Principal Investigator, Virology (#599)

Frederick, Maryland
February 05 2018
Life Sciences, Virology
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type


The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center managed and operated by the Battelle National Biodefense Institute (BNBI) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


The Principal Investigator in Virology is responsible for designing and executing research studies in the National Biological Threat Characterization Center (NBTCC) at the NBACC that address specific scientific questions of national significance in support of biodefense preparedness, response, and recovery.  Areas of research include a range of topics related to the physical, biological, and/or pathogenic properties of viral agents.  The Principal Investigator in Virology is responsible for designing studies, managing project teams, and reporting on results from laboratory studies.  Work will be performed in Select Agent-approved state-of-the-art BSL-2/3/4 and ABSL-2/3/4 facilities fully staffed and equipped with a wide range of technologies required for biodefense and infectious disease research.


  • Requires a PhD (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline or engineering, and a minimum of 5 years related experience.
  • Ability to demonstrate success in technical proficiency, scientific creativity and accountability, while collaborating with others using independent thought.
  • Proficiency and clarity of oral and written communications essential.
  • Exemplary organizational skills with a proven track record of working effectively both independently and as a team player.
  • Knowledge or experience with biocontainment facilities and procedures, laboratory safety, biosurety, and decontamination desirable.
  • Knowledge or experience with Quality Assurance (QA) programs such as ISO 9001 or ISO 17025 and/or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)/Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) desirable.
  • Must be a citizen of the United States, able to obtain an interim secret clearance leading to a top secret clearance, suitability for the DHS, a favorable adjudication of the Department of Justice (DoJ) for select agent access, and enrollment in the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP).Current clearance(s) desirable.
  • Participation in the Immunization Program is required.
  • May be required to participate in NBACC’s alternative work and/or on-call schedule, dependent upon business needs.


  • Independently designs, implements, and leads virology related research projects aimed at addressing current biological threat characterization knowledge gaps, to include development of project plans, oversight of project teams, completion of deliverables within time and budget constraints, and compliance with all relevant regulatory and sponsor requirements.
  • Prepares and reviews technical reports, technical proposals, presentation materials, safety plans, schedules, and other programmatic documents prior to their submission ensuring they are high quality, accurate, and address the requirements of the sponsor.
  • Maintains accurate and complete records, compiles and accurately analyzes data
    and presents research results in written and oral formats clearly and concisely
  • Maintains an awareness of scientific and programmatically-relevant trends, particularly those related to viral threat agents.
  • Assists in the continuous evaluation and improvement of experimental processes utilized in virology projects, and provides technical leadership in evaluation of new equipment and techniques to enhance NBACC capabilities.
  • Performs highly skilled and specialized laboratory research utilizing experimental protocols that may include: viral reverse genetics systems, genome editing technologies (CRISPR/Cas), nucleic acid extraction, quantitative RT-PCR analysis, host and/or viral gene/protein expression analyses, viral microtitration assays, next generation sequencing using Illumina platforms and other molecular methods as appropriate.
    Proficiency using standard molecular biology software tools (e.g., CLC Genomics Workbench, VectorNTI, LaserGene).
  • Collaborates both internally and externally with other scientists, and participates in the review of prior and on-going studies.
  • Works on complex problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of various factors.
  • Exercises judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
  • Ability to act independently to determine methods and procedures on new assignments, while overseeing and managing the scientific or administrative activities of lower level personnel.
  • Advanced knowledge of scientific principles and concepts, with a reputation as an emerging leader in the field, with sustained performance and accomplishment recognized internally and externally through publications, sponsor feedback, and peer input. 
  • Maintains a safe work environment by participating in specialized training and review of safety manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Identifies departures from the Quality Management System (QMS) and initiates actions to investigate and prevent such occurrences.
  • Ensures competence of staff to operate specific equipment or perform tests and issues Authorizations.
  • Ensures that equipment, reagents and supplies are maintained and used properly.
  • Directs, prioritizes, schedules and provides technical expertise to staff to conduct work.
  • Maintains appropriate records.
  • Performs other assigned duties.

BNBI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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