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Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.
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RESEARCH SCIENTIST/ENGINEER 2
University of Washington
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Posted: 01-Aug-21

Location: Seattle, Washington

Type: Full Time

Salary: Open

Internal Number: 193699

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. 

The UW Global Health Neisseria Reference Laboratory located at the Ninth and Jefferson Building on the Harborview Campus has an outstanding opportunity for a Research Scientist 2 appointment. The individual in this position will support research studies on phenotypic and genotypic characterization of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in diverse clinically important bacterial isolates including Neisseria gonorrhoeae; conduct molecular characterization of gonococcal isolates to define epidemiology and genetic determinants of antimicrobial resistance; determine the relative susceptibility of gonococcal isolates to complement activity of normal human serum and serum from other sources; support diagnostic test development and validation for sexually transmitted infection (STI); participate in data collection, analysis, analysis, interpretation, manuscript preparation and presentations.

The Research Scientist 2 will be highly responsible, meticulous, and very organized. Candidate should have acquired basic microbiology skills, molecular techniques, and bioinformatics. This position supports day-to-day operations to ensure streamlined research success in the lab. A successful candidate in this position will contribute to several research projects centered on antimicrobial resistance and STI diagnostics. The Research Scientist 2 reports directly to the PI to coordinate lab operations, and this includes equipment upkeep, interaction with university facilities, and research project support. The Research Scientist 2 must have the ability to work independently to conceptualize, design, execute, analyze, and interpret experiments and their results.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
•Conduct bacterial culture including Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) by Etest and agar dilution methods using established protocols.
•Purification of high molecular weight genomic DNA from bacteria and high-libraries preparation Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
•Perform polymerase chain reactions (PCR), Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), Quantitative PCR (qPCR), agarose gel electrophoresis, and nucleic acid amplification tests.
•Perform molecular procedures including but not limited to sanger sequencing, PCR product detection DNA sequencing and NGS.
•Independently execute documented protocols for molecular characterization of antimicrobial resistance determinants of bacterial isolates and clinical specimens
•Participate in the development of novel assays for STI and AMR diagnostics, modification, refinement, optimization and validation of procedures and techniques to obtain optimal results.
•Optimize protocols and troubleshoot experiments as necessary to generate relevant data and improve data quality.
•Develop new laboratory protocols for rapid AST, culture-independent molecular detection of AMR, STI diagnostics, and quantification of organism load in clinical specimens by systematically testing, validating and troubleshooting variety of novel approaches.
•Facilitate laboratory organization including chemical and biological safety, study site visit by sponsor and regulatory requirements for Good laboratory practice and compliance.
•Investigate the sensitivity of gonococcal isolates to complement activity through in vitro serum resistance assays.
•Perform work accurately, precisely and meets test completion deadlines.  Accommodates schedule changes to cooperatively accomplish required daily work.
•Maintain and complete accurate, legible laboratory records.  Thoroughly documents any protocol modifications.
•Perform bioinformatic analysis and NGS data analyses.
•Train and monitor new employees, technicians, and students in experimental procedures and assays, laboratory safety and database maintenance.
•Contribute data and analyses for grant submissions and assist in the preparation of publications and conference presentations.
•Participate in laboratory meetings and network with coworkers and collaborators.
•Perform other duties as required.

REQUIREMENTS:
•Bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or related field plus 3 years of working experience in microbiology/molecular biology related field
•The sponsor requires that the successful candidate must be willing to train for 3-6 weeks on antimicrobial susceptibility testing; demonstrate proficiency by testing panels of blind isolates (2 times/year) and participate in 6 other proficiency testing events for molecular testing performed in the laboratory; and support ongoing rigorous quality assessment and continuous laboratory improvement activities.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

DESIRED EXPERIENCE
•A Graduate degree in a relevant biological science or molecular biology
•Publications in scientific peer-reviewed journals.
•Excellent microbiology and molecular biology laboratory skills
•Depth of expertise in Gram-stain, microscopy, qPCR and nucleic acid amplification testing, cell culture and microscopy
•Experience in antimicrobial susceptibility testing by Etest and/agar dilution
•Experience performing APTIMA nucleic acid amplification test
•Experience with PCR testing methods and sequencing technologies
•Good laboratory practice (GLP) skills
•Experience working in a clinical or research environment
•Bacteriology and molecular biology research experience.
•Research experience with real-time PCR and traditional PCR techniques
•Research experience with use of sequencing analysis software.
•Research assay development experience.
•Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
•Demonstrated ability to work independently and to proactively communicate with supervisor
•Self-motivated individual with strong problem-solving skills
•Ability to work well with other laboratory staff
•Previous experience with molecular biology techniques, work with DNA technologies including NGS and bioinformatic analysis.
•Strong computer skills including spreadsheets, database entry, statistics, graphs, and presentation.
•Previous experience in UW or academic settings.
•Record of contribution to published work.
•Professional, flexible, and hardworking with a strong attention to detail and ability to organize and maintain accurate records.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
•This position will have critical/essential staff designation and as such will be required to report to work when scheduled despite inclement weather.
•This position requires flexibility in the work hours, including extension into the evening when processing of specimens and research deadlines mandate, and on occasion requires working outside of the standard work week.
•This position requires working with collaborators located at different UW campuses in Seattle.

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty. As an employee you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please view this page.

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.