*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline.
ARS Office/Lab and Location: A postdoctoral research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Animal Disease Center (NADC), in Ames, Iowa for a motivated and independent scientist to study the mechanisms of the interaction of bacterial pathogens with the ruminant hosts and to develop methodologies to mitigate disease losses in the livestock industry.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.
Research Project: The Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit (RDIRU) works on a number of important diseases in cattle. The selected participant will be involved with a team of microbiologists, immunologists, bioinformaticians, and animal scientists investigating host-microbe interactions for the discovery of antibiotic alternatives (such as vaccines and biotherapeutics) that will improve animal health and food safety. The research goals of this project are to identify the virulence determinants of pathogens to develop novel vaccines and reduce the use of antibiotics through the identification and use of antimicrobial peptides. The participant will be involved in infection studies in cattle and mice to determine the attenuation of selected virulence genes deleted mutants (vaccine candidates) and whether antimicrobial peptides (alternatives to antibiotics) can be used as biotherapeutics. In addition, the participant would participate in immunology studies to determine effect of immune modulatory therapies (e.g. cytokines) by measuring the changes in immune cell function and microbial loads. The project may also include collecting, processing, and evaluating samples for immunohistochemistry, RNA detection (PrimeFlow and RNAscope assays), confocal and electron microscopy, RNA sequencing and proteomics.
Learning Objectives: The participant will get a better overall understanding of research through attendance of laboratory meetings when lab members share data, and reading of peer-reviewed papers in the respective field.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Rohana Dassanayake (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 24, 2021. 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. The annual stipend will be $64,649 and an annual stipend supplement in the amount of up to $5,679 for an individual plan ($16,043 for a family plan) is provided to cover the cost of an individual or family health insurance plan. An annual allowance of $4,000 is available to reimburse travel-related expenses to scientific and professional development activities.
Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.
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.
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.