Positions in Food Safety/Microbiology - Post-doctoral & Research Assistant positions

Posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

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Positions in Food Safety/Microbiology

The Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS) at the University of Guelph (Canada) is seeking applicants for several positions to join Dr. Lawrence Goodridge’s team in a collaborative environment promoting creative scientific research and career development.  Our current work has a major emphasis in microbiology and encompasses the use of genomics and modelling approaches to: 

  1. Improve surveillance of foodborne and other infectious diseases, 
  2. Develop an understanding of infectious disease transmission, and
  3. Develop modern approaches to understand foodborne pathogen virulence and survival in foods.

Positions include 2 post-doctoral positions and 1 research assistant position.
Successful candidates will join a dynamic and diverse research team in the Canadian Research for Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS) at U of G.

Each position is described below. If you are interested, please submit your application to Dr. Valeria Parreira Pinto (vparreir@uoguelph.ca) by January 21st. Complete applications must include a Cover letter introducing yourself and explaining your relevant background experience, a personal statement indicating  why you want to be part of our team, two letters of reference,  and an updated CV. Applications can be sent by email, and please place the following text in subject line: Post-Doc, and Research Assistant opportunities.

Review of applications will begin on January 24th, 2022 Only appropriate candidates will be contacted by e-mail for an interview.


Postdoctoral Fellowship - Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics (1 year position, with possibility of renewal)

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to contribute to an effort that integrates genomics/metagenomics and epidemiological/clinical data to enhance investigations of infectious diseases caused by foodborne pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses and parasites). This is a collaborative project involving microbiologists, and genomics specialists and epidemiologists.

Responsibilities:

Key Responsibilities: Under the direction of the principal investigator the successful applicant will perform integration of genomics/metagenomics and epidemiological/clinical data for infections caused by foodborne pathogens of public health relevance. The successful applicant will design, execute, and conduct experiments, analyze data and prepare reports, develop manuscripts for publication, and attend meetings as required.

Knowledge and Skills: 

The successful applicant will have biology training and experience with contemporary experimental approaches, particularly knowledge of whole genome sequencing of bacteria using Illumina and Oxford Nanopore platforms. The ability to analyze large-scale genomics datasets, including next-generation sequencing and genome-wide genotyping datasets and knowledge of open source or commercial microbial NGS analysis pipelines is an asset. 

Education and Experience: 

The successful applicant will have a PhD degree in microbiology, genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics or related field. Experience working with complex samples is an asset.

Attributes and Competencies: 

The successful applicant will have excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills with the ability to troubleshoot computational processes and provide meaningful biological interpretation of ‘omics data. Excellent written communication skills with demonstrated experience in preparing research publications. It is an asset to have a strong publication record during graduate studies. The successful candidate will have a strong work ethic, excellent organizational and excellent oral and written (as demonstrated by publication record) communication skills to discuss results with scientific professionals. Demonstrated interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively with others in a diverse team environment, especially within a multi-disciplinary team.

If you meet the above profile requirements and wish to apply, please send your application (CV, personal statement, a copy of your PhD degree, and 2 reference letters) to Dr. Valeria Parreira Pinto (vparreir@uoguelph.ca) by January 21st. Complete applications must include a cover letter introducing yourself and explaining your relevant background experience, a personal statement indicating  why you want to be part of our team, two letters of reference,  a copy of your PhD degree, and an updated CV. Applications can be sent by email, and please place the following text in subject line: Post-Doc, and Research Assistant opportunities.

Review of applications will begin on January 24th, 2022. We thank all applicants in advance, and only appropriate candidates will be contacted by e-mail for an interview. The applications will be assessed in order of arrival and with the highest degree of confidentiality.


Postdoctoral Fellowship - Modeling foodborne infectious disease (1 year position, with possibility of renewal)

We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow for developing disease models using data mining in order to predict and stop foodborne outbreaks before they occur and, also events that lead to the emergence of new foodborne pathogens and/or foodborne outbreaks. This is a collaborative project involving microbiologists, epidemiologists and specialists on Data Management and Data Governance at the University of Guelph.

