Molecular Lead
Fort Detrick, MD 
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Posted 1 day ago
Job Description
Molecular Lead
LocationMD - Fort Detrick
Job Code3849
# of openings1

The Alaka`ina Foundation Family of Companies (FOCs) is comprised of industry-recognized government service firms designated as Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO)-owned and 8(a) certified businesses. The Family of Companies (FOCs) includes Ke`aki Technologies, Laulima Government Solutions, and Kupono Government Services. Alaka`ina Foundation activities under the 501(c)3 principally benefit the youth of Hawaii through charitable efforts which includes providing innovative educational programs that combine leadership, science & technology, and environmental stewardship.

Laulima Government Solutions is looking for a qualified Molecular Lead to provide Scientific Support at the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) high containment facility.

Duties Include:

  • Work in major molecular research areas:
    • Structure and function of the mucosal immune system in the gastrointestinal system
    • Basic properties of neutrophils, nave and memory T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells
    • Genetic and epigenetic regulation of chemokine receptor expression
    • Chemokines as mediators in antimicrobial host defense, inflammation, and cancer
    • Primary immunodeficiency disease
  • Virology assays to include but not limited to titration by TCID50 and plaque assays
  • DNA/RNA extraction, purification, quantification, transcription, replication, amplification, and mutagenesis, PCR/real-time PCR, microarray
  • Analysis of viral load in blood and tissue samples using quantitative real time PCR (one-step and two-step assays)
  • QC analysis of viral samples including endotoxin, mycoplasma, and sterility testing.
  • Implement assays per well-documented standards and contribute to the development of standard methods
  • Effectively manage tasks and can rapidly adjust to changing experimental priorities
  • Routinely work in high containment laboratories
  • Support foreign research activities; requires 3-4 week deployments to foreign locations on a rotational basis
  • General lab safety, organization, and maintenance
  • Maintain freezer and reagent inventories, common lab stocks, and lab equipment
  • Prepare packages for shipment
  • Maintain PCR primer, probe, and standards inventories
  • Prepare analyzed data
  • Participate in general laboratory housekeeping, to include biohazard waste management
  • Manage and provide guidance to scientific staff of over 50 people.
  • Oversee science operations, coordinate to ensure compliance with all regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Facilitate and coordinate the safe and efficient conduct of science in a BSL4 environment.
  • Serve as primary interface with the government scientific leadership, and serve as liaison between the scientific staff and the administrative and veterinary contractor sections to ensure an efficient operation and successful completion of the scientific mission.
  • Define assigned research program objectives to maintain the appropriate focus and manage resources to assure their most efficient distribution and utilization.
  • Prioritize various elements of research projects and coordinate studies between the study managers and the core service groups which include pathology, clinical laboratory, cell culture, aerobiology, imaging, and laboratory animal medicine.
  • Emphasize safety to ensure a safe working environment
  • Follow all high containment policies, procedures, and regulations.
  • Coordinate/Implement assigned/approved projects as directed.
  • Coordinate research work and laboratory activities with other science and technical staff.
  • Develop team goals and objectives and provide support to achieve those goals and objectives.
  • Document team accomplishments as they relate to strategic goals and contract performance objectives.
  • Prepare periodic reports for management, as necessary or requested, to track performance objective accomplishment.
  • Identify efficiencies and cost savings where appropriate.
  • Establish and monitor project supply costs and/or budgets to include services, equipment, materials, supplies, and labor as requested by management.
  • Provide direction and guidance to scientific staff as well as core service groups which includes pathology, clinical laboratory, cell culture, aerobiology, imaging, and Comparative Medicine.
  • Supervise, coordinate, and manage execution of in vitro and in vivo studies to meet government needs to develop medical countermeasures to high-risk infectious disease agents approved by the government
  • Review methodologies and SOPs, as required, to meet government project goals.
  • Inform/advise government leadership on novel scientific, policy, or political developments and suggest novel research directions or solutions to identified problems.
  • Participate in a wide range of research facilitation, laboratory studies, analyses, analytic and computational models, simulations, and other technical and analytical support.
  • Engage in typical studies that will entail exposure of laboratory rodents or non-human primates to microbial agents by appropriate routes (e.g. intravenous, intramuscular, or via aerosol) to elucidate an acute disease process or evaluate a therapeutic intervention.
  • Engage in longer term studies that will include evaluation of candidate vaccines for immunogenicity and protective efficacy as well as evaluation of sequelae following recovery from acute disease. The isolation and characterization of previously unknown microbial agents may also be required.
  • Efficiently plan, execute, and report scientific activities conducted in accordance with directives.
  • Generate master and working stocks of virus and other microbial agents that are well documented and characterized.
  • Generate study plans using approved templates and SharePoint processes.
  • Generate high quality interim and final study reports and develop them for timely publication in peer reviewed journals.
  • Maintain the animal research program in molecular studies.
  • Develop and refine master planning process schedule integration to efficiently implement multiple simultaneous studies and advise leadership of potential choke points.
  • Utilize ROMS for development of workflow and capture of data and provide constructive feedback to Information Management specialists to allow for refinement of the system.
  • Actively participate in practices/processes to enhance data quality and integrity, including periodic review of study execution to identify gaps and refine procedures.
  • Develop and implement training and cross-training programs to assure continuity of operations and scientific core activities.
  • Develop and revise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and methods for laboratory operations.
  • Comply with the NIH Division of Occupational Health and Safety requirement for satisfactory completion of the Biosurety program and Select Agent program.
  • Play a role in ensuring that the Biosurety program promotes a security conscious culture.
  • Comply with the physical security, protection of the division's property, protection of information, cyber security, agent protection, control and accountability, safe disposal and waste handling, and personal security guidelines set forth by the division's Biosurety program.
  • Generate high quality interim and final study reports and develop them for timely publication in peer reviewed journals.
  • Develop and revise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and methods for laboratory operations.
  • Support foreign research activities; requires 3-4 week deployments to foreign locations on a rotational basis

