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Job Posting

Principal Investigator, Mass Spectrometry

Location:Fort Detrick, MD
Position:Principal Investigator, Mass Spectrometry



The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is the first national laboratory created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is sponsored by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and operated by the Battelle National Biodefense Institute, LLC (BNBI). The NBACC is a one-of-a-kind facility dedicated to defending the nation against biological threats. NBACC includes two centers: the National Bioforensic Analysis Center (NBFAC), which conducts technical analyses in support of federal law enforcement investigations, and the National Biological Threat Characterization Center (NBTCC), which conducts experiments and studies to better understand biological vulnerabilities and hazards. Together these centers offer a national resource for understanding the risks posed by the malicious use of biological agents and the operational capability to support the investigation, prosecution, and prevention of biocrimes and bioterrorism.


Leads a team of scientists in NBFAC to perform mass spectrometry analysis for the identification and characterization of proteins and biological toxins from forensic samples. Provides technical and laboratory expertise in the conduct of mass spectrometry to support research and bioforensic casework using MALDI TOF and LC-MS/MS instruments. Develops, executes, and evaluates mass spectrometry methods under the ISO 17025 Standard to characterize forensic samples. Conducts the analysis and reporting of mass spectrometry data.


• Requires a PhD (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline or engineering, and a minimum of 5 years related experience.
• Experience in mass spectrometry method development using a variety of instruments including operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
• Ability to demonstrate success in technical proficiency, scientific creativity and accountability, while collaborating with others using independent thought.
• 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 and maintain an interim secret clearance leading to a top secret clearance, suitability for DHS, a favorable adjudication of the Department of Justice (DoJ) for select agent access.
• Participation in the Immunization Program, Medical Surveillance Program, and enrollment in the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP) is required.
• May be required to participate in NBACC’s alternative work and/or on-call schedule, dependent upon business needs.


• Provides technical and laboratory expertise to conduct casework and to develop, evaluate and optimize mass spectrometry methods used to conduct bioforensic analysis. Processes and conducts analyses of forensic and environmental samples; maintains accurate records of the processing and analysis in a computerized Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Provides high quality work within time constraints.
• Performs work with bacterial and viral agents as well as biological toxins in containment laboratories, as needed, with appropriate training.
• As a select agent Principal Investigator, identifies and reports issues in safety, biosecurity and quality compliance and can troubleshoot protocols.
• Develops project plans, budgets, schedules, resource requirements, and experimental plans for mass spectrometry projects. Provides status updates including monthly, quarterly, interim, and final reports and ensures milestones and deliverables are completed on time and on budget.
• Provides technical support to multiple projects simultaneously and applies knowledge and skills to complete a wide range of tasks.
• Works on complex problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of various factors.
• Exercises judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
• Ability to act independently to determine methods and procedures on new assignments, while overseeing and managing the scientific or administrative activities of subordinates and/or technical personnel.
• Advanced knowledge of scientific principles and concepts, with a reputation as an emerging leader in the field, with sustained performance and accomplishment recognized internally and externally through publications, sponsor feedback, and peer input.
• Maintains a safe work environment by participating in specialized training and review of safety manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
• Identifies departures from the Quality Management System (QMS) and initiates actions to investigate and prevent such occurrences.
• Ensures competence of staff to operate specific equipment or perform tests (may issue Authorizations).
• Provides analysis, opinions and interpretation, and issues reports.
• Develops, optimizes and validates new or modified methods and procedures.
• Prepares necessary SOPs, work instructions and other materials required to maintain the QMS under the ISO 17025 Standard.
• Maintains and evaluates records of analysis and reviews laboratory results, plans and reports.
• Ensures that equipment, reagents and supplies are maintained and used properly.
• Directs, prioritizes, schedules and provides technical expertise to staff to conduct work.
• Maintains appropriate records.
• Performs other assigned duties.

BNBI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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