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Lab Supervisor, Research Scientist, and Postdoc Positions in the Wan Lab at University of Missouri

University of Missouri-Columbia .
Columbia, Missouri
A highly competitive salary commensurate with experience will be offered.
Closing date
Jul 3, 2023

The Influenza Systems Biology Lab at the University of Missouri (MU) is actively seeking applications from highly motivated and talented individuals for the positions of Lab Supervisor, Research Scientist, and multiple Postdoctoral Research Fellows. This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated and experienced scientist to join our dynamic research team and contribute to cutting-edge discoveries in the field of virology and infectious diseases, with a particular focus on influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. We are seeking candidates for the following positions:

1. Lab Supervisor

Responsibilities: 1) Oversee and manage the day-to-day lab operations, ensuring efficient functioning of research activities and adherence to safety protocols. 2) Coordinate research projects across multiple disciplinary areas, including virology, animal studies, clinical research, and computational biology. 3) Foster a collaborative work environment, promoting effective communication and teamwork among researchers and team members. 4) Ensure compliance with safety and regulatory standards, particularly in the BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories. 5) Provide leadership and guidance to lab personnel, including training, mentoring, and performance evaluation. 6) Manage available laboratory resources to support ongoing research endeavors. 7) Stay abreast of the latest advancements in the field of virology and infectious diseases, and actively contribute to the development of new research initiatives. 8) Collaborate with external partners, such as government agencies, industry partners, and research collaborators, to enhance the impact and reach of the lab's research outcomes.

Qualifications: 1) Ph.D. or Master’s in a relevant scientific field (e.g., virology, microbiology, infectious diseases, immunology, molecular biology). 2) Minimum of 5 years of experience in laboratory research and/or management, preferably in a research-intensive environment. 3) Solid understanding of biosafety practices and experience working in BSL-2 laboratories. Prior experience in working in BSL-3 laboratories will be a plus. 4) Knowledge of animal research methodologies and ethics, including animal handling, procedures, and welfare. 5) Proven leadership abilities with excellent organizational, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. 6) Effective communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate and build productive relationships with researchers, staff, and external partners. 7) Prior experience working with influenza or SARS-CoV-2 viruses will be considered a strong advantage.


2. Research Scientist for Virus Surveillance and New Pathogen Discovery

Responsibilities: 1) Design and implement comprehensive surveillance strategies at the interface of animal and human populations. 2) Coordinate fieldwork and sample collection from domestic animal and wildlife species, including but not limited to urban rats and other potential reservoir hosts. 3) Develop and optimize laboratory protocols for viral detection, isolation, and characterization from collected samples. 4) Apply state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques, such as PCR, next-generation sequencing, and serological assays, to identify and analyze viral strains. 5) Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams and stakeholders to collect and integrate epidemiological data, enhancing the understanding of virus transmission dynamics. 6) Perform statistical analyses to assess trends, patterns, and risk factors associated with virus transmission in both animals and humans, as well as at the interface between animals and humans. 7) Publish research findings in reputable scientific journals and present results at conferences and meetings. 8) Stay up to date with the latest research and advancements in the field of zoonotic diseases and contribute to the development of new research initiatives. 9) Provide guidance and mentorship to junior researchers and research assistants.

Qualifications: 1) Ph.D. in a relevant field (e.g., virology, microbiology, epidemiology, wildlife biology). 2) Demonstrated expertise in virology, particularly in the surveillance and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 and/or influenza viruses. 3) Proven experience in conducting fieldwork and sample collection from animal species. 4) Proficiency in molecular biology techniques, including PCR, sequencing, and serological assays. 5) Strong data analysis skills, including statistical analysis and data visualization. 6) Experience with bioinformatics tools and data analysis pipelines is desirable. 7) Excellent scientific writing skills, with a track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals. 8) Effective communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams. 9) Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. 10) Prior experience in zoonotic disease surveillance and/or One Health approaches is highly desirable.


3. Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Impact of Glycosylation on Virus Immunogenicity and Influenza Vaccine Design:

Project Description: Investigate the effects of glycosylation on the immunogenicity of influenza viruses and explore strategies to optimize influenza vaccine design.

Responsibilities: Conduct experiments to characterize glycosylation patterns of influenza viruses, assess their impact on viral antigenicity and host immune responses, and contribute to the development of improved influenza vaccine formulations.

Requirements: Ph.D. in Virology, Microbiology, Immunology, or a related field. Experience with reverse genetics is preferred.

4. Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Impact of Pre-existing Immunity on Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness:

Project Description: Investigate the influence of pre-existing immunity on the effectiveness of influenza vaccines and identify factors that modulate vaccine response in individuals with prior exposure to influenza viruses using systems biology approaches, including single cell RNAseq.

Responsibilities: Design and execute studies to analyze the impact of pre-existing immunity on vaccine-induced immune responses, evaluate correlates of vaccine protection, and contribute to the development of strategies to enhance vaccine effectiveness using systems biology approaches including single-cell RNA sequencing.

Requirements: Ph.D. in Virology, Immunology, Epidemiology, or a related field. Experience with animal models is desirable.


5. Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Virus entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2

Project Description: The successful candidate will work on projects aimed at unraveling the intricate mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 gains entry into target cells from humans and a range of animal hosts. The research will involve studying viral spike protein interactions, receptor recognition, and cellular factors involved in viral entry. The ultimate goal is to develop a tool to identify transmission risks of SARS-CoV-2 at the animal-human interface and to uncover novel targets for therapeutic interventions and develop strategies to inhibit virus entry.

Responsibilities: Conduct experiments to investigate the molecular interactions between SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and host receptors; Explore the role of cellular factors and co-receptors in facilitating virus entry and infection. Utilize state-of-the-art techniques, such as CRISPR, cell-based assays, confocal microscopy, and biochemical assays, to study virus entry mechanisms.

Requirements: Ph.D. in Virology, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, or a related field. Experience with CRISPR is desirable.

6. Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Virus Zoonosis and New Pathogen Discovery:

Project Description: The successful candidate will work on projects aiming to understand virus transmission between animal and humans and to detect novel pathogens causing risks to humans.

Responsibilities: Conduct independent research focused on virus zoonosis and new pathogen discovery. Design and execute experiments to study the transmission dynamics, host range, and pathogenicity of zoonotic viruses. Employ advanced molecular biology techniques, such as next-generation sequencing and metagenomics, to identify and characterize novel pathogens.

Requirements: Ph.D. in Virology, Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, or a related field.

All positions offer a highly competitive salary and provide a dynamic research environment equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. We foster collaborative research opportunities and provide valuable mentorship from experienced scientists, ensuring a supportive and stimulating atmosphere for professional growth and development. For more information about the lab, please visit our website at Join our team and contribute to exciting research in influenza and emerging infectious diseases.

Interested candidates should submit the following application materials to 1)Cover letter summarizing your research experience and interest in the type of position; 2) Curriculum vitae (CV). 3) Contact information for three professional references.

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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