Degree/Education/Certification Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Science or higher degree. Biology and/or Chemistry preffered
  • Ability to work in BSL-4 setting

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • The candidate must be willing to deploy overseas for short term assignments
  • Ability to obtain/maintain DoJ Security Risk Assessment (SRA) approval.
  • Must be willing to be immunized with licensed and FDA approved Investigational New Drugs (IND) recommended for persons at risk to occupational exposure of biological agents
  • Must be willing to participate in periodic drug screening.
  • Minimum of 2 years of applicable experience
  • Previous laboratory experience including basic understanding of design, optimization and implementation of quantitative PCR assays
  • Must be willing to work in a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) and/or 3 (BSL3) and/or 4 (BSL 4) environment and able to wear appropriate respiratory protection. The candidate will be required to work in BSL4 containment environment and will be required to pass physical exams and participate in vaccination programs.
  • Must be willing to be immunized with licensed and FDA approved Investigational New Drugs (IND) recommended for persons at risk to occupational exposure of biological agents.
  • Must demonstrate a willingness to participate in deployment rotations.
  • Individual must be able to meet the requirements for Public Trust Level 5b. For this level, candidates must complete and pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) with fingerprinting, and a Minimum Background Investigation (MBI).
  • Must have the ability to obtain/maintain certification in Chemical Personnel Reliability Program and/or Biological Personnel Reliability Program.
  • Must have the ability to obtain/maintain CDC Select Agent Program approval.
  • Willingness to work under BSL-3 - BSL-4 conditions. Able to wear respiratory protection.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Desired: PhD in molecular biology or related science with extensive experience in infectious disease research.
  • 8-10 years of experience working in a BSL-3/4 laboratory.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in managing 30+ personnel in a laboratory setting required.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in project management.
  • Previous field work experience.
  • Computer Skills:
    • Proficiency in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
    • Proficiency in ABI 7500 Dx Real Time PCR Acquisition and Analysis software
    • Proficiency in Primer/Probe design software such as Primer Express or Seqbuilder.
    • Experience in preparing graphs and figures for publication using Excel and Graphpad Prism.
    • Basic understanding of laboratory information management systems (LIMS)
  • Experience with viral Select Agents is highly desired
  • Experience in BSL-3 or BSL-4 containment
  • Good Laboratory Practice experience is preferred.
  • Experience in the development, evaluation, verification, and validation of molecular diagnostic assays.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, design experiments and protocols, and analyze data.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking skills/problem solving/good reasoning skills
  • Demonstrated experience preparing and reviewing scientific presentations and manuscripts.
  • Expected to participate in any required vaccination programs.
  • Excellent customer relations and interpersonal skills required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and organizational skills.
  • Knowledge of Imaging Modalities to include: MRI, PET, SPECT and X-Ray
  • Demonstrate interpersonal, oral and written communication, and organizational skills,
  • Demonstrate ability to ability to work independently, design experiments, and analyze data
  • Familiarity with hospital tools such as endoscopy, cardiac telemetry monitors, and Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Single Positron Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Ultrasonography imaging to systematically evaluate the pathogenic processes and clinical course of disease in animal models exposed to microbes.

Clearance:

  • Individual must be able to meet the requirements for Public Trust Level 5b. For this level, candidates must complete and pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) with fingerprinting, and a Minimum Background Investigation (MBI).

Laulima Government Solutions LLC is a fast growing government service provider. Employees enjoy competitive salaries; a 401K plan with company match; medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage; tuition reimbursement; paid vacation and sick time; and 10 paid holidays. Laulima Government Solutions is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

For additional information on Laulima Government Solutions, LLC, please visit .

We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer of individuals with disabilities and veterans. We are proud to state that we do not discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status. If you are a person with a disability and you need an accommodation during the application process, please click to request an accommodation. We E-Verify all employees.

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Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
2+ years
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