, a minimum of ten (10) years of productive post-graduate experience including at least five (5) years at the senior scientist level. Five (5) or more years of experience managing complex programs/projects/groups is also required. Candidates must have a strong understanding of cancer research especially drug mechanism(s); be fluent in the use of leading-edge technology of gene manipulation (deletion/insertion and editing) for drug MOA studies; and have a strong background in cell biology. The successful candidate must also have knowledge of current data storage and analysis methods especially those used for large databases.

Candidates must have demonstrated experience in:

  • Independently operating complex, multi-faceted laboratory programs including prioritizing, managing, and integrating multiple responsibilities and projects (i.e., organizational and time-management skills)
  • Conducting research that has produced first and last authored publications, patents, or other evidence of peer recognition and have a high citation record
  • Making presentations at national and/or international meetings
  • Being a highly productive laboratory scientist while mentoring junior scientists to be the same
  • Supervising staff and conveying vision toward new directions
  • Recognizing which leading edge technologies are useful to pursue
  • Collaborating with laboratory and clinical experts at the national and/or international level
  • Writing clear and concise scientific/technical documents with an outstanding command of spoken English and excellent verbal communication skills
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance


Candidates with these desired skills will be given preferential consideration:

  • Expert understanding and experience with small molecule and biological immuno-oncology agents
  • Expert understanding and experience with small molecule combination regimens, including combinations with immuno-oncology agents
  • Expert understanding and experience with patient-derived models and complex tumor spheroid/organoid cultures in addressing pharmacological and therapeutic questions
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement new research plans for complex projects involving molecular pharmacology strategies that will lead to timely and actionable conclusions
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and/or implement relevant new assay methodologies pertaining to the molecular investigation of drug mechanism of action and its proof
  • Demonstrated excellence as a project team leader/member and also as a scientific collaborator
  • Presiding and chairing sessions at national and/or international meetings
  • Establishing scientific meetings or symposia as part of a national or international meeting or as a separate meeting

Leidos Overview:
Leidos is a global science and technology solutions leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. The company’s 33,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported pro forma annual revenues of approximately $10 billion for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2016 after giving effect to the recently completed combination of Leidos with Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions business (IS&GS). For more information, visit www.Leidos.com. The company’s diverse employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Leidos will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories for employment in accordance with relevant Laws. Leidos is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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