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Distinguished R&D Staff Member - Medical Radioisotopes

Date: Jan 16, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4562 




Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is seeking candidates for a strategic position that will provide scientific leadership and innovation to expand research and development (R&D) on the production and application of radioisotopes for medicine and associated applications in biology, industry, and discovery science. 

This senior scientific leader will work in close collaboration with researchers, sponsors, program and line managers across ORNL to build visionary, far-reaching research programs.  This innovative leader will have demonstrated expertise and national/international impact in fields such as radiochemistry, biochemistry, and biological or industrial applications of radioisotopes.

The position will reside within the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD), which is a part of the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate at ORNL. RSTD is a world leader in isotope production, and provides leadership in actinide science, delivers new innovations in isotope production technology, and advances the field of radiochemical processing methods to provide radioisotopes for science, medicine, industry, and security.

ORNL has nuclear, radiological, and scientific facilities and highly specialized equipment that serve as unique resources for radioisotope R&D. These resources include the High Flux Isotope Reactor (world’s highest neutron flux reactor;, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center ( and other hot cell facilities which are used to produce an array of radioisotopes (e.g. Cf-252, Pu-238, Ni-63, Ac-227) for industrial and medical applications and scientific discovery (e.g., super-heavy elements).  ORNL also offers access to state-of-the-art user facilities such as the Center for Nanophase Material Sciences, and the Spallation Neutron Source, and is home to world class super-computing capabilities, i.e., Summit and Frontier.  These internationally renowned facilities, combined with ORNL’s high-caliber, professional, and highly engaged work force create a research environment with unmatched potential for impact and innovation.

The successful candidate will be an individual motivated and capable of forging ties across organizations, both internal and external to ORNL, and be able to build multi-disciplinary teams with the vision and motivation to drive transformational impacts in nuclear medicine and radiotherapeutics.


Major Duties / Responsibilities


  • Provide scientific leadership in radioisotope production and applications science through the formation of collaborative cross disciplinary teams internal and external to ORNL, development of research proposals, and conduct of world-class research that is published in peer reviewed journals
  • Specific science and technology areas of interest include, but are not limited to, actinide/lanthanide separations, reactor target development for isotope production, and biomedical applications of radioisotopes
  • Formulate and implement novel ideas and impactful approaches that will foster the growth of integrated approaches to the radioisotope R&D currently ongoing within ORNL and the national laboratory system
  • Initiate and conduct research supporting the medical and biological application of radioisotopes, serving as a critical strategic interface between radioisotope production and emerging R&D associated with the application of isotopes to treat disease, advance understanding of radiation effects, and the development of biologically-based radiation sensors
  • Advance R&D for the production and purification of heavy actinides and stimulate ideas for their use in research and industrial applications
  • Interact effectively across organization structures with staff scientists and engineers at all levels and be an effective representative of ORNL and their research to sponsors and the professional community
  • Serve as a role model for integrity and safety in the conduct of research, mentoring of early career staff, and engagement with scientific and professional societies




  • The position requires a PhD in the scientific and engineering disciplines with more than ten years of combined experience in areas such as radiochemistry, biochemistry, biological or industrial applications of radioisotopes, and/or the chemistry of the actinides and heavy elements
  • Practical laboratory and engineering experience related to processing of radioactive materials is required
  • Candidates must be recognized leaders in their fields with an extensive publication record, excellent problem-solving skills, and a proven track record in program development, and team building
  • Excellent communication skills are required in both verbal and written forums to enable effective interaction with peers, program managers, and sponsors


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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville