Reference Number: ROVEC20170903
Category: Research, Science and Biotechnology
JOB PURPOSE: This is a position within the Virus Epidemiology and Control (VEC) Group under a project aimed at estimating the long-term transmission and case burden of arboviruses in Kenya. Viruses under investigation include bunyaviruses (e.g. Rift Valley Fever), flaviviruses (e.g. Dengue) and alphaviruses (e.g. Chikungunya). The RO will conduct serological (e.g. ELISA, virus neutralising antibody assays) and molecular assays (e.g. qRT-PCR, sequencing) to detect these arbovirus targets in a range of human samples collected over a 25-year period. The candidate will work closely with other members of the VEC Group to ensure that the laboratory diagnostics are running smoothly, and the molecular data generated are expeditiously assembled and cleaned up for downstream phylogenetic analysis. The RO will also be assigned a role of leading the implementation of sub-projects within the main study e.g. development and implementation of molecular detection and full genome sequencing methods of specific viral targets. The RO working with the Principal Investigator and other VEC group members will contribute to tasks preparatory to this and other linked projects including proposal/protocol development and submissions and development of study work plans, as well as analysis of data, preparation of reports and manuscripts. The post holder will need to be self-sufficient and able to work with minimal supervision.
- Work with the Principal Investigator and other relevant staff members to prepare research plans in liaison with other teams in the laboratory.
- Take the lead in execution of the arbovirus transmission and case burden estimation project and related studies including the setting up, identification resource requirements, documentation of protocols etc.
- Carry out desktop research/ literature reviews and prepare/ draft write-ups as may be required for inclusion in/ to support proposals, presentations/seminars and publications.
- Lead the collection, processing, compilation and analysis of study data/samples and ensure all related records and reports are handled and managed in line with study protocols.
- Perform a range of serological and molecular diagnostic tests and quality assurance activities within the study.
- Liaise with VEC statistics and data management teams to ensure that all data is entered into relevant databases on time and verified.
- Carry out data analysis and interpretation and provide relevant information including statistics, summaries, charts, graphs, reports etc.
- Prepare and submit draft reports as required including project progress reports etc.
- Contribute to any other duties that may be assigned from time to time.
- MSc degree in Biomedical Sciences or other relevant subjects such as Microbiology, Epidemiology or equivalent
- Previous experience with arboviruses, including molecular and serological assays
- Minimum 3 years’ research experience
- Practical working knowledge of nucleic acid extraction, PCR, DNA sequencing and other nucleic acid manipulations
- Training/ experience in literature research, critical appraisal of literature and evidence reviews
- Knowledge of basic epidemiologic study designs
- Basic statistics / programming capability (e.g. in Stata, R etc.)
- Familiarity with next generation sequencing methods (e.g. Illumina) sample processing and sequence data analysis
- The ability to plan own workload, adjust to changing priorities and keep accurate scientific records
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills,
- Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
- Based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya.
- Be available to work out of hours if necessary.
- Exposure to materials considered infectious and/or biohazards.