Research Officer

JOB PURPOSE:

To support molecular diagnostics, genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis for a range of projects aimed at understanding the COVID-19 transmission dynamics in Kenya and building viral genomics capacity across East Africa. Viruses under investigation include SARS-CoV-2, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, endemic coronaviruses, and human metapneumovirus.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Designing, implementing, optimizing and troubleshooting respiratory virus pathogen diagnostics and genome sequencing protocols
  • Leading molecular diagnostic screening for a range of virus targets in archived and ongoing respiratory samples collections that collected during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
  • Assembling viral genomes derived from next generation sequencers including Oxford Nanopore Technology and Illumina with either amplicon or metagenomic approach.
  • Undertaking phylogenetic analyses, producing reports, presenting arising results and leading writing of new scientific manuscripts.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Required

  • BSc in Medical Laboratory Science and Technology, Molecular Biology Bioinformatics, or similar (Upper second honors or higher)
  • MSc in Microbiology/Biochemistry/ Bioinformatics/Molecular Biology with at least 3 years of work experience
  • Experience in virus molecular diagnostics and whole genome sequencing using NGS methods
  • Previous experience in respiratory virus gene/genome sequencing, bioinformatics and phylogenetic analysis of sequence data

Desirable

  • Undertaken a Post-Graduate Diploma in relevant subject area
  • Knowledge and capability in programming for sequence data manipulations (e.g. R, python)
  • At least one first author scientific publication/contribution in a peer review journal.

SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES:

  • Understanding of virus sequencing approaches including NGS and phylogenetics
  • The ability to plan own workload and keep accurate scientific records in a change work priorities environment.
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and interpersonal skills

RELATIONSHIPS:

  • Working in collaboration with members of the Viral Epidemiology and Control (VEC) group (laboratory and research), and with relevant Programme scientists such as those linked to Kilifi Bioinformatics Core (KBiC).

How to apply

To apply for the post, please use the below link:

https://jobs.kemri-wellcome.org/job-advert/research-officer-2

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