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Biomarkers and Human Health Research at EPA

The EPA Environmental Research and Business Support Program has an immediate opening for a Biomarkers and Human Health Research position with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA’s facility in Chapel Hill, NC.
What the EPA project is about
The Office of Research and Development (ORD) functions as the principal scientific component of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Epidemiology Branch (EB) of the Environmental Public Health Division (EPHD), National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL), Office of Research and Development (ORD) at EPA conducts epidemiological research supporting EPA’s regulations and helping communities to make better decisions to sustain a healthy society and environment. A research team in EB is working collaboratively with EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) to explore the beneficial health effects associated with exposure to urban green space and other natural environments, and to assess health risks associated with microbial contamination of public drinking water supplies and recreational water bodies.
What you will be doing
As a team member, you will assist the EB team with providing technical laboratory support for epidemiological research projects which include recruitment and examination of human subjects, biological sample collection, physical examinations, collection of questionnaire data, and laboratory analysis of various biomarkers in blood, saliva, and stool samples, data processing, statistical analysis and preparation of reports.
Required skills
  • Proficiency with general laboratory techniques, including aseptic and sterile technique;
  • Substantial practical experience beyond college coursework and demonstrated proficiency in the use of various biomarker tests listed in Section 3;
  • Demonstrated experience in molecular biology research, including experience with nucleic acid extractions, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, quantitative (q)PCR, and gel electrophoresis;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications (i.e., Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook);
  • Strong communication skills including written, oral, and presentation abilities; and
  • Experience with data processing, cleaning, quality controls and data analysis techniques, including fitting dose-response curves to serially diluted standards, producing plots and summary tables, checking for out-of-range observations, and manipulating datasets, at a level enabling the selected candidate to process data with a minimal amount of instruction and guidance from EPA employees.
Desired skills
  • Experience with using statistical analysis software, such as SAS or R; and
  • Experience with Luminex and MSD platforms.
How you will apply your skills
 Technical laboratory support responsibilities
  • Preparing Quality Assurance Project Plans;
  • Contributing to preparation of survey forms and other data collection tools;
  • Coordinating receipt and distribution of saliva, blood, and stool samples and associated documentation to the appropriate EPA laboratories;
  • Processing of samples received, including filtration, centrifugation, and solvent extraction;
  • Performing analysis of biomarkers in human samples including antibody responses to specific pathogens, and biomarkers of immune, metabolic and neuroendocrine functions using various assay technologies including Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), kinetic assay, Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) electorchemoluminescense assay and LuminexTM multiplex suspension assays;
  • Performing nucleic acid extraction and molecular analyses using a variety of commercial kits;
  • Maintaining careful and accurate records in designated laboratory notebooks,
  • Maintaining inventory of supplies and preparing lists of supplies to be ordered, as needed; and
  • Performing data processing and basic statistical analysis of assay results.
Communications-related responsibilities
  • Participating as a member of a multi-disciplinary research team;
  • Interacting with EPA scientists and other members of the laboratory team; and
  • Documenting experimental and sample collection efforts.
The selected candidate may be asked to present work performed as a poster at a scientific conference, and may be asked to assist with writing a manuscript or report describing the research.
Location: This job will be located EPA’s Chapel Hill, NC facility.
Salary: Selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $28.99 for hours worked.
Hours: Full-time
Travel: Occasional overnight travel may be required.
Expected start date: The position is full time and expected to begin October 2019. The initial project is through May 14, 2020, with potential optional periods.
  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned at least a Master’s degree in biology, microbiology, molecular biology, public health, environmental sciences, engineering or a closely related field from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months and
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Permanent Resident.
EPA ORD employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program.