Research Technician - Thakur Lab
Position Number: 00106658
Primary Function of Organization Unit: Foodborne 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 foodborne pathogens, foodborne diseases remain one of the leading public health concerns. There is a 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) foodborne 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 Research Technician will be responsible for sample collection and processing for the grant funded through the Center for Produce Safety. This will involve driving to the Piedmont Research Station located in Salisbury, NC to collect samples. The samples will be collected from multiple sources including food animals (poultry and dairy cows), soil, air, and fresh produce. The candidate will also be responsible for assisting in pathogen isolation including Salmonella and Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli. The Research technician should be independent and create, process, and troubleshoot protocols associated with the study. In addition, the Research Technician will assist in other lab projects within the scope of the laboratory's goals and when time permits. The Research Technician will also assist the lab manager in training and supervising undergraduates with basic laboratory tasks and general lab upkeep. Will be able to perform the following techniques without supervision: * PCR * Genomic DNA purification from Escherichia coli and Salmonella * DNA visualization via gel electrophoresis. Will be able to perform the following microbiology techniques without supervision: * Traveling to farms to collect fecal samples from food animals. Collecting environmental samples from swine farm lagoons, air, and water. * Collecting meat and produce samples. * Isolating, correctly identifying, and producing single isolate freezer stocks of foodborne pathogens from animal blood, fecal, meat, produce, and environmental samples. * Regenerate bacteria from frozen isolates. * Ship frozen isolates (dangerous goods) to other laboratories under IATA Compliance. Will possess the basic computer program knowledge, including word and excel files. The person will input and maintain lab data. The person will maintain lab records, order supplies for the lab use and assist in generating project reports.
Department Required Skills: * Knowledge of microbiology skills * Can work independently and within a team environment * Able to project manage multiple concurrent projects * Regulatory Environment record keeping and data management skills * Working knowledge of Microsoft products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) * Strong analytical and troubleshooting skills * Ability to lift up to 30 pounds * Strong organizational skills
Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education: Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences preferred.
Necessary Licenses and Certifications: A valid NC Driver's License is required for this position and must be maintained as a condition of employment.
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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