Associate Director, Molecular Diagnostics and Monitoring Vacancy at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) is a global organization dedicated to advancing military medical research.

We serve military, medical, academic and government clients by administering, managing and supporting preeminent scientific programs that benefit members of the armed forces and civilians alike.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Associate Director, Molecular Diagnostics and Monitoring

Job ID: 210925
Location: Nigeria
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Descriptions

  • HJF is seeking a Associate Director, Molecular Diagnostics and Monitoring for the HIV Research Program (MHRP) located in Kericho, Kenya.
  • HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to MHRP.


  • Lead the validation, implementation, and execution of drug resistance (DR) genotype, viral load, and early infant diagnostic assays meeting all College of American Pathology (CAP) requirements in support of clinical research, vaccine and therapeutic trials, and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiatives.
  • Set up and establish a HIV-1 Resistance Genotyping laboratory to meet with execution procedures (unidirectional work flow and separated areas to handle reagents, specimens, PCR and post PCR) as required for execution of PCR assays.
  • Demonstrate competence in the execution of RT-PCR and PCR amplification reactions to include analysis and performance of all aspects of nucleic acid sequence, clinical and therapeutic monitoring technologies.
  • Lead in the preparation of laboratory reagents, buffers, primer stocks, and sequencing consumable reagents.
  • Responsible for oversight of analysis of run data prior to release for clinical reporting.
  • Responsible for QA/QC of all nucleic acid assays for Kericho Field Station CAP Laboratory.
  • Develop QA/QC SOPs for execution of nucleic acid assays.
  • Establish methods for storage of HIV-1 sequence data, and other pathogen sequence data (TB) as appropriate, viral load results, and specimen demographic information for analysis.
  • Maintain all records according to CAP regulatory requirements.
  • Analyze sequences using software programs such as: DNASTAR, Sequencher, MEGA 5.1, REGA, Stanford Database, Jumping Profile HMM, NIH HIV Databases or other sequence analysis packages.
  • Demonstrate competence in handling HIV and other infections disease specimens in BSL-2 laboratory.
  • Demonstrate competence in the extraction of DNA and RNA from plasma/serum/dried blood spot and cells.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent molecular biology and general laboratory skills, Experience working in BSL-2 laboratory with infectious material. Experience with genotyping and sequencing, specifically with HIVDR assays.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative nucleic acid assays, including but, not limited to, clinical monitoring (viral load) and early infant diagnostic assays.
  • Ability to work independently and train staff in molecular biological techniques.
  • Ability to establish and perform assays under clinical laboratory regulations, ie: CAP

Minimum Education/Training Requirements

  • PhD in molecular biology or related science field and meet CAP requirements for and registration with the relevant professional body e.g., Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board.
  • A minimum of 3 years experience in clinical laboratory having a clinical research support element.
  • Prefer direct bench experience in HIV-1 Resistance Genotype, viral load, early infant diagnostic testing, and experience in the analysis of sequence data.
  • Familiar with clinical laboratory QA/QC for molecular biology and CAP regulations for high complexity molecular testing.
  • Minimum Experience: 2 – 4 years knowledge and direct bench experience in molecular biology and sequencing techniques such as RNA and DNA extractions, RT-PCR and PCR, electrophoresis, DNA sequencing and analysis.

Physical Capabilities:

  • Job performance requires movement around and between several laboratory areas and the precise manipulation of small volumes of reagent.
  • Long periods of sitting and standing may be required in processing of specimens.
  • Must be able to sit at computer for preparation of SOPs, data review, sequence analysis and report preparation.
  • Individual must be able to work in a Biological Safety hood for the handling of infectious agents and PCR setup.
  • Fine motor coordination and manipulation of laboratory materials is essential.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls:

  • The incumbent will be under the supervision of the Laboratory Director of the Kericho Field Station laboratory.

Work Environment:

  • The incumbent will work from Clinical Diagnostics Laboratory of the Clinical Research Centre (USAMRD-K/KEMRI) Kericho Field Station.
  • The incumbent will handle bio-hazardous materials, chemicals and infected patient specimens.
  • Hours and duty location may be modified based on position requirements.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

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