Open Until Filled
Heluna Health (HH) and the California Department of Public Health Vector-Borne Disease Section (VBDS) are recruiting for the position of Assistant Microbiologist. The VBDS laboratory supports statewide surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases such as endemic and emerging mosquito-borne arboviruses, Lyme disease, and plague. The VBDS laboratory tests arthropods such as ticks and fleas, as well as animal blood for vector-borne and zoonotic disease agents.
The Assistant Microbiologist is a contract position and will work closely with the current VBDS microbiologists to conduct serological and molecular assays to identify multiple vector-borne disease pathogens.
The position reports to the Supervising Public Health Biologist and works closely with the Vector-Borne Disease Section Public Health Biologists and laboratory staff.
This position is funded through July 31, 2021 and may be extended if additional funding is available.
Submit cover letter and resume with the application.
•Conduct serological testing of chicken blood for West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus and western equine encephalitis virus using three tests (EIA, IFA, WB); complete testing and reporting of results (up to 400 samples a week) within days of receipt.
•Identify ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas using taxonomic keys.
•Conduct direct fluorescent antibody staining of tick tissues to identify spirochetal bacteria.
•Conduct serological testing on rodent and carnivore blood samples for plague and tularemia.
•Conduct PCR assays to test for select vector-borne disease pathogens in arthropods.
•Collaborate on enhanced surveillance research projects.
•Work with VBDS staff to ensure accuracy and timeliness of vector-borne disease test results.
•Use multiple databases to enter records and report results.
•Prepare summary tables, figures, and reports.
•Prepare and stock lab reagents, wash glassware, and do other laboratory maintenance procedures as needed.
•Requires knowledge of and experience with standard laboratory practices and sterile techniques, including microscopes, autoclaves, electronic balances, pipettes, and standard sterilization techniques.
•Specific knowledge, experience, and expertise with serological and molecular assays, including PCR assays, required.
•Previous experience with arthropods, preferred.
•Ability to use taxonomic keys.
•Ability to interpret scientific protocols and implement those protocols explicitly.
•Familiarity with databases.
•Problem solving, multi-tasking, dependability and the ability to meet deadlines.
•Excellent communication skills, the ability to work well with others in a team.
•Bachelor’s degree in microbiology or related field, required
•One or more years of laboratory experience in molecular biology or microbiology, required.
•A Master’s degree may be substituted for the one year of experience.