Responsibilities:

Key Responsibilities: Under the direction of the principal investigator the successful applicant will (i) perform machine learning using a validated list of foodborne outbreaks, (ii) build mathematical models with data obtained from the data mining and (iii) map data of foodborne outbreaks with climate data, food import data among others. The successful applicant will design, execute, and conduct experiments, analyze data and prepare reports, develop manuscripts for publication, and attend meetings as required.

Knowledge and Skills: 

The successful applicant will have experience working with diverse data (big, small, sparse, empirical, modeled, etc.). Expertise with statistical software and associated programs (e.g., R (strongly preferred), Python, SAS). Experience with building pipelines and scaling models with cloud computing platforms. The ability to effectively explain complex statistical models to individuals from different disciplinary backgrounds. Excellent oral and written communication skills and self-starter able to work independently and take ownership of work. Experience in creating infectious disease spread models and working with microbiological data is an asset.

Education and Experience: 

The successful applicant will have a PhD degree in computer science, epidemiology, bioinformatics or related field.

Attributes and Competencies: 

The successful applicant will have excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills with the ability to troubleshoot mathematical models and provide meaningful interpretation of foodborne outbreaks data. Excellent written
communication skills with demonstrated experience in preparing research publications. It is an asset to have a strong publication record during graduate studies. The successful candidate will have a strong work ethic, excellent organizational and excellent oral and written (as demonstrated by publication record) communication skills to discuss results with scientific professionals. Demonstrated interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment, especially within a multi-disciplinary team.

If you meet the above profile requirements and wish to apply, please send your application (CV, personal statement, a copy of your PhD degree, and 2 reference letters) to Dr. Valeria Parreira Pinto (vparreir@uoguelph.ca) by January 21st. Complete applications must include a cover letter introducing yourself and explaining your relevant background experience, a personal statement indicating  why you want to be part of our team, two letters of reference,  a copy of your PhD degree, and an updated CV. Applications can be sent by email, and please place the following text in subject line: Post-Doc, and Research Assistant opportunities.

Review of applications will begin on January 24th, 2022. We thank all applicants in advance, and only appropriate candidates will be contacted by e-mail for an interview. The applications will be assessed in order of arrival and with the highest degree of confidentiality.
 


Research Assistant (1 year position, with possibility of renewal)

We are seeking a highly motivated Microbiology and/or Molecular Biologist who will be involved in performing molecular assays, as part of the Ontario Wastewater Surveillance Initiative (https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60799/ontario-investing-in-wastewater-testing-system-to-detect-covid-19), which is a collaborative project involving microbiologists, genomics specialists and epidemiologists, and public health officials who are conducting COVID-19 surveillance in wastewater to understand disease transmission.

Responsibilities:

Key Responsibilities: Under the direction of the principal investigator the successful applicant will prepare components for experiments, including media buffers, and other solutions as needed; collect wastewater samples from wastewater treatment plants and process the samples; extract RNA from the wastewater samples, and analyze the samples using real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-RT-PCR) and digital PCR assays. The successful applicant will also analyze and upload data to databases, and prepare reports and manuscripts for publication, as well as attending meetings as required.

Knowledge and Skills: 

Previous laboratory experience is also a must, specifically RNA extraction and qPCR analysis.

Education and Experience: 

The successful applicant will have a B.Sc. in biology, biochemistry or related field, including completion of at least a second year level molecular biology course, AND a second year level microbiology course. Experience working with complex samples is an asset. 

Attributes and Competencies: 

The successful applicant will have excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills with the ability to troubleshoot computational processes and provide meaningful biological interpretation of PCR data. The successful candidate will have a strong work ethic, excellent organizational and excellent oral and written communication skills to discuss results with scientific professionals. Demonstrated interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment, especially within a multi-disciplinary team. A high Level of personal and professional integrity, and a driver’s license is also required.

