Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Biomedical/Biochemical Scientist in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308492

Directorate: National Security

Division: Signatures Science & Technology

Group: Chemical & Biological Signature Sciences

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking a senior biological or biochemical scientist to develop and direct a collaborative program of research focused broadly on the next frontier of biochemical analysis for national security applications: threat-agnostic or standards-free identification and characterization. As new diseases emerge at an unprecedented rate and new technologies dramatically increase the potential range of engineered microbes, current paradigms of pathogen identification involving comparison of unknowns to data obtained from reference cultures or standards are increasingly inadequate. In the biodefense community, where rapid decisions are imperative to saving lives, alternative methods that do not depend on existing pathogen standards would be transformative. PNNL aims to develop the science of using multi-omics methods for the threat-agnostic identification of pathogens (bacteria and/or viruses) that are problematic for human health, and of interest in the national security realm. In particular, PNNL is interested in broadening the understanding of basic pathogen functions and host-pathogen interactions so that future threats to national security can be rapidly identified as such based on their functional characteristics and public health implications, rather than by comparison to lists of known threat agents.

The successful candidate will be an integral member of an inter-disciplinary team of scientists, mathematicians, computer scientists and program managers establishing a portfolio of research work in the areas of characterization of pathogen function using multi-omics methods and/or standards-free biothreat detection. In addition to directing world class research, the successful candidate will be publishing papers and developing research programs that align with the most critical problems of national security sponsors and will help develop impactful and long-term strategies for capability development at PNNL. The incumbent will interface with external clients (i.e., DOE and national security sponsors including the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security) to generate new and repeat business and to grow PNNL’s technical capabilities.

Minimum Qualifications

• BS/BA with 7 years of experience MS/MA with5 years of experience PhD with 3 years of experience

• Recognized expertise in the application of biology or biochemistry to characterize pathogen function; identify classes of pathogens using multi-omics methods; and/or solve national security-relevant research and development problems

• Prior experience directing pathogen- or stimulant-related research in biosafety level 2 or 3 facilities

• Demonstrated ability to develop, direct, and safely execute projects involving risk group 1 and 2 agents

• Demonstrated ability to build and direct multi-disciplinary teams

• Substantial record of contributions to research programs and extensive experience in technical and project leadership roles

• Demonstrated ability to develop new business and new capabilities; to efficiently translate technical requirements from sponsors into actionable research and development directions; to direct dynamic, multi-disciplinary teams of scientists; and to manage complex projects across organizational and institutional boundaries

• Significant record of peer-reviewed publications or an equivalent demonstration of productivity in technical open or classified reports

• Excellent oral and written communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

Background in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry or a related field

• Experience growing research and development programs and capabilities

• A PhD with at least 10 years’ of experience, or an MS degree with at least 12 years’ experience

• Experience interfacing with national security sponsors such as the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense or with the Department of Energy

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Other Information

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Directorate: National Security Dir

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Chem & Biologic Signature Sci

Opening Date: 2018-10-18

Closing Date: 2019-04-15