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The Department of General Services, Division of Consolidated Laboratories (DCLS) seeks a qualified candidate to serve as a Senior Scientist in the Molecular Detection and Characterization (MDC) laboratory. The selected candidate will be responsible for oversight of training and testing to support infectious disease investigations of public health significance conducted by the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Senior Scientist duties will focus on quality assurance for the group and execute a wide variety of molecular biology methodologies for the rapid identification, characterization, and typing of highly-infectious pathogens from human, animal, and environmental specimen types. Testing methodologies include, but are not limited to nucleic acid isolation; standard and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing; and nucleic acid sequencing via next generation and capillary electrophoresis methodologies; and bacterial culture setup. The incumbent will also assist with the development and validation of new methods; perform QA/QC procedures; maintain accurate records; and maintain equipment.

Weekend and after hours work will be required during emergency testing events.

Qualified state employees may be eligible for student loan forgiveness through the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). As a full-time employee with the Virginia Department of General Services, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, you may be able to take advantage of this program! Visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program site for more information including eligibility requirements.
Minimum QualificationsThe applicant must meet the following minimal qualifications:
  • Meet Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements for a technical supervisor in a high complexity testing laboratory as defined by 42 CFR 493.1449 
  • Knowledge and experience in Molecular Biology testing.
  • Experience performing high complexity, Polymerase Chain Reaction (Standard and Real-Time) testing. 
  • Experience training staff.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience operating and troubleshooting laboratory instrumentation.
  • Knowledge of QA and QC procedures and how to properly document and interpret QC data.
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety practices.
  • Work successfully in a team environment.
Preferred QualificationsPreferred work related skills and experience include the following:
  • Knowledge and experience with computerized laboratory information management systems; spreadsheets, MS Office products, and laboratory software programs.
  • Experience with nucleic acid extraction from a variety of matrices. 
  • Experience with nucleic acid sequencing via next generation and capillary electrophoresis methodologies.
  • Experience with microbial identification techniques and bacterial culture setup. 
  • Experience with the development and validation of new methods. 
  • Experience serving as a team leader with the ability to prioritize, schedule and coordinate laboratory testing of others.
  • Knowledge and experience with CLIA regulations and audits.
  • Experience working in a BSL-3 laboratory.