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Vaccine Development Against Emerging Coronaviruses

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Labs, Hamilton, MT

Position Description:

A postdoctoral IRTA position on vaccine development against emerging coronaviruses viruses is available in the Virus Ecology Unit within the Laboratory of Virology at the RML Campus of NIAID in Hamilton, Montana. The laboratory studies high- and maximum-containment RNA viruses and is currently focused on the development of next-generation vaccination approaches to help control the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and prevent for future pandemics.

The Virus Ecology Section is interested in the development of next-generation vaccine development against emerging and re-emerging viruses. The laboratory uses an experimental laboratory approach to develop novel vaccine and vaccination methodologies. Fundamental experimental approaches of the laboratory include immunological, molecular, and cellular-based techniques along with a variety of rodent and non-human primate animal models of pathogenesis and vaccine efficacy testing. Studies are carried out in biosafety level (BSL) 2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 laboratories. The work will be conducted with several national and international stakeholders, including the WHO and CEPI. The Virus Ecology Section considers diversity and inclusion the centerpiece of the team’s culture.

Successful applicants will be part of a diverse and multidisciplinary team focused on the experimental preclinical studies of a variety of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (in particular sarbecoviruses). The overall project will be focused on preclinical studies investigating the efficacy of novel vaccination approaches, including vector-based and mRNA vaccination approaches. Additional research priorities include identifying, developing, implementing, and performing immunological analyses to assess the correlates of protection.

An overview of the Virus Ecology Section’s most recent research with regards to vaccine development includes:

  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques. Nature. 2020
  • Intranasal ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222 vaccination reduces shedding of SARS-CoV-2 D614G in rhesus macaques. Science Translational Medicine 2021
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) protects Syrian hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 and B.1.1.7. Nature Communications 2021

Qualifications:

Highly motivated candidates who have a strong background in virology and immunology are encouraged to apply. Experience working in high-containment virology, immunology, and genomics would be considered an advantage.

Well-developed oral and written communication skills are essential. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in infectious disease immunology, virology, or another appropriate discipline and have less than 3 years of postdoctoral experience. Applicants may be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or international citizens (for an IRTA, visa requirements apply). Trainees will receive health insurance as well as a stipend (commensurate with experience).

How to Apply:

Applicants should send their curriculum vitae (CV), a letter expressing career goals and interests, and three letters of reference with contact information to Kay Menk, Laboratory Operations Specialist, Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, 903 S 4th Street, Hamilton, MT 59840, 406-375-9624 (phone), 406-375-9620 (fax), or email menkk@niaid.nih.gov.

RML is a NIAID Campus with excellent flow cytometry, genomic, Cryo-EM and High-Resolution TEM, and veterinary core support that enables scientists to completely focus on their research. Located in the scenic Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, RML is surrounded by some of the best hiking, skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, and trout fishing in North America.
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HHS, NIH, and NIAID are equal opportunity employers dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion.