Battelle Memorial Institute Molecular Biologist/Virologist in West Jefferson, Ohio

Battelle is guided by a founding mission. We invest our knowledge, talents and resources, helping our customers achieve their most important goals. We apply scientific rigor and creativity, succeeding where others may fail, and we invest in our communities, making the world better for generations to come. All of us share a common purpose: to solve the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our 22,000 employees work at the forefront of scientific innovation to tackle critical challenges in security, human health, manufacturing, energy and environmental management. Battelle’s work is grounded in the belief that science, technology and a passion for excellence can make industries more competitive and the world a better place.

Primary Function

Battelle’s Integrated Science Solutions (ISS) is a part of the Contract Research business within Battelle providing laboratory support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We are currently seeking a Molecular Biologist/Virologist for our laboratories located in West Jefferson OH.

ISS is working with HHS/CDC which is responsible for pandemic influenza preparedness The CDC ID provides critical standards for pandemic preparedness to the US State Public Health Laboratories and acts as a World Health Organization (WHO) reference laboratory supporting international influenza surveillance and response networks. Rapid genetic and antigenic characterization of circulating viral strains coupled with vaccine development are essential components to increase pandemic readiness and response. CDC requires support in research and development efforts to eliminate data gaps in influenza surveillance by increasing the diagnostic and immunization tools available to clinical providers, public health laboratories and domestic and international partners. Monitoring influenza viruses through the application of molecular technologies and incorporation of laboratory surveillance with classic epidemiology facilitate detection of new epidemic variants and provide complete and accurate information about influenza viruses posing a pandemic threat. The use of viral molecular technologies and surveillance studies will provide candidate viruses for pre-pandemic and pandemic vaccine development to assist decision makers in formulating management strategies needed during influenza outbreaks, epidemics or pandemic.

Major Responsibilities

ISS is seeking a molecular biologist to join a team focused on influenza vaccine research and development. The successful candidate will play a critical role in the development of new approaches to generate influenza candidate vaccine viruses in compliance with good laboratory practice (GLP) regulatory requirements. The incumbent will perform molecular cloning and characterization of viruses and quantification of virus yield in eggs. Required qualifications include a PhD degree in Biological or Biochemical Science as well as working knowledge of molecular biology, cell biology and microbiology procedures and practices.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop new vectors or methods to improve efficiency of virus rescue by reverse genetics

  • Construct and characterize various customized plasmid DNA molecules.

  • Cloning of influenza virus genomes into plasmid vectors by RT-PCR or gene synthesis.

  • Characterize parent and rescued viruses by genomic sequencing, analyze and report results.

  • Recover engineered candidate vaccine viruses from cell cultures transfected with reverse genetics plasmids in compliance with GLP guidelines.

  • Review and update candidate vaccine virus SOP and workflows to ensure GLP compliance and preparedness.

  • Develop new methods to improve vaccine virus antigen yield from eggs and cell cultures.

  • Maintain proficiency in Biosafety Level 3 laboratory studies.

  • Prepare study reports for leadership and manuscripts for publication in scientific journals.

  • Disseminate findings through intramural presentations and at national scientific meetings

Position Requirements

  • PhD with more than 2 – 5 years of relevant experience in Virology, Molecular/Cellular Biology, Microbiology, or Biochemistry.

  • Applicants must have a solid background in one of the following areas:

  • Molecular virology with extensive cloning experience;

  • Gene synthesis using oligonucleotides or short DNA fragments;

  • RNA vaccines, RNA biology, or RNA synthesis and transfection.

  • Extensive interpersonal and management skills, with ability to work independently and collaboratively with other scientists and laboratorians.

  • Meticulous bench working habit, precise record-keeping, and strong organizational and communication skills

  • Must be a US citizen.

  • Ability to obtain/maintain certification in Chemical Personnel Reliability Program (NACLC required) and/or Biological Personnel Reliability Program (Single Scope Background Investigation required for entry- this is background investigation performed for DoD TOP SECRET clearances), and Biological Suitability Assessment Program.

  • Ability to obtain/maintain DoJ Security Risk Assessment (SRA) approval.

  • Ability to obtain/maintain CDC approval to work with BSAT material.

  • Must be willing to work in a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) and/or 3 (BSL3) (biocontainment) environment and able to wear appropriate respiratory protection.

  • Must be willing to be immunized with FDA licensed vaccines and Investigational New Drugs (IND) recommended for persons at risk to occupational exposure of biological agents.

  • Must be willing to participate in random drug screening.

  • Respond appropriately to various alarms and potential emergency situations.

  • Sufficiently medically fit to do work in a lab wearing appropriate respiratory equipment and perform all assigned duties.

  • Ability to work night, weekend, and holiday hours as required.

Legal Disclaimer

The above statements are intended to describe the nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, activities and skills required of staff members. No statement herein is intended to imply any authorities to commit Battelle unless special written permission is granted by Battelle's Legal Department.

BENEFITS

Battelle’s competitive benefits program includes comprehensive medical and dental care, matching 401K, paid time off, flexible spending accounts, disability coverage, and other benefits that help provide financial protection for you and your family.

Battelle provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. Our goal is for each staff member to have the opportunity to grow to the limits of their abilities and to achieve personal and organizational objectives. We will support positive programs for equal treatment of all staff and full utilization of all qualified employees at all levels within Battelle.

For more information about our other openings, please visit www.battelle.org/careers