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Researcher/Support Scientist

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10/30/2017 3:00:23 PM
Fort Detrick, MD US
Job Description:

Battelle is guided by a founding mission. We invest our knowledge, talents and resources, helping our customers achieve their most important goals. We apply scientific rigor and creativity, succeeding where others may fail and we invest in our communities, making the world better for generations to come. All of us share a common purpose: to solve the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow.


Our 22,000 employees work at the forefront of scientific innovation to tackle critical challenges in security, human health, manufacturing, energy and environmental management. Battelle’s work is grounded in the belief that science, technology and a passion for excellence can make industries more competitive and the world a better place.


We are currently seeking a Support Scientist/Researcher. This position is located in Frederick, Maryland. 




The Support Scientist is to perform assays supporting research studies investigating high consequence BSL-4 viruses or closely related viruses with a focus on cellular biology and host-pathogen interactions at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. Working within an existing team, the support scientist will establish, optimize, and/or run virologic, cellular, microscopic, and/or immunologic in vitro techniques supporting animal model and medical countermeasure development, and/or further understanding of pathogenesis. He/she will be responsible for proficiency in the use and maintenance of all equipment and procedures for the assigned area with ability to cross-train in related support areas.


Primary Research Duties include:


  • Establishment and optimization of minigenome, trVLP, and full-length infectious clone (reverse genetics) systems for negative-stranded single-stranded RNA viruses (additional knowledge in reverse genetics for positive-stranded RNA viruses is a plus).
  • Modification of plasmids/recombinant viruses via classical (cut-and-paste) and modern (Gibson etc.) cloning techniques for mutational analysis and establishment and evaluation of recombinant viruses expressing various optical or medical imaging reporter genes.
  • As part of these duties, performs standard assays and experiments in molecular biology to include nucleic acid extraction, PCR, real time PCR, sequence analysis (including population analysis), immunoblotting (knowledge in Northern and Southern blotting useful), ELISA.
  • Performs transfections of eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells primary and/or immortalized cells, analyzes cellular infections using immunofluorescence (including high-content/Operetta analysis) or other methods for detection of reporter expression.
  • Performs in vitro transcription, protein production and purification, co-immunoprecipitation, sample preparation for EM or mass spectrometric analyses. Performs siRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 knockdowns in vitro, possible in high-throughput setting.
  • Performs standard viral assays, including culture, growth-curve analyses, titration (neutralization assays/PRNT, particle and genome-copy counts DI particle analysis).
  • Performs data analysis and writes manuscripts drafts, publishes first- or co-authored papers, and may have to present data at conferences.
  • Identifies and solves common problems relating to laboratory methodology, instrumentation, and procedure under the direction of the supervisor.
  • Participates in development of assays used in neighboring laboratories and cross-training of others on equipment and assays.
  • Maintains adequate inventory of supplies as required.
  • Uses good documentation practices while maintaining laboratory notebook/forms and meets with supervisor to review methods and data.
  • Enters data into a database adhering to specifications and support online protocols and amendments.


General Lab Duties include:  


  • General lab organization and maintenance.
  • Maintain cell lines, plasmids, freezer, reagent inventories, supplies, common laboratory stocks (including viruses), and laboratory equipment. 
  • Prepare packages for shipment as required.
  • Participate in general laboratory housekeeping, to include biohazard waste management.


Computer Skills/Responsibilities: 


  • Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • GraphPad Prism, Lasergene (DNAStar), NCBI tools.
  • Basic understanding of Adobe products (including PDF annotation, Illustrator, and ideally Photoshop).




  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Master’s degree in molecular virology or other related science with 0-2 years of applicable experience.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills, excellent oral and written communication and organizational skills, ability to work independently, design experiments, and analyze data are required.
  • Ability to obtain/maintain certification in Chemical Personnel Reliability Program and/or Biological Personnel Reliability Program.
  • Ability to obtain/maintain CDC Select Agent Program approval.
  • Ability to obtain/maintain DoJ Security Risk Assessment (SRA) approval.
  • Must be willing to work in a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) and/or 3 (BSL3) and/or 4 (BSL 4) environment and able to wear appropriate respiratory protection.
  • Must be willing to be immunized with licensed and FDA approved Investigational New Drugs (IND) recommended for persons at risk to occupational exposure of biological agents.
  • Must be willing to participate in periodic drug screening.
  • Individual must be able to meet the requirements for Public Trust Level.




  • Previous BSL-3 or BSL-4 containment experience.
  • Experience with viral Select Agents is highly desired.
  • PhD in molecular virology or other related science.




Battelle’s competitive benefits program includes comprehensive medical and dental care, matching 401K, paid time off, flexible spending accounts, disability coverage, and other benefits that help provide financial protection for you and your family.


Battelle provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, or disability. Our goal is for each staff member to have the opportunity to grow to the limits of their abilities and to achieve personal and organizational objectives. We will support positive programs for equal treatment of all staff and full utilization of all qualified employees at all levels within Battelle.


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