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Distinguished Staff Scientist - Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Development and Advancement

Oak Ridge, Tennessee
To be discussed at later date
Closing date
May 15, 2024

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Field of specialization
Nuclear / Radiochemical, Pharmaceutical
Work Function
Research-Applied, Research-Basic
Job Type
Full time

Position Overview:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites applications for a distinguished staff scientist position as part of the University of Tennessee (UT) Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (ORII) Convergent Research Initiative. This initiative focuses on the Development and Advancement of Radiopharmaceutical Therapies, aiming to harness interdisciplinary expertise and collaborative partnerships to address critical challenges in the field. The successful candidate will lead innovative research efforts at the intersection of radiochemistry, chemistry, nuclear medicine, biomedical and nuclear engineering to advance the development and translation of radiopharmaceutical therapies for clinical applications in partnership with collaborating institutions.

Key Responsibilities:


The ideal candidate(s) will be engaged in one or more aspects of radiopharmaceutical therapy development including; 1) the use of advanced targetry and cross-section analysis to improve reactor-based radionuclide production, 2) separations chemistry and advanced automation for radionuclide processing, 3) chelator design for radionuclide coordination and attachment to targeting vectors, with potential cross-over to advance radiochemical separations, 4) development of nanotechnology approaches for radionuclide encapsulation and targeted delivery, 5) advances in radiobiology and dosimetry. An understanding of in silico design, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence approaches are also encouraged. 

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: 

Collaborate with researchers from diverse disciplines within ORNL, UT, and external partners to leverage expertise in chemistry, nuclear medicine, radiobiology, medical physics, and clinical oncology to advance radiopharmaceutical therapy development.

Innovative Research: 

Drive innovation in radionuclide production to lead advances in the next important radionuclide for therapeutic, diagnostic and theranostic applications. Develop new approaches to radiopharmaceutical design, synthesis, characterization, and in vitro evaluation, with a focus on improving therapeutic efficacy, targeting specificity, and minimizing off-target effects.

Translation and Clinical Integration: 

Work closely with university and clinical partners to facilitate the translation of promising radiopharmaceutical therapies from preclinical studies to clinical trials, with a focus on regulatory compliance, safety, and efficacy assessments.

Technology Development: 

Contribute to the development of novel radiochemistry and radiobiology platforms, imaging techniques, and therapeutic delivery systems to enable the advancement of radiopharmaceutical therapy research and clinical applications.

Grant Writing and Fundraising: 

Proactively seek external funding opportunities and secure research grants, contracts, and philanthropic support to sustain and expand research activities in radiopharmaceutical therapy development.

Publication and Dissemination: 

Publish research findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, present at scientific conferences, and engage in outreach activities to disseminate research outcomes and raise the profile of ORNL, UT, and ORII in the field of radiopharmaceutical therapy.

Mentorship and Training: 

Mentor graduate students, and interns, to provide guidance, support, and professional development opportunities to build a strong and diverse research team.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering, radiation oncology, or a related field.
  • A distinguished record of research accomplishments in radiopharmaceutical therapy development, demonstrated by a strong publication record, successful grant funding, and impactful contributions to the field.
  • Expertise in radiochemistry, radiobiology, molecular imaging, therapeutic radionuclide production, and/or targeted drug delivery, with a focus on the development and optimization of radiopharmaceutical therapies.
  • Strong leadership skills, with a proven ability to lead interdisciplinary research teams, foster collaborative partnerships, and drive innovation in radiopharmaceutical therapy development.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to effectively communicate complex scientific concepts to diverse audiences and engage with clinical partners and stakeholders.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, mentorship, and professional activities.

Application Procedure:

Interested candidates should submit a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and leadership philosophy, and contact information for three references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee, and ORII:

ORNL, in collaboration with the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (ORII), is committed to advancing scientific discovery and technological innovation in the field of radiopharmaceutical therapy. ORNL is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the United States, conducting basic and applied research to address critical challenges in energy, environment, national security, and healthcare. The University of Tennessee is a premier public research institution dedicated to excellence in education, research, and outreach. ORII fosters convergent research initiatives that bring together expertise from academia, industry, and national laboratories to address complex societal challenges.

Special Requirements:

Letters of Recommendation:

Three references are required.

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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