Laboratory Research Specialist

Inside Higher Ed
Baltimore, MD
Feb 18, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
Analyst, Research
Full Time
Job Description The University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health has three openings for the position of Laboratory Research Specialist that will perform molecular biology based analysis for SARS-CoV-2 testing and sequencing. The Laboratory Research Specialists will perform molecular based assays, mainly qPCR and NGS, to detect and further characterize the infectious pathogens including SARS-CoV-2; interpret data/findings and report results; conduct quality control and quality assurance procedures to comply with state and federal clinical laboratory regulations (CLIA). These individuals will assist with outbreak logistics and testing as needed; assist with special projects; write procedures and compile data for assay verification and other reports. These positions will act as a full performance laboratory scientist in the Division of Molecular Biology. General duties include analyzing, interpreting, and reporting test results on clinical/surveillance specimens submitted to the State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL) including isolation/amplification/purification of pathogens by real-time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), amplicon preparation for sequencing Covid-19 specimens, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms (Illumina, MinION). The candidate will perform testing under CLIA regulations and by following quality assurance guidelines, responsible for troubleshooting instrument issues with manufacturers, etc. Other duties may include performing triage, analyses, interpreting, and reporting test results on laboratory specimens submitted to the SPHL for detection of infectious disease agents. Testing is performed as part of the Laboratories Administration's activities to promote, protect, and preserve the health and well-being of the people in Maryland from communicable/infectious diseases in conjunction with federal, state, and local public health testing programs/ initiatives. These positions are located at the State Lab Building on 1770 Ashland Ave. UMB offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to eligible employees. These contractual positions include 10 vacation days, 11 personal and holidays, 5 sick days; comprehensive health insurance and supplemental retirement options; and limited tuition remission for employees enrolled at UMB. Essential Functions: Receives and prepares clinical specimens for testing; performs molecular based techniques/analyses using automated instrumentation and/or manual procedures to identify and sequence infectious agents include Influenza and SARS-CoV-2. Interprets and reports the findings using specialized software and laboratory information management system (LIMS). Undertakes appropriate quality control and quality assurance measures to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the reported test results; complies with state and federal clinical laboratory testing guidelines/regulations. Operates and maintains major equipment/instrumentation including but not limited to qPCR instruments, sequencers, etc. and perform specialized molecular biology based techniques/ analyses. Trains others to use instrumentation and/or perform testing procedures. Monitors and requisitions materials and supplies necessary to perform required testing. Assists in the evaluation and implementation of new techniques/assays relevant to appropriate testing; compiles data and prepares validation documentation. Performs other duties as assigned. Qualifications Education: Bachelor s degree in the Biological Sciences from an accredited university with at least one course in biochemistry and one course in molecular biology and at least three years of laboratory diagnostics or research experience. All foreign degrees must be evaluated for US equivalency by a recognized US educational evaluation service as required by the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) regulations. Master s degree may be substituted for 2 years of the required experience; Doctor of Philosophy may be substituted for 3 years of the required experience. Experience: Three years of experience conducting molecular biology based laboratory testing in PCR and NGS. Preferred: Preference is given to applicants with experience testing clinical specimens and familiar with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) federal clinical laboratory guidelines. Experience in qPCR, sequencing, NGS platforms for infectious diseases in a BSL-2 laboratory is highly desirable. Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: Knowledge of molecular biology based laboratory testing technologies including qPCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Ability to troubleshoot molecular technologies/assays. Knowledge and assurance of compliance issues related to laboratory activities. Knowledge and experience for operating automated laboratory instruments/equipment. Ability to diagnose equipment/instrumentation malfunctions and implement necessary steps to correct problems with supervisor s guidance. Ability to understand and utilize scientific/medical terminology and research theory in both oral and written communications. Ability to perform independently with general supervision. Skill using statistical software for data analysis, as well as spreadsheet and database software applications. Ability to apply professional and technical skills to contribute ideas/suggestions for evaluation of testing procedures. Ability to network with, and present information to key groups and individuals. Ability to complete special projects in addition to routine testing responsibilities. Ability to work well in a group setting and help coworkers when needed for continuity in laboratory operations. Ability to train personnel to use instrumentation or perform molecular based technologies/assays. Hiring Range: Commensurate with education and experience. If accommodations are needed during any stage of the recruitment process, contact Staffing & Career Services at UMB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by law or policy. Job: Reg or CII Exempt Staff Shift: Day Job Organization: School of Medicine - Epidemiology and Public Health Job Posting: Jan 27, 2021 Unposting Date: Feb 26, 2021, 11:59:00 PM

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