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FDA Fellowship in Neuroimaging

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), in the Office of New of Drugs/ Office of Specialty Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The project in the Office of New Drugs / Office of Specialty Medicine is about Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging and its application to neurodegenerative diseases. We aim to conduct a literature search to ascertain the current methodology for quantifying PET imaging, particularly as it relates to tau and amyloid deposition in brains which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The project will contribute to the development of a protocol to assess the quality of these quantification procedures. Completion of this project may lead to a publication or the development of regulatory guidance.  

Under the guidance of the mentor, the participant will learn the principles of PET imaging and its application to amyloid PET imaging and learn aspects of the regulatory basis for FDA drug approvals. The participant will also learn quantitative methodologies related to PET amyloid imaging of the brain. 

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and FDA. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of FDA contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at FDA in the Silver Spring, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of FDA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at FDA. OPM can complete a background investigation only for individuals, including non-US Citizens, who have resided in the US for a total of three of the past five years.

FDA requires ORISE participants to read and sign their FDA Education and Training Agreement within 30 days of his/her start date, setting forth the conditions and expectations for his/her educational appointment at the agency. This agreement covers such topics as the following:
  • Non-employee nature of the ORISE appointment;
  • Prohibition on ORISE Fellows performing inherently governmental functions;
  • Obligation of ORISE Fellows to convey all necessary rights to the FDA regarding intellectual property conceived or first reduced to practice during their fellowship;
  • The fact that research materials and laboratory notebooks are the property of the FDA;
  • ORISE fellow’s obligation to protect and not to further disclose or use non-public information.

The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) performs an essential public health task by making sure that safe and effective drugs are available to improve the health of people in the United States. As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CDER regulates over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including biological therapeutics and generic drugs. This research covers more than just medicines.