If you meet the above profile requirements and wish to apply, please send your application (CV, personal statement, a copy of your degree, and 2 reference letters) to Dr. Valeria Parreira Pinto (vparreir@uoguelph.ca) by January 21st. Complete applications must include a cover letter introducing yourself and explaining your relevant background experience, a personal statement indicating  why you want to be part of our team, two letters of reference,  a copy of your degree, and an updated CV. Applications can be sent by email, and please place the following text in subject line: Post-Doc, and Research Assistant opportunities.

Review of applications will begin on January 24th, 2022. We thank all applicants in advance, and only appropriate candidates will be contacted by e-mail for an interview. The applications will be assessed in order of arrival and with the highest degree of confidentiality.


Research Assistant (1 year position, with possibility of renewal)

We are seeking a highly motivated, energetic, and independent individual, with an interest in microbiology to work in a fast-paced and dynamic basic and applied science lab as a Research Assistant. The Goodridge Lab employs microbiological techniques and encompasses the use of genomics and modelling approaches to:  

  1. Improve surveillance of foodborne and other infectious diseases,  
  2. Develop an understanding of infectious disease transmission, and 
  3. Develop modern approaches to understand foodborne pathogen virulence and survival in foods. 

Specific Duties & Responsibilities: 

The Research Assistant will be responsible for: 

  • Assisting in interviews, training, and providing hiring recommendations for undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral candidates. 
  • Managing and maintaining capital equipment, supply and consumable. purchasing and receiving, and allocation of expenditures to grants based on an understanding of which personnel relate to which project. 
  • Maintaining lab compliance with and renewal of biohazard, Material Transfer Agreements, and protocols in an independent fashion. 
  • Shipping samples to research collaborators as needed. 
  • Helping with grant writing and conducting literature reviews for research projects. 

In summary, the Research Assistant will act as a representative of the PI within the lab, to equipment and supply vendors, to various regulatory compliances units of the University of Guelph, and with other lab personnel and PIs in the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety. 

It is anticipated that the successful applicant will be able to devote time to research. 

Goodridge Lab research requires an understanding of microbiology and the theory behind genomic and molecular biology experiments, as well as applying analytical skills to design and trouble-shoot complex experiments. 

Successful completion of these responsibilities will require extensive knowledge of the overall objectives and interests of the lab's research and it is anticipated that they could contribute as author to research manuscripts. 

The applicant needs to be capable of exercising independent judgment while participating in the planning of experiments and helping to evaluate and interpret results. 

Qualifications: 

Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory): 

Bachelor's Degree in microbiology, or related field. 5 years related experience. 

Proven technical knowledge and laboratory experience. Master's Degree, with related graduate research, may substitute for experience. 

Preferred Qualifications: 

Experience with management of a large and diverse research group is strongly preferred. Exceptional organizational ability and attention to detail are required. 

A strong working knowledge of microbiology is required. The ability to design and maintain websites is an asset.  

Attributes and Competencies: The successful candidate will have a strong work ethic, excellent organizational and excellent oral and written communication skills to discuss results with scientific professionals. Demonstrated interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively with others in a team environment, especially within a multi-disciplinary team. A high Level of personal and professional integrity, and a driver’s license is also required. 

If you meet the above profile requirements and wish to apply, please send your application (CV, personal statement, a copy of your degree, and 2 reference letters) to Dr. Valeria Parreira Pinto (vparreir@uoguelph.ca) by January 21st. Complete applications must include a cover letter introducing yourself and explaining your relevant background experience, a personal statement indicating  why you want to be part of our team, two letters of reference,  a copy of your degree, and an updated CV. Applications can be sent by email, and please place the following text in subject line: Post-Doc, and Research Assistant opportunities. 

Review of applications will begin on January 24th, 2022. We thank all applicants in advance, and only appropriate candidates will be contacted by e-mail for an interview. The applications will be assessed in order of arrival and with the highest degree of confidentiality. 

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