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Laboratory Specialist

Laboratory Specialist

Job ID 6518
Job Location Atlanta - GA
Category Healthcare
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time

The Laboratory Specialist supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) Influenza Division (ID) in the areas of laboratory operations, analysis and research.  This position provides essential expertise for monitoring drug susceptibility of viruses collected worldwide for the diagnosis of influenza resistance to antiviral drugs.



Essential duties and responsibilities include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.


Responsible for the integration of CNI Core Competencies into daily functions, including: commitment to integrity, knowledge / quality of work, supporting financial goals of the company, initiative / motivation, cooperation / relationships, problem analysis / discretion, accomplishing goals through organization, positive oral / written communication skills, leadership abilities, commitment to Affirmative Action, reliability / dependability, flexibility and ownership / accountability of actions taken.


Performs assays to assess the drug susceptibility of seasonal and zoonotic influenza viruses including neuraminidase inhibition assays and cell culture based assays.


Prepares for submission to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) new animal study protocols describing the use of immunocompromised models (mice and ferrets) to improve understanding of mechanisms driving emergence of resistance to a single drug or a drug combination.


Performs experiments in animal models aiming at establishing laboratory correlates of clinically relevant drug resistance in influenza, including for infections caused by zoonotic viruses.


Analyzes samples obtained from mice and ferrets for the presence of drug resistant viruses.  Isolates and fully characterizes the identified drug resistant virus variants.


Assesses replicative fitness of drug resistant influenza viruses in vitro and in vivo; develops appropriate techniques, and establishes appropriate animal models as needed.


Elucidates molecular mechanisms underlying resistance to broad spectrum monoclonal antibodies (e.g., monoclonal antibodies targeting highly conserved regions of the hemagglutinin molecule).


Performs classical influenza virological techniques, which includes hemagglutination, viral stock preparation, cell culture assays and virus cloning. 


Performs assays and experiments under BSL3+ safety conditions.


Maintains accurate laboratory records.


Presents scientific data in section and branch meetings.


Supports results of scientific studies by assisting with write-ups and publications in peer reviewed scientific journals.


Trains junior scientist and postdocs in the laboratory on immunological, virological, and animal handling techniques.


Plans daily activities within the guidelines of company policy, job description and supervisor's instruction in such a way as to maximize output.  Responsible for aiding in own self-development by being available and receptive to any training made available by the company.


Responsible for keeping own immediate work area in a neat and orderly condition to ensure safety of self and coworkers. Will report any unsafe conditions and/or practices to the appropriate supervisor and Human Resources. Will immediately correct any unsafe conditions as the best of own ability.



PhD in Biology, Microbiology, Virology, or Immunology or related fields of study in Biological Sciences and a minimum of four (4) years hands-on experience in virology, molecular or cell biology or immunology techniques. Experience with influenza virological techniques and animal models is essential.



Must be able to achieve certification for work under BSL3+ conditions, including passing background checks for Select Agent handling and certification for use of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR)



Knowledge of the methods, techniques, practices and procedures used in conducting laboratory testing of varied complexity

Knowledge of current advances in clinical laboratory science and procedural techniques and instrumentation

Knowledge of clinical trials with a specialty in diseases and current available evidence / science

Knowledge of laboratory operations, programs, policies, procedures and practices, applicable laws, rules, regulations and standards

Knowledge of the function and proper use of clinical laboratory equipment

Knowledge of the methods and techniques of data collection, interpretation and analysis

Superior analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Excellent verbal and written communications skills with ability to correspond with a variety of inquiries from multiple levels of knowledgeable sources

Exceptional skills in researching, writing, reviewing and editing technical materials and methods

Ability to prepare written reports that provide adequate and accurate documentation

Excellent Microsoft Office skills (i.e., Access, Excel, Word, Outlook)

Knowledge of proven training methods and techniques related to subject matter

Ability to effectively conduct training sessions in a laboratory setting with enthusiasm and clarity

Ability to plan, organize, coordinate and execute work

Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure

Ability to work both independently and in a team environment for the successful achievement of goals and objectives



Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations. Ability to apply mathematical operations such as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.



Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems. Ability to deal with nonverba1 symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, musical notes, etc.,) in its most difficult phases. Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.



Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and or boards of directors.