The National Cancer Institute (NCI), Rockville, MD, USA

Job Description:

Surveillance Research Program Seeks Candidates for Pathologist


The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services, is conducting a national search for a senior scientist to work within the Surveillance Research Program (SRP). SRP supports population-based cancer research to provide a quantitative portrait of cancer in the US population and to understand the factors influencing the cancer burden in specific populations. A premier program in SRP is the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, which collects and manages high-quality data from cancer registries in specific geographic areas covering 30 percent of the US population. The primary mission of the SEER registry is to support research on cancer etiology, prevention, treatment, and control.  The Surveillance Informatics Branch (SIB) supports informatics tools for the next generation of cancer surveillance systems. It also coordinates and supports research on informatics technology to optimize and enhance the acquisition, storage, retrieval, de-identification, analyses, reporting, and visualization of cancer surveillance systems, in particular of the Results SEER Program.  SRP has initiated pilot studies to evaluate a variety of Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools for information extraction from pathology reports. These pilots are part of broader goals to enhance cancer surveillance through automated or facilitated case abstraction, to conduct large-scale quality assessments of SEER data, and to acquire more detailed diagnosis, treatment and outcomes data for research than what is currently collected by cancer registries.

Position Description

The pathologist will function as an integral member of the Natural Language Processing working group. He/she will work with staff on projects related to the mission of SRP, particularly as that mission relates to projects on pathology and pathology informatics. Day-to-day activities of this full-time position include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide review and recommended edits of metadata (e.g., field names, drop down values, annotation guidelines) for the manual and automated annotation of data elements from pathology reports in support of the SEER clinical data processing pipeline.
  • Provide pathology expertise to NLP engineers for adjudication of discrepancies in annotation of reports and for face validation of rules that features or make conclusions about text in pathology reports. This deliverable may include providing expertise related to computing recurrence/progression from information in pathology reports.
  • Participation and provision of expertise in selected pathology conference calls for SEER pathology informatics efforts (e.g., virtual tissue repository, data linkages for biomarkers)


Candidates for the position should have a PhD, MD and/or equivalent level of training or experience in areas such as pathology, oncology, or informatics. Substantial career experience in cancer registration or cancer surveillance is preferred. Experience in methods for assessing data quality from nontraditional data sources, such as secondary data linkages, and/or innovative methods that will enhance the efficiency, depth and scope of the surveillance data collected by the SEER registries is also desired.

All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation. The Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and NCI are Equal Opportunity Employers.



Instructions to Applicants:

A letter of interest and vitae may be submitted immediately to Trish Murphy, MS, SRP, DCCPS, 9609 Medical Center Drive Room 4E516, Rockville, MD 20850,, or by fax (240) 276-7908.