Dr. Amanda Black leads an extensive range of scientific and administrative activities that includes supervision of the Division’s vast set of biological specimens. As Associate Director for Biological Resources, she guides a team that collects, annotates, processes, and analyzes more than 12 million biospecimens—the largest intramural biospecimen collection at the NIH. Overseeing the Division’s biospecimen pipeline, which includes specialist vendors and DCEG-dedicated laboratories, she identifies success metrics, assesses progress, and resolves system bottlenecks.
Dr. Black’s work with biospecimens extends to reporting, as she manages an inventory system that records the entire lifecycle of every specimen. In 2020, she earned the DCEG Distinguished Scientific Service Award for centralizing management of this vital system, an effort that improved data transparency and usability. Dr. Black has also implemented valuable solutions to ensure storage integrity, facilitate access to specimens, and improve efficiency across the biospecimen workflow cycle. She serves as liaison for the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, which includes the Central Repository, Bioprocessing and Trial Logistics, Cancer Genomic Research (CGR) Lab, and CGR’s Molecular and Digital Pathology Lab. As a DCEG representative to the NCI Repository Quality Board, she directs efforts to maximize efficiencies of existing facilities and governs plans for future automated storage.
Beyond biological resources, Dr. Black plays a leadership role in planning, developing, and conducting high-priority scientific programs, including collaborations like the Connect study. She also administers large, division-wide contracts that facilitate key DCEG studies.
Dr. Black received her undergraduate degree in biomedical science (2001), master’s in medical laboratory science (2002), and Ph.D. in epidemiology and public health (2005) from Queen’s University, Belfast, U.K. In 2006, Dr. Black was selected for the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship. During her fellowship, Dr. Black was awarded a master’s in public health (2008) by the University of Manchester, U.K. In 2009, she joined DCEG as a staff scientist, and she was appointed as an Associate Director in 2017.