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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar - Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (2 positions)


Position Overview


School / Campus / College: School of Public Health

Organization: Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar - Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (2 positions)


Position Details


Position Description

Dr. Karen Levy's research group in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences housed in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington is seeking two Postdoctoral Scholars to join our group. Preferred start date is Summer or Fall 2020. The positions will be available for 1-2 years, and will be located in Seattle, WA. 

Our group carries out research on the ecology and epidemiology of enteric diseases.  We use environmental microbiology and environmental epidemiology methods to study water quality, food safety, and the impact of climate and land use change on the transmission of diarrheal diseases. More information about our group can be found at http://www.klevyresearch.org. The lab moved from Emory University to the University of Washington in June 2020.

Project Description

The postdoctoral scholars will work on the NIH-funded project, ‘’Enteropatogenos, Crecimiento, Microbioma, y Diarrea” (ECoMiD). ECoMiD is a community-based cohort study that examines interactions between the gut microbiome, enteropathogens, illness, and child health in infants along an urban-rural gradient in northern coastal Ecuador.  The project follows infants for the first two-years of life and examines how water quality, diet, animal exposure, and other conditions impact enteric infections, changes in the gut microbiome, and child health outcomes. Stool samples are collected from ECoMiD participants every three months and weekly between 6 and 12-months of age in order to detect enteropathogens and characterize the gut microbiome. Recruitment of participants is ongoing, with >100 mother-child dyads enrolled to date. The project is funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID; R01AI137679), and is a collaboration between University of Washington (Dr. Karen Levy), University of Michigan (Drs. Joseph Eisenberg, Gwenyth Lee, & Andy Jones), Georgia Tech (Dr. Kostas Konstantinidis), Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ; Dr. Gabriel Trueba), Emory University (Drs. Juan Leon, Bethany Caruso, and Matthew Freeman), and University of South Florida (Dr. Jody Harwood).

Job Description – TAC focus

One postdoctoral scholar will lead efforts to use a custom Taqman Array Card (TAC) assay on fecal samples collected from ECoMiD study participants, to simultaneously detect a broad range of bacterial, viral, and parasitic enteropathogens. This approach will allow us to measure cumulative exposure across multiple pathogens (the “pathobiome”) in order to better evaluate the long-term consequences of enteropathogen infections in children.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and optimizing protocols for DNA/RNA extraction and processing of samples using TAC assays;
  • Managing development, pilot testing, and sensitivity/specificity analyses for TAC assays;
  • Developing standard operating procedures for TAC data collection, recording and analyses;
  • Maintaining quality control and inventory of samples, in conjunction with the lab manager;
  • Coordinating shipments of supplies and samples between UW and USFQ laboratories;
  • Coordination of sample processing with the EDGE Center core laboratory facilities;
  • Supervising student workers in the laboratory;
  • Leading data analysis on processed samples;
  • Writing manuscripts, in collaboration with co-investigators;
  • Writing grant proposals, in collaboration with co-investigators;
  • Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.

Job Description – MST focus

The other postdoctoral scholar will lead efforts to use qPCR assays on environmental samples collected from ECoMiD study households, to test for microbial source tracking (MST) markers.  This approach aims to distinguish animal from human contamination, in order to understand the contribution of animal contamination in study households. This information will be used in combination with qualitative data our team is collecting focused on presence of animals in study households.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and optimizing protocols for DNA/RNA extraction and processing of samples using MST assays;
  • Managing development, pilot testing, and sensitivity/specificity analyses for MST assays;
  • Developing standard operating procedures for environmental sample collection and analyses;
  • Maintaining quality control and inventory of samples, in conjunction with the lab manager;
  • Coordinating shipments of supplies and samples between UW and USFQ laboratories;
  • Training and collaborating with student researchers at USFQ laboratories in Quito, Ecuador;
  • Collaborating with team members carrying out coordinated qualitative research efforts;
  • Supervising student workers in the laboratory;
  • Leading data analysis on processed samples;
  • Writing manuscripts, in collaboration with co-investigators;
  • Writing grant proposals, in collaboration with co-investigators;
  • Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.

The UW School of Public Health is committed to a diverse academic community. We view diversity, equity and inclusion as essential to our mission, and we welcome applications from faculty who have demonstrated research, training and service experience in this area. For more information, please see the following website: http://sph.washington.edu/diversity/.

Qualifications

For both positions, a PhD in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Public Health, or similar field with significant training in microbiology and a strong publication record is required. Expertise in molecular biology, including experience in conventional and real-time quantitative PCR, viral and bacterial detection and enumeration methods, nucleic acid extraction, and working with biological samples is required. We are ideally seeking a postdoc with extensive experience with qPCR, TAC assays or MST markers in particular. We are interested in candidates who also have familiarity with the fields of disease ecology, water sanitation and hygiene (WaSH), and enteric pathogens, and previous experience with implementing and troubleshooting new methodologies, multiplex methods of pathogen detection, environmental microbiology, and international field work. Spanish language abilities are also desirable, but not required.

Instructions

To apply for this position, please submit your application via Interfolio: cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information of three references.  Application materials will be reviewed as they are received, and well-qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Questions can be directed to Dr. Karen Levy (klevyx@uw.edu).

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All
qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed,
religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information,
gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Apply now

The University of Washington is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.


For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application, please check out Interfolio's help and support section or get in touch via email at help@interfolio.com or phone at (877)997-8807.

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