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Your Environment. Your Health.

Two Staff Scientists, Division of National Toxicology Program, Mechanistic Toxicology Branch

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Division of National Toxicology Program (DNTP)
Mechanistic Toxicology Branch (MTB)
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

NIEHS is seeking two Title 42 (g) Staff Scientists in the Mechanistic Toxicology Branch (MTB) to provide laboratory support to the strategic mission of the DNTP by conducting toxicology research using predominately in vitro bioassay systems. The MTB uses innovative in vitro, non-animal, and in silico capabilities to identify and characterize chemical hazard, establish dose-response, and investigate mode-of-action in human-relevant biological systems. DNTP is a team-based scientific organization with a strategic mission and a prioritized portfolio of research that aims to improve public health through development of data and knowledge that are translatable, predictive, and timely. MTB is seeking staff scientists to provide expertise in bioactivity screening, mechanistic investigations, and implementation of novel research capabilities to identify human health hazards from environmental and chemical exposures and further mechanistic understanding of environmental toxicity contributing to human disease. Such efforts are aligned to division-level strategic priorities, project-based, and coordinated by DNTP program management teams. This research frequently requires collaboration across the division, NIEHS, and the external scientific community. The staff scientists will be expected to publish and present timely outcomes of their laboratory investigations.

DNTP evaluates environmental substances of public health concern utilizing tools of modern toxicology. The field of toxicology is moving toward more judicious use of animals, and within the DNTP this trend is evidenced by an increased reliance on in vitro models, as well as analytical methods and innovative technologies to rapidly and efficiently provide mechanistic or decision-making data for the DNTP and its stakeholders. The DNTP has a long history of using innovative tools to better investigate toxicology problems related to hazard assessment. The DNTP participates in several governmental interagency collaborations aimed at improving prediction of chemical or physical agent exposure-related toxicological effects. By integrating computational biology and medium or high throughput screening. The MTB uses or develops novel bioassay systems that incorporate metabolic competence and pathophysiological relevance to exposures of toxicological interest.

Based on their scientific training and unique experience, the staff scientists will be expected to develop novel in vitro systems using a variety of cell types. Current emphasis in MTB focuses on hepatocytes, cardiomyocytes, embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, and renal, neural, and reproductive cells, leading to development of new, scalable bioassays for DNTP’s research portfolio. These staff scientist positions will support MTB research activities that include screening substances in human and animal cell models to evaluate biochemical and molecular endpoints over a range of concentrations, assisted by automated liquid handling and plate reading systems in 96- and 384-well plate formats. Successful candidates will also provide research support to studies involving high-content screening of toxicants using high resolution confocal imaging systems. They are also expected to characterize, understand, and optimize the human translational relevance of the assays they employ. MTB work is performed in collaboration with internal and external researchers to provide program-responsive outcomes to DNTP. Title 42 staff scientists are expected to produce high-quality biochemical, molecular, and morphologic laboratory data supporting programmatic priorities in a timely manner.

The MTB relies upon generation of sophisticated data streams, biological assay systems, and technology platforms that share a deliberate emphasis on human-relevant in vitro models of toxicity and pathophysiology of disease. Projects with a higher level of complexity may include multi-dimensional or multi-cellular systems such as 3D spheroids, organoids with multiple cell types, and organs-on-a-chip. All these various data streams have the potential for increasing understanding of mechanisms of toxicity and for defining dose-response, a critical component in determining human risk from exposure.

Qualifications: The ideal candidates for the two positions will have:

  1. A Ph.D. or equivalent degree (M.D., Sc.D., D.V.M., Pharm.D.) in a scientific field applicable to the cellular pathobiology of environmental hazards or a related aspect of toxicology, pathology, or molecular biology.
  2. Experience in the conduct of toxicology studies on chemicals or physical agents, statistical analysis of data, and interpretation of experimental toxicology findings.
  3. National and international recognition as a practitioner in toxicology research and familiarity with applicable instrumentation for biochemical and molecular data.
  4. Made major contributions as evidenced by authorship of peer reviewed reports or publications in respected journals.
  5. Demonstrated ability to innovate and work in a highly matrixed organization.
  6. Demonstrated experience in independent leadership of a significant scientific program or initiative.
  7. The ability to perform effectively in multidisciplinary teams and to motivate, mentor, and inspire staff.

Candidates for the MTB positions are expected to have a demonstrated understanding of and accomplishment in the field of toxicology or clinical or public health practice.

As a condition of employment, all federal employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. During the onboarding process, if selected, you must provide proof of vaccination. An official job offer and continued employment are contingent on this requirement. For more information on this requirement, visit the Safer Federal Workforce. If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, please visit

As a NIH Title 42 (g) Staff Scientist, the employee is generally appointed to a time-limited, renewable position. Staff scientists do not receive independent resources as a principal investigator, although they will often work independently and have sophisticated skills and knowledge essential to the work of the branch.

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

How to Apply: Interested candidates must submit materials as PDFs via email to Bonnie Earnhardt at All emails should include vacancy number NR131 in the subject line. A complete application includes:

  • Curriculum Vitae. Include the full curriculum vitae including bibliography. Please include a description of mentoring and outreach activities, especially activities women or other underrepresented groups in biomedical engineering.
  • Research Statement. Please include a 3- to 4-page statement of past research and future plans.
  • Arrange for three letters of reference to be sent to Letters should be on official letterhead and signed. Referees must include the applicant’s name and vacancy number NR131 in the email subject line.

For further information about the position, please contact Suramya Waidyanatha, Ph.D. Incomplete applications or paper applications will not be accepted. Review of applications will begin on January 18, 2022.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity: NIH/NIEHS encourages the application and nomination of qualified 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 you require reasonable accommodation during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us.

Foreign Education: Applicants who have completed part or all of 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 premier biomedical research center for the world. Its 27 institutes and centers employ more than 21,000 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.

For information about DNTP, visit the NTP webpage. DHHS, NIH, and NIEHS are an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women, minorities and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.

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