Clinical Research Associate (WRAIR-Entomology Branch)
GDIT is seeking a Clinical Research Associate to support the research initiatives of the WRAIR's Entomology Branch. Specific tasks include:
- Develop and maintain the department’s ability to produce infectious pathogens such as (but not limited to) human and rodent malaria, leishmania, dengue virus, and Zika virus. All tasks apply to production of any such pathogen, most of which are propagated concurrently within the lab.
- Continually maintain parasite life cycle in animal models and mosquitoes or sandflies, to include multiple parasite species and strains maintained concurrently, resulting in hundreds of plates, flasks, and infected animals needing attention each day, depending on demand. Maintaining these cultures might require working weekends based on the number of cultures in process and external requests. The contractor will endeavor to improve efficiency, capability or capacity of new and existing culture methods and will keep abreast of current and emerging literature concerning parasite/viral propagation and culture.
- Prepare vectors for infectious feeds and infect vectors using appropriate feeding devices, direct animal feeds, or injection methods. Feedings/injections will occur multiple times a week, sometimes several times a day, and sometimes on weekends, depending on demand. The contractor shall communicate with supervisors and other personnel to determine demand and adjust production and schedule accordingly.
- Cultivate and continually maintain parasites, viruses, etc. in tissue culture and maintain laboratory records of parasite/virus growth and differentiation. The contractor will monitor parasite/virus development in infected vectors and in vivo animal infections by dissection and microscopic examination or molecular techniques, as appropriate, and maintain laboratory records of parasite/viral development and propagation.
- Provide a final project record and report which shall include written reports, data summaries, troubleshootedand maintained databases, published research findings in peer-reviewed journals, and presented research findings at scientific meetings and conferences.
- Be familiar with all cell culture, microbiological, molecular and other applicable techniques and methodology, Biological Safety Level 2 safety procedures, use of laboratory personal protective equipment, be familiar with WRAIR safety standard operating procedures (SOP), and attend WRAIR annual safety courses and other training, as offered.
- Independently plan, execute and analyze basic research studies on the in vitro and in vivo cultivation of all parasite stages, viral propagation, vector-pathogen interactions, transmission biology and other applicable avenues of scientific investigation.
- Assist in the preparation of infected vectors and execution of challenges for CHMI clinical trials according to protocol, schedule, and applicable regulatory governance.
- Assist with the preparation and stewardship of laboratory reagents, methodology, equipment, biological materials and other materials pertaining to experiment execution and laboratory cleanliness and safety.
- Work collaboratively to achieve the above. May require working evenings and weekends
- 2-5 years of related experience in scientific research, analysis and/or engineering.
- Knowledge of developing and conducting experiments involving high complexity assays.
- Understanding of microscopic examination of specimens, preparation of laboratory reagents, sterile techniques, and basic tissue culture techniques.