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Microbiologist V

Atlanta, Georgia, US
Closing date
Dec 17, 2021

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description
JOB TITLE: Microbiologist V

POSITION NUMBER: 2108-08897-MV-T12


ANTICIPATED START DATE: Two weeks after candidate identification

TRAVEL: As required to fulfill the responsibilities of the position

ASRT, Inc. provides scientific, information management, management consulting, bioinformatics, and administrative program support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other Federal and private sector clients. The successful candidate will be a full-time employee of ASRT, Inc. and will be assigned to the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases (MVPDB), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), at the CDC, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA, to coordinate and implement Advance Molecular Detection (AMD) methodology in support of pertussis and diphtheria diagnostics.


The Microbiologist V will coordinate and implement Advance Molecular Detection (AMD) methodology in support of pertussis and diphtheria diagnostics. This task will provide laboratory technical support services for molecular and serologic diagnosis, molecular subtyping including genome-based typing systems, genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analysis of pertussis and diphtheria etiologic agents.

  • Implement, validate, and analyze data of Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD)methodology in support of the Pertussis and Diphtheria Laboratory to include whole genome and proteomic analysis, molecular sub-typing, genome-based typing systems, and molecular and serologic diagnosis.
  • Collaborate on the development and validation of novel diagnostic and molecular sub-typing techniques for Bordetella and Corynebacterium species.
  • Collaborate on the development and validation of novel diagnostic assays for Bordetella pertussis.
  • Work with the PDL team, CDC, and external partners to design, develop and maintain standard operating procedures for consolidated DNA sequencing and molecular typing project activities. The molecular typing methods include: Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST), Multiple Locus Variable-number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), and whole genome sequencing (WGS).
  • Assist in providing support to other areas of the pertussis and diphtheria laboratory team (data analysis, specimen management).
  • Perform assays, as needed, during pertussis outbreak response or special requests.
  • Collaborate closely with other epidemiologists/coordinators in other CDC and MVPD domestic and international programs.
  • Support development and validation of diagnostics tests, molecular typing systems including advanced molecular detection techniques (genomics, transcriptomes, proteomes), and laboratory diagnosis support during outbreak responses. Since MVPDB, CDC is a global resource for the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, pertussis, and diphtheria and for the taxonomy of the microorganisms involved with these diseases, this project should enhance these important functions.
  • Perform a variety of lab experiments in support of research programs and projects of PDL. Responsibilities will include ability to follow laboratory protocols and conduct microbiological, serological, and molecular biology procedures to accomplish laboratory research goals.
  • Assist in performing domestic and international laboratory training to support surveillance as well as clinical validation of laboratory tests related to the diagnosis of these diseases.
  • Prepare and deliver clear and concise reports and presentations for CDC leadership, colleagues, and collaborators at internal and external (scientific) meetings.
  • Ensure Compliance with Laboratory Safety procedures and regulations, Quality Management System (QMS) and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)regulations and maintain assigned laboratory areas, equipment and protocols incompliance with local and federal requirements for quality, safety and security.
  • Assist in the accessioning, maintenance and database management of clinical and non-clinical specimens to support studies of vaccines and diagnostics for a range of vaccine preventable diseases including pertussis.
  • Assist in the development and optimization of in vitro assays to measure biological responses to vaccination and infection in human or animal specimens.
  • Maintenance of eukaryotic cell cultures and cell lines; preparation of cell banks and working cell stocks, and cell plates. Receive training for a variety of techniques and participate in research projects.
  • Management and coordination of a variety of special projects (domestic and global) within the branch.
  • Participate in collaborative studies, training and QC/QA programs designed to promote technology transfer of diagnostic assays and harmonization among laboratories.
  • Collaborate on the development and validation of novel diagnostic and typing techniques for Bordetella species.
  • Assist in providing support to other areas of the pertussis and diphtheria laboratory team (data analysis, specimen management).
  • Perform assays as needed during pertussis outbreak response.
  • Comply CLIA regulations and maintains assigned laboratory areas, equipment and protocols in compliance with local and federal requirements for quality, safety and security.
  • Expert knowledge and ability to perform molecular and immunological methods such as polymerase nucleic acid amplification, ELISA, laboratory databases and specimen management.
  • Liaison between CDC and laboratory supply companies in order to verify delivery of several of equipment.
  • Preparation, arrangement and repair for laboratory equipment
  • Keep accurate reports on contractual renewals for maintenance agreements for laboratory equipment.
  • Prepare service contract documents.
  • Review and order lab supplies for the meningitis and pertussis team.
  • Bacterial culture and characterization, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and bacterial molecular typing techniques such as DNA sequencing and pulsed field gel electrophoresis.
  • The capability of designing experiments independently, developing new assays, and troubleshooting.
  • Familiar with the different bioinformatics software used in the Meningitis Laboratory for data analysis and interpretation useful but not required.
  • Performs laboratory analyses to support efforts described in the statement of work above.
  • Provide support to the CDC EOC for agency response activities when the EOC is activated.
  • Provide support for CDC pandemic activities.


Education and Experience:
  • Ph.D. degree in Microbiology or a related scientific field with a focus on microorganisms.

  • Minimum of 1 year of laboratory experience using whole genomic sequencing, genome-based subtyping, immunological and cell biology techniques, ELISA and Luminex-bead based assays and real-time PCR testing.
  • Knowledge and experience with whole genome and genome-based typing systems are essential.
  • Expert knowledge and ability to perform AMD methods such as whole genome sequencing, gene sequencing, basic gene cloning techniques, gene expression, polymerase nucleic acid amplification ELISA, multiplex -bead based assays, bacterial growth & plasmid transformation, and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
  • Proficiency with open source and commercially available software for bioinformatics analysis of next generation sequencing data.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Documentation of daily work with good laboratory practice compliance.
  • Skills and experience writing project reports, research protocols and manuscripts.

  • Proficiency with computer software such as Microsoft Access, DNA star, Minitab, MathCAD, BioNumerics, and statistical software
  • Experience with bioinformatics analysis of genomic data generated by PacBio and Illumina sequencing platforms.
  • Ability to work and build coalitions with partners involved, working with MVPD Branch members, and developing strategies for effectively conveying information to partners.
  • Ability to work independently and yet to maintain the flexibility to respond to the needs of MVPD Branch.

Language Skills:
  • The candidate must possess excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

  • Must be a United States citizen or permanent resident or have authorization for employment in the United States.

SALARY: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

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ASRT, INC. IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER. It is the policy of ASRT, Inc. to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, citizenship, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, veteran or disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law, and to take affirmative action in accordance with applicable laws and Executive Orders.
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