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Research Scientist Lead for Vaccine Development in the Wan Lab at University of Missouri

University of Missouri-Columbia .
Columbia, Missouri (US)
Closing date
Jul 5, 2023

The Influenza Systems Biology Lab at the University of Missouri is seeking a highly skilled and motivated Research Scientist to lead our vaccine development efforts. This is an exceptional opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research and play a pivotal role in advancing the development of novel vaccines and therapeutic interventions.



1) Design and execute experiments to identify and characterize immunogenic epitopes for various pathogens, with a particular focus on influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. 2) Develop and optimize laboratory protocols for epitope mapping, antigen production, and characterization using molecular and animal models. 3) Conduct immunological assays, such as ELISA, flow cytometry, ELISpot, and neutralization assays, to evaluate the immunogenicity of identified epitopes. 4) Collaborate with a team of computational biologists to utilize computational approaches to predict and prioritize potential epitopes for further investigation. 5) Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to design and implement vaccine development strategies based on epitope-driven approaches. 6) Lead a team to conduct comprehensive assessments of the immunogenicity, protective efficacy, and safety of vaccine candidates in preclinical animal models, while collaborating closely with industry partners and regulatory teams to facilitate the smooth translation of promising candidates from preclinical studies to clinical trials. 7) Analyze and interpret experimental data, perform statistical analysis, and prepare reports and scientific publications. 8) Stay abreast of the latest research in epitope discovery, vaccine development, and immunology, and contribute to the development of new research initiatives. 9) Mentor and provide guidance to postdocs, junior researchers and research assistants.


Qualifications: 1) Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., immunology, virology, microbiology, biochemistry). 2) Proficiency in molecular biology techniques, such as cloning, protein expression, and purification. 3) Experience with epitope discovery and characterization techniques. 4) Experience with immunological assays, such as ELISA, ELISpot, flow cytometry, and neutralization assays. 5) Experience with animal models for vaccine effectiveness evaluation. 5) Knowledge of vaccine development principles, including antigen design, formulation, and preclinical evaluation. 6) Familiarity with adjuvants and delivery systems used in vaccine development. 7) Excellent data analysis and interpretation skills, with proficiency in statistical analysis tools. Strong scientific writing skills, with a track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals. 8) Effective communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams. 9) Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.


To apply: Interested candidates should submit the following application materials to 1) Cover letter, highlighting your research experience and interest in the position. 2) Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications. 3) Contact information for three professional references.

This position offers a highly competitive salary and a collaborative and stimulating research environment with access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources. For more information about the lab, please visit our website at Join our team and contribute to exciting research in vaccine development.


MU Research Infrastructure

The lab has access to a large ABSL-2 animal facility, which was newly established and dedicated to study influenza transmission and vaccinology using various animal models, especially swine, and this facility is equipped to test the vaccine efficacy under a wide range of humidity and temperature. In addition, the lab has access to BSL-3 and ABSL-3 Facility at Laboratory Infectious Diseases Research, which is a Regional Containment Laboraotry with approximately 32,403 gross sq. ft research facility. This facility is also approved for use and storage of select agents and toxins. MU also houses multiple core facilities, such as Electron Microscopy Core Facility, Charles W. Gehrke Proteomics Center, Metabolomics Center, Molecular Interaction Core, Cell & Immunobiology Core, DNA Core Facility, and Informatics Research Core Facility, and Molecular Cytology Core. These core facilities actively acquire state-of-art equipment and provide service for the research across MU.


Benefit Eligibility

This position is eligible for University benefits. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts. For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at


Diversity Commitment

The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call the Vice Chancellor of Human Resource Services/Affirmative Action officer at 573-882-4256. To request ADA accommodations, please call the Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager at 573-884-7278.

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