Research Assistant - Thakur Lab
Position Number: 00106591
Primary Function of Organization Unit: Food borne diseases are increasingly recognized as a major public health problem both nationally as well as globally. Despite major advances and improvements in hygiene, quality of food, water, sanitation and detection of food borne pathogens, food borne diseases remain one of the leading public health concerns. There is tremendous economic burden of treating animals and human patients affected by antimicrobial resistant pathogens and critical knowledge gaps exist in the complex chain of events that leads to dissemination and persistence of these bacterial pathogens. There is no clear consensus on the significance of ecological and management factors in the dissemination of such antimicrobial resistant strains in humans. In addition, characterizing the pathogen to specific strain level is time consuming. Research in our lab is focused on understanding the molecular epidemiology of important multidrug resistant (MDR) food borne pathogens at the pre-harvest and post-harvest food safety levels. Our specific goal is to determine the dynamics of Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium in food animals, retail meat, humans and the environment. With this information, we plan to achieve our long term goal of reducing the burden of infections caused by bacterial pathogens in food animals and humans by: * Determining the risk factors and understanding the dissemination of antimicrobial resistant strains in animals, humans and their environment, * Characterizing and elucidating the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance at the molecular level, * Understanding the genotypic diversity and population dynamics of these bacterial populations through phylogenetic analysis, * Developing diagnostic methods that will aid in the rapid identification and characterization of bacterial pathogens and, * Conveying the results of these studies to the stakeholders and developing new curricula aimed at providing education and training of veterinary, animal and food science students.
Essential Job Duties: The selected individual will work on the NARMS project funded by the NIH/FDA. Job responsibilities include: * Collection of retail meat samples from supermarkets and isolating 2 bacterial pathogens including, Salmonella, Campylobacter and assist other collaborating labs to isolate Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. * Working on generating whole genome sequence profiles of bacterial pathogens and submit the data on the FDA GenomeTrakr site. * Understanding the rationale for the research, and performing related experiments to test research hypotheses. Research activities include: * Management of multiple, concurrent research projects, method development, designing and carrying out experiments, cultivation and growth of bacterial foodborne bacteria, performance of molecular and biochemical assay, and data compilation. * Procedures will include molecular and cell biological techniques on bacterial cultures. * Research efforts will contribute toward publications, presentations and other funding opportunities. Approximately 10-20% of the position's time will be dedicated to laboratory management activities, which include ordering and maintenance of laboratory supplies and equipment; updating laboratory safety plans; maintaining stock solutions; autoclaving; and supervision of temporary undergraduate assistants and graduate students. The selected individual will be expected to have effective communication skills, both with the PI and students within the laboratory, and must work well independently and within a team.
Minimum Education/Experience: Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree required or must have Bachelor's degree in biological science, preferably microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology or related field and 3 or more years of relevant experience including general molecular biology skills.
Department Required Skills: Prior research experience Strong verbal and written communication skills Excellent organizational skills with strong attention to detail Ability to adhere to tight deadlines, goal oriented, and high level of motivation Ability to work independently and as part of a team Computer literacy with Microsoft offices\ and data analysis software (R studio is a plus).
Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education: Preference will be given to applicants with experience in the following: 1. Cultivation of bacteria and anaerobic techniques 2. Bacterial enzyme assays 3. DNA, RNA, and protein extraction 4. PCR, qRT-PCR and analysis 5. Animal models 6. Laboratory set up and management 7. Bioinformatics
Necessary Licenses and Certifications: N/A
AA/EOE: NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.
Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148. Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree verified at "www.wes.org":http//wes.org. Degree must be obtained prior to start date.
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