*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.
A research opportunity is currently available in the Office of Blood Research and Reviews (OBRR) at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland.
This project involves studies on biology of infection, genetics and pathogenesis of the flavivirus, namely West Nile virus (WNV), Dengue virus (DENV) and Zika Virus (ZIKV), which are arboviruses transmissible by blood transfusion. WNV, ZIKV and DENV are usually spread to humans by mosquitoes, and human infections are mostly (80%) asymptomatic while infected person has virus in their blood that could be transmitted by transfusion. Symptomatic cases are mostly mild but can quickly progress to severe neurological or hemorrhagic diseases requiring hospitalization and supportive care for survival. ZIKV can also cause miscarriage and birth defects to human unborn babies. There is no specific therapeutics or effective vaccines for these viruses, or indicator(s) to predict progression of infection to severe case. Serological tests are plagued with intense cross-reactivity that interferes even with gold standard neutralization assays, and only molecular techniques, performed during acute phase of infection, can clearly discriminate among these flaviviruses. The specific aims of this research are (1) to investigate pathogenesis associated with genetic mutations identified in asymptomatic infection, (2) to seek for biomarkers that indicate disease progression and (3) to develop strategies to allow identification of which flavivirus specifically raise of antibody and/or induced soluble immune response factors.
The participant’s role in this will involve the execution of techniques used in cell biology, immunology virology and molecular biology including but not limited to: cell culture, viral growth curve, viral purification in sucrose gradient, titration for viral load and infectivity, genetic sequencing, etc.
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 2021; start date is flexible
This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and FDA. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of FDA contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at FDA in the Silver Spring, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of FDA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.
If you have questions, send an email to ORISE.FDA.CBER@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.