The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) is seeking an Associate Director, Molecular Diagnostics and Monitoring for the HIV Research Program (MHRP) located in Kericho, Kenya. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to MHRP.
Incumbent conducts, directs, and validates high complexity molecular diagnostics and clinical and therapeutic monitoring of HIV and related diseases in support of the Clinical Research Center, Kericho Field Station in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute and USMARD-K. The incumbent will lead the validation, implementation, and execution of drug resistance (DR) genotype, viral load, and early infant diagnostic assays meeting all College of American Pathology (CAP) requirements in support of clinical research, vaccine and therapeutic trials, and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiatives. In particular, the incumbent will be required to perform, train and supervise technologists in HIV resistance genotype testing and quantitative/ qualitative nucleic acid assays. The incumbent will ensure that all test results are reviewed for quality, prior to reporting and for analysis. The incumbent will analyze all sequences generated for subtype assignment, transmission trees, and resistance distribution patterns associated with drug regiments for preparation of reports and manuscripts.
- Lead the validation, implementation, and execution of drug resistance (DR) genotype, viral load, and early infant diagnostic assays meeting all College of American Pathology (CAP) requirements in support of clinical research, vaccine and therapeutic trials, and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiatives.
- Set up and establish a HIV-1 Resistance Genotyping laboratory to meet with execution procedures (unidirectional work flow and separated areas to handle reagents, specimens, PCR and post PCR) as required for execution of PCR assays.
- Develop QA/QC SOPs for execution of nucleic acid assays.
- Establish methods for storage of HIV-1 sequence data, and other pathogen sequence data (TB) as appropriate, viral load results, and specimen demographic information for analysis.
- Maintain all records according to CAP regulatory requirements.
- Analyze sequences using software programs such as: DNASTAR, Sequencher, MEGA 5.1, REGA, Stanford Database, Jumping Profile HMM, NIH HIV Databases or other sequence analysis packages.
- Demonstrate competence in handling HIV and other infections disease specimens in BSL-2 laboratory.
- Demonstrate competence in the extraction of DNA and RNA from plasma/serum/dried blood spot and cells.
- Demonstrate competence in the execution of RT-PCR and PCR amplification reactions to include analysis and performance of all aspects of nucleic acid sequence, clinical and therapeutic monitoring technologies.
- Lead in the preparation of laboratory reagents, buffers, primer stocks, and sequencing consumable reagents.
- Responsible for oversight of analysis of run data prior to release for clinical reporting.
- Responsible for QA/QC of all nucleic acid assays for Kericho Field Station CAP Laboratory.
- Other duties as assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Excellent molecular biology and general laboratory skills, Experience working in BSL-2 laboratory with infectious material. Experience with genotyping and sequencing, specifically with HIVDR assays. Experience with qualitative and quantitative nucleic acid assays, including but, not limited to, clinical monitoring (viral load) and early infant diagnostic assays. Ability to work independently and train staff in molecular biological techniques. Ability to establish and perform assays under clinical laboratory regulations, ie: CAP
Minimum Education/Training Requirements: PhD in molecular biology or related science field and meet CAP requirements for and registration with the relevant professional body e.g., Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board.
Minimum Experience: 2 - 4 years knowledge and direct bench experience in molecular biology and sequencing techniques such as RNA and DNA extractions, RT-PCR and PCR, electrophoresis, DNA sequencing and analysis. A minimum of 3 years experience in clinical laboratory having a clinical research support element. Prefer direct bench experience in HIV-1 Resistance Genotype, viral load, early infant diagnostic testing, and experience in the analysis of sequence data. Familiar with clinical laboratory QA/QC for molecular biology and CAP regulations for high complexity molecular testing.
Physical Capabilities: Job performance requires movement around and between several laboratory areas and the precise manipulation of small volumes of reagent. Individual must be able to work in a Biological Safety hood for the handling of infectious agents and PCR setup. Fine motor coordination and manipulation of laboratory materials is essential. Long periods of sitting and standing may be required in processing of specimens. Must be able to sit at computer for preparation of SOPs, data review, sequence analysis and report preparation.
Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: The incumbent will be under the supervision of the Laboratory Director of the Kericho Field Station laboratory.
Work Environment: The incumbent will work from Clinical Diagnostics Laboratory of the Clinical Research Centre (USAMRD-K/KEMRI) Kericho Field Station. The incumbent will handle biohazardous materials, chemicals and infected patient specimens. Hours and duty location may be modified based on position requirements.
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (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, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.
Please apply online at careers.hjf.org click "Advanced Search" and enter job number 210925 in the Job Opening ID box.