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Lead Scientist - Vaccine Immunology and Research

Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Bethesda, Maryland

Position Description:

ORAU has a contingent job opportunity for a Lead Scientist in support of the overall functions of the Vaccine Immunology Program (VIP), Vaccine Research Center (VRC), NIAID, located in Bethesda, MD. The positions are contingent on award of an upcoming contract with NIAID Professional, Scientific and Technical Support Services. Salary for positions will be determined based on education and experience. Relocation support is not available for this position.

ORAU has been providing scientific and technical talent staffing solutions and designing, managing, and evaluating jobs and internships for more than 70 years. ORAU assists in connecting the best and most diverse group of students, recent graduates, faculty and professionals with world-class fellowships, internships and job opportunities, whether in national laboratories, research institutions, federal government offices or private sector R&D departments. For more information, please visit


Technical Requirements:
  • Lead project aspects, providing technical review, direction, and feedback to others. Conduct advanced research.
  • ·Manage daily operations and cross departmental interfaces supporting influenza protein production
  • Collaborate with automation experts to streamline high throughput influenza analyses
  • Involved in the development, scale-up, and operation of recombinant protein manufacturing in a state of the art laboratory and assist in the continual improvement of VRC process tools.
  • Integrate and start up new technologies within the laboratory.
  • Design experimental approaches, provide critical evaluation of scientific data, mentor scientific staff and collaborates with other scientists.
  • Work as part of a team, responsible for supporting the production of biologics used for assay development and to participate in strategic research that leads to innovation in a research environment.
  • Develop, optimize and execute high throughput cell based assays (functional, phenotypic, reporter etc.) for screening antibody panels.
  • Use deep knowledge and experience to conduct binding, competition, internalization and functional assays using flow cytometry platform.
  • Design and conduct experiments leading to the development and implementation of new or improved protein purification methodologies. Lead project aspects to accomplish established milestones.
  • Evaluate and summarize data using analytical methodologies, interpreting results, drawing conclusions and recommending options for future experiments to achieve project goals.
  • Document experimental procedures and results according to established guidelines. Present scientific observations at internal technology reviews and to the broader scientific community at national meetings or through publication when appropriate. Submit ideas for inventions, innovate through patent filings and trade secrets.
  • Represent the department in various departmental and interdepartmental committees that address scientific and administrative initiatives.
  • Independently author, or provide direction for the authorship of, technical reports and assessments.
  • Give presentations within the department and to senior management.
  • Actively create, generate, and present paper/presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Ensure that safe laboratory practices are followed.
  • Mentor junior staff
  • Design, develops and execute new techniques in upstream and downstream process development for influenza immunogen purifications and characterization.
  • Manage the execution and day-to-day operations of protein purification and immunological assays development.
  • Analyze research data related to VRC candidate influenza vaccine pathogens.
  • Author scientific documents necessary for influenza research articles, such as educational materials, reports, publications, and protocols.
  • Participate in influenza vaccine design planning and training for externally conducted steps in the development of influenza vaccines.
  • Monitor and evaluate program metrics and manages program timelines.
  • Perform financial planning and budgetary management of reagents requirements.
  • Review vendor contracts and works to ensure execution of contracts to planned timelines.
  • Organize and liaise with community members to develop programs that will engage and educate communities to increase awareness of influenza vaccine research and vaccine research in general.
  • Develop and conduct protocol trainings, per vaccine development goals at VRC.
  • Serve as subject matter expert and provides technical assistance to other NIH departments for influenza vaccine design and development.
  • Assess published and public literature regarding best practices for vaccine development.
  • Conduct health services research by collecting, organizing and analyzing data used in reporting the cost-effectiveness, efficacy, and efficiency of preclinical research.
  • Develop, optimize and improve VRC guidelines and SOP’s to streamline workflow.
  • Conduct ad hoc data analysis in response to special purpose data requests.
Specific Qualifications:
  • PhD degree or Master’s degree in Immunology, Biochemistry or a related field.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in performing influenza neutralization assays or related techniques.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a team of Biologists.

To Apply:

You can submit your resume or CV direct to our website at:

If you have any questions please email our Lead STEM recruiter at (


This post will be available until October 29, 2020 or until filled.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.