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Post-Bachelor's Research: Functional Genomics and Biological Models in Drug Discovery

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) is the Department of Defense's lead laboratory for medical chemical defense research. As a subordinate element of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), the institute conducts research for development of medical countermeasures to treat exposure to various chemical threat agents for protection of soldiers and civilians. Scientific disciplines at USAMRICD include, but are not limited to, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, neuroscience, toxicology, physiology, psychology, and immunology. This opportunity is located in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Visit us on Facebook at

Vesicants are a class of chemicals that induce injury on contact with exposed skin and mucous membranes. Treatments for these injuries are only generally supportive (pain control, anti-inflammatory medication, etc.) as no specific treatments exist. In cases of severe acute injury, long term prognosis is often poor. Identification of specific targets involved in injury is necessary in the effort to develop effective therapeutics for this injury. We have developed the capability of performing inhibitory RNA high throughput screening (HTS) in in vitro models to identify therapeutic targets. The targets are then tested in animal models developed by our lab. This approach is similar to that used by pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs and treatments for other injuries and diseases. This work is funded by the NIH.

The candidate will have the opportunity to participate in most aspects of the project with the guidance of a mentor. This research involves both in vitro and in vivo techniques including cell culture, high throughput siRNA screening, immunoassays, multiplexed immunoassays, cell viability assays, robotic liquid handlers, small animal surgery, tissue dissection, small animal ocular exams, and data analysis. The candidate will learn a number of in vitro and in vivo techniques while participating in this NIH funded project. They will have the opportunity to master techniques and operate instrumentation the same as that used by leading pharmaceutical companies. Knowledge of these cutting edge research techniques and instrumentation will make the candidate very attractive for internal and external job opportunities.

Appointment Length
This appointment is a twelve month research appointment, with the possibility to be renewed for additional research periods. Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Participant Benefits
Participants will receive a stipend to be determined by MRICD. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:
  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training and Travel Allowance

Nature of Appointment
The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

The participant will be required to complete paperwork for a background investigation, and must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.

The participant must have an undergraduate degree (BS or BA) in biochemistry, biology, or related life/health/medical science field. Participant must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (exceptions may be granted on a case by case basis).