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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Authentication of Cell Lines Used for Research and Healthcare Products


Material Measurement Laboratory, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division

RO# Location
50.64.41.B7209 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Butler, John M. john.butler@nist.gov 301.975.4049
Cole, Kenneth D. kenneth.cole@nist.gov 301.975.2169


Cell culture is an essential technique, widely used in research and the biopharmaceutical industry. Advances in biology and health care depend on the reliable measurements and safe products produced from a large number of cell lines maintained in laboratories and biological repositories. New generations of biopharmaceuticals are produced from large-scale cell culture in bioreactors. Reports have indicated that an alarming number of cell lines are misidentified or contaminated. We will work with representatives of biological repositories, research laboratories, government agencies, and biopharmaceutical companies to prioritize important cell lines to initially focus on. DNA sequence data rapidly becoming available from virtually all organisms that provide the means to identity different species and individual cell lines. The technical challenges will be to develop genotyping assays to reliably and rapidly identify the species and authenticate cell lines. Measurements should be able to identity the predominant cell lines as well as any contaminants (such as other mammalian cells, viruses, and bacteria) present in the sample. Because of the large biological diversity of cells grown in culture, this is a significant technical challenge. Standard methods for data collection, storage, and matching will need to be developed for the most important cell authentication applications. An Internet data base will be made available in a timely manner to members of the research and industrial communities in order to authenticate cell lines.


Authentication; Biopharmaceuticals; Cell culture; Data base; Diversity; DNA; Genotyping;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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