Director, Division of Molecular Diagnostics and Virology
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Type: Full Time
Salary: 88,741.11 - 136,870.53
Internal Number: 22000A6W
The Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory (MASPHL) under the Department of Public Health (DPH) has an exciting opportunity for an experienced, highly motivated, and technically proficient senior scientific manager with expertise with a focus in Molecular Diagnostics and Virology to serve as the Director of the Molecular Diagnostics and Virology Division. The selected candidate will be responsible for directing multiple laboratory sections including arbovirus surveillance, BioWatch, molecular diagnostics, rabies, virus isolation, and virus serology laboratory sections including oversight of approximately 45 staff. The incumbent will provide interpretive expertise for molecular, virology, and serology testing methods that provide surveillance for diseases of public health priority, identification of outbreaks caused by infectious diseases, diagnosis of vaccine-preventable diseases and unusual infectious as well as early warning systems to detect and identify terrorist attacks with biologic agents and diagnosis of unusual or rare infectious diseases via 24/7 testing services. The testing can detect these pathogens in human, environmental and animal samples and supports emergency response of local, state, and federal agencies. Work is conducted in biosafety level 2 and 3 laboratories located in the Boston suburb of Jamaica Plain.
The Division Director plays a critical role in the overall operations and accountability of the lab utilizing specialized, advanced, and scientific knowledge to support the evolution of public health laboratory practice and implementation of new technologies including next generation sequencing. These laboratory functions are essential to public health response to outbreaks and preparedness initiated by numerous infectious diseases. Collaboration with internal and external partners is a priority for this position. The incumbent must have strong interpersonal skills to effectively lead interdisciplinary teams in the critical mission of public health.
Participation in national efforts to monitor and prevent infectious disease is an opportunity for professional growth in setting standards and policy. This is an exciting opportunity for a candidate to be on the front lines of diagnosing and genetically characterizing emerging infectious diseases while providing input on state-of-the art equipment and testing not routinely performed outside of a public health laboratory. Come expand skillset in management and the leading of interdisciplinary teams!
Duties and Responsibilities (these duties are a general summary and not all inclusive):
Directs, manages, and provides interpretive expertise for all molecular, virology and serology methods for diagnostic testing of human, environmental and veterinary specimens for biologic threat agents from human, environmental, and veterinary samples in the molecular, sequencing, rabies, virus isolation and serology laboratories.
Evaluates current and new laboratory testing capabilities and capacities for molecular testing methods and equipment required to respond to a terrorist event or other public health crisis involving an infectious disease outbreak.
Develops, maintains, and continuously improves the laboratory quality system, quality control, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for high complexity testing to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations including CLIA and FDA.
Oversees the BSL3 laboratory and associated special safety practices for handling highly infectious agents and chain-of-custody procedures required for handling, testing, and reporting results from biological threat agent specimens.
Partners with medical providers, and state, local and federal agencies to ensure public health laboratory services for infectious disease prevention and patient management are appropriate, timely and accurate.
Leads interdisciplinary teams to prepare recommended strategies and plans in collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies; develops plans and protocols with input from other laboratory scientists, other MASPHL scientists in state and federal laboratories and academia, to address likely crisis scenarios.
Designs and implements studies that address current scientific and programmatic questions related to laboratory testing.
Oversees testing and quality indicators, ensures appropriate staffing, and implements new testing for the DPH Bureau of Laboratory Sciences' Laboratory Response Network and Homeland Security’s Biowatch program.
Manages public health preparedness and 24/7 testing services for newly emerging infectious diseases of concern including SARS-CoV-2, monkeypox, avian influenza, as well as rapid testing of suspicious materials.
Performs cost analyses of current testing practices and currently available alternative tests to inform decisions regarding testing practices and algorithms.
Partners with internal and external partners to implement grant-funded activities, attending meetings/conferences as needed according to the requirements of the funding organizations, and monitoring grant-associated funds and expenses.
Performs management and scientific duties as assigned by the Director of the State Public Health Laboratory, including but not limited to, testing, personnel forecasting, fiscal resources, planning, and vendor management.
Provides interpretive expertise to ensure implementation of chain-of-custody and security clearance-related issues as they relate to molecular diagnostic testing within the DHS- sponsored Biowatch Program.
Serves as subject matter expert and provides recommendations regarding state and federal legislation that may affect laboratory response to public health emergencies.
Experience and knowledge in the principles and practices of clinical and molecular microbiology and sequencing as they apply to clinical and environmental laboratory testing in a diagnostic and public health setting including infectious disease surveillance and prevention activities.
Knowledge of the theories and practices of clinical and molecular microbiology, including knowledge of instrumentation, study design, method development, data analysis.
Experience in Quality Assurance in a regulated laboratory environment, specifically CLIA but may include ISO, FDA, or other relevant regulations/standards.
Experience and knowledge in the principles, practices, current developments for operating a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory.
Knowledge of the federal, state, and local agencies, resources, laws, regulations, and procedures which affect the operation of a clinical or public health laboratory.
Capacity to lead teams and manage personnel, to work collaboratively as well as independently.
Knowledge of the principles and practices of organizational behavior and experience in supervision and management of staff by utilizing participatory management, personnel assessment, and performance review and resolve personnel conflicts effectively.
Ability to perform supervisory tasks related to direct reports and in oversight capacity of health equity initiatives.
Exceptional organizational and time-management skills.
Ability to work proactively and independently with attention to detail and the ability to prioritize inquires and tasks appropriately.
Talent for communicating effectively in both writing and oral presentations.
Strong leadership skills with the ability to build a unified, skilled, and effective team.
Proficient usage of Microsoft Office products including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and Outlook.
The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is to prevent illness, injury, and premature death, to assure access to high quality public health and health care services, and to promote wellness and health equity for all people in the Commonwealth.
We envision a Commonwealth in which all people enjoy optimal health. Massachusetts ranks among the healthiest of states according to comparative analyses, but we face numerous challenges, including chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, violence, preventable hospitalizations, and health disparities.
DPH coordinates programs and policies to address specific diseases and conditions and offer services to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We also develop, implement, promote, and enforce regulations and policies to assure that the conditions under which people live are most conducive to health and enable people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We license health professionals, healthcare facilities and a variety of businesses that impact public health. We operate the state laboratory and four public health hospitals. We monitor health status and manage vital records incl...uding births, marriages, and deaths. We educate people about public health issues and work closely with local boards of health and community partners to identify and solve public health problems.
Learn more about our important work: www.mass.gov/DPH