Location: Seattle, Washington
Type: Full Time
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The Department of Global Health was established in 2007, bridging the schools of Medicine and Public Health, with a mandate to harness the expertise and interdisciplinary power of all UW schools and colleges. Our mission is to improve health for all through research, education, training, and service; to understand and address the causes of disease and health inequities at multiple levels; and to collaborate with partners to develop and sustain locally-led, quality health systems, programs and policies. Driven by tremendous interest among both students and faculty, the Department has grown explosively to more than 400 graduate students and hundreds more undergraduates. We have more than 380 faculty and 1,000 staff working on projects across 130 countries with our deepest ties in United States, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, Mozambique, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua.
At the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. The Department recognizes that disparities in health around the globe stem from inequity. The Department encourages and supports the multiple identities of staff, faculty and students including, but not limited to, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, culture, spiritual practice, geography, mental and physical disability and age. The Department strives to become a local, national, and international leader in developing and maintaining increased representation and recognition of each of these dimensions of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students.
The UW Department of Global Health Neisseria Reference Laboratory, located at the Ninth and Jefferson Building on the Harborview Campus, has an outstanding opportunity for a Research Scientist Assistant to join their team.
The individual in this position will provide support for the Neisseria Reference Laboratory collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington State Public Health Laboratory, WA DOH, and STD Clinics in US cities, to monitor Neisseria gonorrhoeae antimicrobial susceptibility trends in the United States; and to provide quality-assured data to inform CDC’s treatment recommendations for gonorrhea. The successful candidate will be highly responsible, meticulous, and very organized. Candidates should have acquired basic microbiology skills and should be interested in spending much of their time preparing antimicrobial-containing culture media for susceptibility testing and be willing to learn and demonstrate competency in performing Neisseria gonorrhoeae antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Additionally, the candidate should be interested in learning molecular techniques for detection of STI pathogens and resistance determinants. Evidence of outstanding scholarship in microbiology and other science courses as an undergraduate is highly desirable.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Surveillance and molecular characterization of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria (80%)
Conduct bacterial culture including Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) by Etest and agar dilution methods using established protocols.
Perform species confirmatory tests for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Staphylococcus aureus, commensal Neisseria spp., and other Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria
Purification of high molecular weight genomic DNA for Next Generation Sequencing
PCR and sequencing of PCR products for strain subtyping and characterization of antibiotic resistance determinants
Molecular detection of STI pathogens using the fully automated Hologic Panther System
Participate in diagnostic test validation and optimization of new test methods
Participate in and support quality assessment and continuous laboratory improvement activities
Perform work accurately, precisely and meets test completion deadlines.
Accommodates schedule changes to cooperatively accomplish required daily work.
Lab Maintenance/General (10%)
General laboratory maintenance including cleaning of glassware, temperature logs/charts of laboratory equipment, preparing reagents and chemical solutions, freezer organization and inventory of isolates, shipment of specimens.
Participate in lab meetings and network with coworkers and collaborators
Perform related duties as assigned.
Data documentation, verification and analysis (10%)
Maintain and complete accurate, legible laboratory records. Thoroughly documents any protocol modifications.
Data processing and analysis using excel and bioinformatics software.
Contribute data for use in publications or conference presentations.
Bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or related field plus one year of working experience in microbiology/molecular biology related field.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
The sponsor requires that the successful candidate must be willing to train for 3-6 weeks on antimicrobial susceptibility testing; demonstrate proficiency by testing panels of blind isolates (2 times/year) and participate in 6 other proficiency testing events for molecular testing performed in the laboratory; and support ongoing rigorous quality assessment and continuous laboratory improvement activities.
Knowledge of clinical microbiology, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, PCR, microscopy, and diagnostic testing.
Experience in antimicrobial susceptibility testing including Kirby Bauer, Etest, and Agar Dilution.
Experience in performing molecular testing and using automated molecular platforms.
Excellent microbiology and molecular biology laboratory skills.
Depth of expertise in Gram-stain, microscopy, qPCR and nucleic acid amplification testing, cell culture and microscopy.
Experience performing APTIMA nucleic acid amplification test.
Experience with PCR testing methods and sequencing technologies.
Good laboratory practice (GLP) skills.
Experience working in a clinical or research environment.
Bacteriology and molecular biology research experience.
Research experience with real-time PCR and traditional PCR techniques.
Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.
Demonstrated ability to work independently and to proactively communicate with supervisor and collaborators regarding research progress and lab management.
High degree of organization and meticulousness.
Ability to work well with other laboratory staff.
Previous experience in UW or academic settings.
Professional, flexible, and hardworking with a strong attention to detail and ability to organize and maintain accurate records.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
This position will have critical/essential staff designation and as such will be required to report to work when scheduled despite inclement weather.
This position requires flexibility in the work hours, including extension into the evening when processing of specimens and research deadlines mandate, and on occasion requires working outside of the standard work week.
This position requires working with collaborators located at different UW campuses in Seattle.
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.