Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Oklahoma

Norman, OK

Job posting number: #7104189 (Ref:if97702)

Posted: June 28, 2022

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science (CEES) within the Gallogly College of Engineering (GCoE) at the University of Oklahoma (OU) invites applications for a postdoctoral research associate position in the area of wastewater-based epidemiology  The appointment will be for 12 months with the possibility of extension pending performance and availability of funding.  The successful candidate will be expected to perform duties related to laboratory oversight and structure, optimizing daily operations, developing and setting up assays for new pathogens including genetic variants, contribute to minor genomic sequencing work, and working alongside our technicians and students in day-to-day operations of the lab. You will also be part of a team responsible for data extraction, analysis and interpretation as well as publication of results in a timely manner. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing and optimizing the structure and workflow in a laboratory with routine sample processing and analysis.
  • Work as part of a team of academic and public health scientists and engineers to monitor SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens in wastewater across Oklahoma.
  • Independently develop proposals to conduct wastewater-based epidemiology or investigate other, related scientific questions.
  • Produce high-quality scientific publications, presentations, and reports.

The team was established in the summer of 2020 to monitor levels of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in several locations across Oklahoma. We work closely with local health departments, municipalities, and community leaders. The team’s success has led to multiple contracts to continue monitoring SARS-CoV-2 and its genetic variants, as well as expanding surveillance to other infectious pathogens. We are also have the potential to monitor metabolites in wastewater as measures of chronic health issues and illicit drug use.

The successful candidate should hold a Ph.D. in Microbiology or related field, with a strong understanding of and experience in laboratory methods including, but not limited to, nucleic acid extraction, RT-qPCR, and genomic sequencing. In lieu of a Ph.D, persons with strong senior research and teamwork experience in a large diagnostic laboratory with routine sample analysis and assay development will also be considered. Experience in working as part of a larger laboratory team is required. Good communication skills (clear written and spoken English) and ability to participate in and coordinate collaborative research is required.   The preferred candidate will have experience in handling clinical and/or environmental samples. Experience from routine laboratory diagnostic work on human pathogens is a strong advantage and will be preferred. Knowledge of working with databases and statistical analysis is also an advantage.

Applicants should provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of long-term research and career goals and the names and current contact information for three professional references.. Documents should be uploaded to the following site: Initial screening of applications will begin July 1, 2022; applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

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