The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) is seeking a Postdoctoral Scientist to support the Department of Laboratory Diagnostics and Monitoring (DLDM), U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research located in Silver Spring, MD. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to MHRP. The incumbent will be responsible for the development, validation, evaluation, and implementation of molecular assays for use in the detection and quantification of pathogens of US Military and National interest. The incumbent will evaluate new/novel assays, adapt existing assays, or design Laboratory Developed Assays (LDA) for detection and quantification of pathogens of clinical and clinical research significance. The incumbent will be expected to apply a wide variety of scientific principles and concepts to support clinical service delivery and clinical research initiatives. The incumbent will work within a multidisciplinary environment consisting of US Military, US Government, academic, and international collaborators.
- Design, develop, evaluate and implement molecular assays to include Real-Time, Digital Droplet PCR, next generation systems for detection and/or quantification of infectious pathogens in a variety of specimen matrices.
- Evaluate assays for acceptable use in clinical studies and clinical research operations; modify as required for optimal performance.
- Prepare validation plans and summaries in accordance with CAP/CLIA/FDA regulatory requirements to include preparation of all documents for the performance of the test system and associated reagents.
- Establish Standard Operation Procedures to include quality control procedures for all reagents used in the test system in accordance with regulatory standards (CAP/CLIA/FDA) for execution in a CAP accredited clinical laboratory conducting high complexity testing and in support of clinical research initiatives.
- Assess, validate and verify the performance of Laboratory Developed Assays (LDAs) to meet regulatory compliance for testing of human biological specimens that are used to inform patient management or end point analyses for clinical research studies.
- Optimize nucleic acid extraction, amplification and detection procedures as required to achieve desired sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility of assay performance.
- Perform DNA sequencing of amplified regions to troubleshoot performance issues.
- Process, interpret and perform quality control for data generated by test systems.
- Coordinate and conduct technology assistance for DLDM collaborators as required.
- Train clinical and clinical research personnel in execution of LDA and new/novel test systems.
- Coordinate implementation of new initiatives with senior leadership and professional staff within DLDM.
- Assist with intramural and extramural applications for programmatic funding.
- Prepare written reports, abstracts for submission to scientific conferences, manuscripts for submission to scientific journals, and patent applications.
- Participate in DLDM, MHRP, WRAIR meetings and seminars.
- Maintains a safe work environment.
- Complete all WRAIR safety, IA, HIPPA, CITI and other required training within specified time frames.
- Provides collaborative assistance to other Research Scientists that require the incumbent's expertise.
- Completes other projects as assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of molecular techniques used in clinical and clinical research laboratories; highly skilled in the design of primers/ probes, performance of real-time PCR assays; DNA sequence analysis in support of assay development and validation. Excellent oral and communication skills; ability to troubleshoot technical procedures; ability to work independently, and as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
Minimum Education/Training Requirements: PhD in molecular biology, virology or related scientific discipline to include principles of development/execution of quantitative molecular assays and clinical applications.
Minimum Experience: 1 to 2 years related research experience in virology and molecular biology.
Physical Capabilities: Job performance requires ability to move around and between several laboratory areas located at 503 Robert Grant Avenue, and 9100 Brookville Road, Building 508, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The individual must be able to work in a Biological Safety Cabinet for handling of infectious agents and performance of various assays and techniques. Fine motor coordination in manipulation of laboratory materials and attention to detail is essential. The individual must be able to sit for lengthy periods to include, but not limited to processing of specimens, performing technical analysis at instrumentation, and data analysis at the computer terminal.
Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: Will be assigned a technician to assist with validation procedures and will be required to work as a member of a team within the Technology Assessment and Leishmania Laboratories and high complexity CAP accredited clinical laboratory operations.
Work Environment: Laboratory environment; may require working evenings and weekends; may involve working with biohazardous materials.
HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.