Postdoctoral Microbiologist

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Updated: July 13, 2018
Job ID: 213817
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Postdoctoral Microbiologist to support the Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) located at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, Maryland. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to MHRP. The incumbent will be responsible for conducting research projects involving HIV-1 antigens and candidate HIV-1 vaccines. Incumbent will troubleshoot problems and work independently to formulate questions for new and relevant experimental designs as it pertains to the mission of the Animal Models & Pathogenesis group, the Structural Biology group, and the US MHRP program. The position involves the design, production, immunization and characterization of HIV-1 vaccine candidates in non-human primate models, using state-of-the-art immunological and biochemical techniques. The incumbent will utilize the knowledge gained from these studies to further optimize and formulate HIV-l vaccine studies. The incumbent should be able to apply the scientific principles and concepts developed in these projects for potential inventions and products.


  1. Plans, and conducts laboratory research in the field of HIV-1 vaccines, and develops necessary technologies and protocols required for the work
  2. Executes non-human primate vaccination and challenge studies by coordinating sampling and procedures directly with animal facility as well as processing of biological specimens.
  3. Prepares HIV-1 immunogen candidates by mammalian cell culture, and purifies candidates to high levels of homogeneity using state-of-the-art purification procedures.
  4. Optimizes and characterizes HIV-1 vaccine candidate immunogens by assessment of the binding of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies with known reactivity.
  5. Analyzes HIV-1 and SHIV infected serum and biological specimens from animals and humans for immune responses inclusive of binding specificities.
  6. Works as a team member in assisting with studies related to structural, biochemical, and immunological responses to HIV-1 antigens and candidate HIV-1 vaccines.
  7. Assists in the preparation of funding applications for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, and/or extramural resources including nonprofit organizations.
  8. Should have current working knowledge in biochemical and biophysical techniques and up-to-date knowledge of relevant HIV-1 literature.
  9. Performs data analysis, prepares graphical representation of data, prepares manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals, assists in the preparation of scientific reports for funded projects, presents research data at in-house meetings and at national and international scientific conferences.
  10. Serves as an in-house consultant and sets up active scientific collaborations both within and outside the institution as it pertains to the mission of USMHRP program in consultation with supervisors.
  11. Maintains reagent and consumable supplies needed to conduct laboratory operations.
  12. Attends all training and safety classes conducted by WRAIR and HMJF.
  13.  Completes other projects and duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:  Knowledge of complex scientific procedures and techniques; knowledge and practical experience in biophysical techniques, fundamental immunology and familiarity with infectious disease concepts, especially HIV, biochemistry and purification of proteins, knowledge of high-parameter flow cytometry systems and protocols. Experience with design and execution of non-human primate immunization studies is highly desirable. The incumbent should have excellent communication skills including the ability to efficiently prepare research papers and grants. They should have the ability to work in an independent capacity, be able to design experiments, troubleshoot technical procedures, and be capable of supervising junior staff.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements:  Ph.D. in related scientific discipline

Minimum Experience:  0-2 years of related post-doctoral research experience

Physical Capabilities: Work involves long periods of standing, handling numerous chemicals and biological samples in the laboratory.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls:  May provide guidance to laboratory staff.

Work Environment:  Laboratory environment; requires working with human and animal cells/cell lines, HIV-1, human and non-human primate blood, and or bodily fluids; may require working long hours including evenings and weekends.

Reporting Structure: The proposed work supports the mission of USMHRP and the warfighter.  For the design and development of HIV-1 vaccines, it is critical to understand the biophysical, biochemical, and immunological interactions between the virus and the host receptor molecules.

The proposed research is a collaboration between two complementary laboratories, each a leader in its own field; one with extensive experience in non-human primate immunogen studies and immunology, and the second an expert at the forefront of structural biology, and immunogen design.

HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.