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Molecular Biology and Drug Discovery Research Opportunity - Post-Bachelor's

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 Development and Materiel Command (USAMRDC), 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.

What will I be doing?

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. At MRICD,  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. 

Under the guidance of a mentor, you will gain hands-on experience to complement your education and support your academic and professional goals. As the selected candidate, you will have the opportunity to participate in most aspects of the project. 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. As such, you will learn a number of in vitro and in vivo techniques while participating in this NIH funded project and you 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 provide you experience that is very attractive for internal and external career advancing opportunities.

 Where will I be located?

Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

What is the appointment length?

USAMRICD is prepared to begin this appointment as soon as possible and will review applications on an ongoing basis until a candidate is selected. This appointment is a 12-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.

What are the benefits?

You will receive a stipend to be determined by USAMRICD. Stipends are typically based on a 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


This program, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and DoD. Participants do not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DoD or any other office or agency. Instead, you will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. For more information, visit the ORISE Research Participation Program at the U.S. Department of Defense.


Applicant should have completed a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, or related life/health/medical science field within the past five years. Participant must have a minimum GPA of 2.8.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Required to complete a background investigation
  • Able to obtain and maintain a security clearance