*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline.
Office/Lab and Location: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Participation Program offers research opportunities in zoonotic and emerging diseases to motivated postgraduates interested in virus-host interactions and developing novel strategies to prevent and control high consequence zoonotic pathogens such as Crimean – Congo Hemorrhagic fever virus and Nipah virus. Opportunities are under a joint research program between the ARS and the Viral Special Pathogens Branch (VSPB), at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The research supports the program at the USDA National Bio-Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) under construction in Manhattan, Kansas.
This program is supported by ARS, USDA and is intended to support establishment and standing up of the Zoonotic Emerging Animal Disease Research Unit at the National Bio-Agrodefense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan Kansas.
Research Project: Under the guidance of a mentor, these research opportunities will involve developing animal models to study virus host interactions, immune response and countermeasure development (i.e. vaccines, biotherapeutics) to prevent and control high consequence zoonotic diseases in humans and animals. The research will involve using reverse genetics systems and other molecular approaches to study in-vitro and in-vivo virus host interactions, mechanisms of dissemination and identify genetic determinants of viral virulence. The research will also focus on characterizing mechanisms leading to protective immune responses in relevant animal models. Genetically modified viruses will be characterized in cell culture and in vivo in animal disease models and ultimately in the natural host. Research will focus in two viral agents: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever virus and Nipah virus. The participant will be part of a highly productive and active research group at the CDC and USDA. This program is an excellent opportunity to train scientists for the future research program at the biosafety level 4 laboratory and animal facilities at NBAF, expected to be fully operational by January 2023.
Learning Objectives: The Viral Special Pathogens Branch (VSPB) is located at the CDC main campus in Atlanta, GA. Being stationed at CDC offers prospective candidates the opportunity of learning to conduct research with high consequence viral pathogens select agents in BSL-4 facilities. Candidates will have the opportunity of participating in national and international meetings, workshops and training courses for the advancement of their scientific careers in zoonotic emerging infectious diseases.
Mentor(s): The mentors for this opportunity are Christina Spiropoulou (email@example.com) and Jessica Spengler (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Early 2022. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.
Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.
ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.
Although this research opportunity does not guarantee a federal job, participants in this program will be very competitive for future federal and non-federal positions (approximately 200 scientific posts) to be established at the NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas in the near future (2-3 years).
Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email USDA-ARS@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.