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Your Environment. Your Health.

Chief, Mechanistic Toxicology Branch

Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Division of Translational Toxicology (DTT)
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

NIEHS is seeking a dynamic, highly motivated scientist to serve as chief of the Mechanistic Toxicology Branch (MTB), in the Division of Translational Toxicology (DTT), formerly the Division of the National Toxicology Program, at NIEHS. The mission of the DTT is to evaluate environmental substances of public health concern by developing and applying tools of modern toxicology and molecular biology. The DTT provides critical data for regulatory and non-regulatory stakeholder decision making to protect human health using rodent studies, alternative in vivo model systems, in vitro high-throughput screens and/or computational approaches to gauge the potential of thousands of substances to perturb biological targets and pathways.

The scientific goals of the DTT are achieved through a distinct and highly cooperative and integrated team science operational model, whereby scientific staff across multiple branches in the DTT assemble into project teams and utilize centrally managed shared resources, in contrast to the traditional NIH principal investigator-led research group model. Research is primarily conducted through external research and development contracts and supported with targeted intramural laboratory capabilities. The research conducted is aligned to the strategic needs of the Division. The governance of projects that use DTT resources are centrally approved by management.

The MTB chief is responsible for oversight of one of the DTT organizational units that provides in-house scientific laboratory capabilities. The mission of the MTB is to provide research support for and conduct investigative toxicology for the DTT. Laboratory work is project-driven and supports divisional interdisciplinary project teams to advance the program mission.

The MTB has several goals:

  • To deliver high-quality and responsive laboratory data in a timely manner for stakeholder decision-making.
  • To design and execute human-relevant mechanistic studies and research programs in direct support of DTT strategic areas of focus.
  • To develop novel and innovative capabilities that contribute to DTT’s mission to further our mechanistic understanding of human responses to environmental exposures.
  • To provide on-site, program-responsive laboratory support to DTT project teams for screening, prioritization and mechanistic understanding of environmental contaminants and botanicals.

The MTB chief leads and otherwise contributes to DTT multidisciplinary teams conceiving, developing, designing, interpreting, and reporting toxicology, carcinogenicity, and other applied and basic science research activities. These activities are highly diverse including in vitro and in vivo evaluations of the potential health impacts of consumer products, medicinal herbs, pharmaceuticals, occupational chemical exposures, biologic agents, and ever-evolving novel substances such as nanoscale materials. In DTT, multidisciplinary teams partner with fellow toxicologists, chemists, pathologists, specialists in metabolism and kinetics, as well as experts in genetic toxicity, in vitro screening and molecular modeling to design research programs tailored to the issues presented by individual substances and mixtures under study.

Additionally, the MTB chief collaborates across the division and institute to spearhead novel approaches and best-practices for the integration of information technology and other management solutions that advance the daily operations of the branch, including workforce management, workforce development, risk assessment, budget, and finance, and change management.

The ideal candidate will have a research-based professional degree (Ph.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., or equivalent) in the life sciences. The candidate will have experience in in vivo and in vitro toxicology studies and demonstrated experience directing laboratory research. In addition, the candidate will have demonstrated working knowledge of carcinogenesis, genomics, molecular biology, molecular genetics, cellular biology, systems biology, pathology, and statistics. The candidate must demonstrate strategic and visionary leadership for identifying and matching new scientific technologies while also understanding the limitations of data generated through these approaches for public health decision-making. The candidate must be recognized for their scientific expertise within the national and international scientific community and possess communication skills to garner stakeholder confidence. The candidate will have demonstrated experience leading single and multi-institutional programs and national and international consortia.

It is preferred that the branch chief reside within the local commuting area of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This position is not eligible for remote work. At the supervisor’s discretion, this position may offer work schedule flexibilities, including telework.

This is a federal full-time equivalent position, and a comprehensive benefits package is available. Salary will be commensurate with experience, qualifications, and accomplishments.

How to Apply:
The NIH/NIEHS/DTT vacancy announcement for this position contains complete application procedures and lists all mandatory information which you must submit with your application. This announcement will be available from February 27, 2023 to March 8, 2023.

Please visit and search: Keyword: Supervisory Toxicologist, Location: Durham, NC. This position’s announcement number is NIH-NIEHS-DE-23-11813383. All application materials must be received by midnight on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover letter highlighting key qualifications
  • Current curriculum vitae with complete bibliography
  • Names and addresses of three references

Please include in your CV a description of your mentoring and outreach activities, especially those involving women and racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research. For questions or additional information on this recruitment, please contact Robert C. Sills, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity:
NIH/NIEHS encourages the application and nomination of traditionally underrepresented groups in the sciences, including women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. NIH/NIEHS will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, as appropriate. If reasonable accommodation is required during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us.

Foreign Education:
Applicants who have completed part or all their education outside of the United States must provide an evaluation by an accredited organization to ensure its equivalence to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For more information on foreign education verification, visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Verification must be received prior to the effective date of the appointment.

NIH is the largest biomedical research center in the world. Its 27 institutes and centers employ more than 18,000 employees doing a vast array of jobs, all supporting efforts for a healthy nation. For information about the NIH mission, goals and institutes and centers, visit About NIH.


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