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Research Associate - Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, Ltd.
Silver Spring, Maryland, US
Closing date
Aug 7, 2021

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Odyssey Systems has an exciting new opportunity for a Research Associate supporting the WRAIR - Department of Diarrheal Disease Research (DDR). Diarrheal diseases, notably Shigella, are a major source of morbidity among deployed U.S. military and a significant threat to readiness. To that end, BDB aims to develop a safe and effective vaccine against multiple Shigella strains to protect personnel overseas and keep Soldiers in the fight.

Job Responsibilities:

Duties include, but not limited to:

The Research Associate will provide expertise in the areas of immunological research to include:
  • Utilize recombinant engineering of Shigella and coli to synthesize large quantities of antigen proteins and molecules for the production of vaccines or for the characterization of vaccines.
  • Use modern molecular techniques, such as real-time PCR, to carry out the transfer and modification of genes. May include deletions of a gene to modify antigens or bacterial behavior or creating a mutation in a protein of interest.
  • Conducting bench research on Shigella (or other enteric pathogens) to include large scale production of purified proteins and LPS, immunogenicity, biochemistry, and mechanisms of action of Shigella subunit vaccines or live Shigella vaccine candidates.
  • Assisting in the evaluation of Shigella vaccines in clinical and pre-clinical studies to include immunizing small animals, collecting blood, lymph nodes mucosal washes, and determining the immune response elicited after vaccination using cellular proliferation, antibody-secreting cell (ASC), ELISA, and immunobead multiplexing assays.
  • Assisting in the pre-clinical evaluation of prototype diagnostic devices for the detection of Shigella and other enteric pathogens from complex biological matrices such as stool.
  • Assisting in the daily maintenance and operations of the lab to include media preparation, glassware and hazardous waste management, and administrative duties such as ordering supplies and periodic lab inventories.
  • Establishing and/or developing laboratory procedures and analyze and/or evaluate research data; participate in a cooperative effort to accomplish goals of the laboratory; maintain proficiency and expertise in the field of research.
  • Utilizing professional knowledge of: theories, principles, methods, and techniques of immunology, cell biology, and microbial pathogenesis, such as ELISA, ASC assays, cellular proliferation assays, western blotting, cell culture, small animal handling (such as mice or guinea pigs), and aseptic technique.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Ability to obtain a NACI (National Agencies Check & Inquiries)
  • Bachelor's degree in the biological sciences
  • Up to 2 years of experience as a research technician in microbiology or molecular genetics focused laboratory a plus
  • Demonstrated experience with basic laboratory procedures (pipetting, buffer preparation, autoclaving)
  • Demonstrated experience/understanding of molecular biology (qPCR, RT-PCR ideal), microbial pathogenesis/cellular microbiology (Gram-neg or enteric ideal), mammalian cell culture, general microbiology
  • Hands-on experience or willingness to work with laboratory animals (mice, rats, rabbits, and/or guinea pigs) involving typical full-cycle laboratory animal handling.
  • Previous independent or semi-independent research projects a plus

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Familiarity with the following research equipment is preferred but not limited to: HPLC, PCR, Mass spectrometer, Flow Cytometers, cell counters, cell separation devices, fermenters, lyophilizes, peptide synthesizers
  • Familiarity with the following typical procedures is preferred but not limited to: gel electrophoresis, protein assays, fermentation and purifications, and immunological functional assays.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Prism, and SAS preferred.

Additional Information:
  • US Citizenship required


Odyssey Systems Consulting Group, is an innovative small business committed to providing world-class technical, management, and training support services to government and public sector clients. We focus on people, processes, and performance to deliver superior results. Since our inception in 1997, our commitment to mission success and customer satisfaction has been recognized with exponential growth and exceptional past performance ratings. We accept challenging assignments and drive projects from the planning stages, through implementation, and into operations and support.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
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