Oferta de trabajo: Research Assistant in Malaria Genomics

Descripción

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) is a cutting-edge institute addressing global public health challenges through research, translation into policy and education. ISGlobal has a broad portfolio in communicable and non-communicable diseases including environmental and climate determinants, and applies a multidisciplinary scientific approach ranging from the molecular to the population level. Research is organized in three main areas, Malaria and other Infectious Diseases, Child and Maternal Health, and Urban Health, Climate & Non-Communicable Diseases.  ISGlobal is accredited with the Severo Ochoa distinction, a seal of excellence of the Spanish Science Ministry.


Mozambique is among the ten countries with the highest burden of malaria worldwide, with an estimated 9.3 million cases in 2018, and constitutes a core target for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to End Malaria’s country-led ‘high burden to high impact’ initiative. At the same time, the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) of Mozambique seeks to accelerate elimination in the south, where transmission is lowest. NMCP is currently working with partners (Malaria Consortium, PMI, Global Fund) to set up a high-resolution surveillance system that can drive decision-making across all transmission strata through strengthening of routine data quality, data use and data to action packages. However, decisions become more complex as control reveals heterogeneity and better tools are required for a strategic use of information to drive impact. The integration of genomic data into routine surveillance activities has the potential to increase the actionable intelligence for making programmatic decisions on the optimal mix of control and elimination measures in Mozambique. 

 

Lugar

Barcelona - Campus Clínic

What We Are Looking for:

ISGlobal is seeking a talented individual who is experienced in the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) approaches to analyze the genome of human pathogens and, particularly, malaria. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing and applying NGS approaches for the target sequencing of malaria parasites in the context of the project “Targeting the P. falciparum genome for public health impact in Mozambique”. S/he will be also responsible for the project management and harmonization of molecular procedures in Spain and Mozambique. The overall aim of the project is to build malaria genomic capacities in Mozambique. The goal is to advance malaria control and eradication through the identification of key drivers of malaria transmission using innovative genomic and analytical tools. The project proposes a participatory approach engaging all parts of the health system to promote a culture of genetic data use and increase the public health impact, while leveraging ongoing activities and existing capacity in Mozambique. We will first develop analytical and interpretive genomic capacities at ISGlobal and transfer them to CISM, an institution with extensive experience in malaria research and a pivotal role in contributing to the development of the Mozambican Ministry of Health's overall health policy, for a collaborative use of next-generation sequencing facilities by the Mozambican National Health Institute (INS) and other Health Institutes in the region (Africa CDC). We will then integrate genomic intelligence in the NMCP’s strategic and operational activities through a) embedding genetic surveillance on ongoing and future routine control and elimination strategies (e.g. use of routine samples) and b) the integration of genomic surveillance onto the Integrated Malaria Information Storage System (iMISS) for analysing, visualising and generating data for action (e.g. through genetic surveillance dashboards) at the appropriate granularity level. The project will be conducted by the Malaria Physiology group at ISGlobal, in collaboration with the Manhiça Health Research Center (Mozambique), the University of California-San Francisco and the Institute of Disease Modelling (USA).

Training and experience /Qualifications

Required:

  • Graduate in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Biology or similar areas.
  • Experience in next generation sequencing 
  • Demonstrated application of open-source packages for NGS data. 
  • Availability to travel to Mozambique & USA for training purposes.
  • Experience in the management of projects involving African partners.

Desired:

  • Postgraduate degree such as Master's or Ph.D. experience.
  • 3-5 years of experience in next generation sequencing
  • Demonstrated knowledge of statistical principles, including experimental design.
  • Demonstrated success in technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaboration with others and independent thought.
  • Ability to collaborate with the team and translate existing research into practical solutions and products.
  • Drive project execution and implement a robust plan for measuring success.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and use NGS approaches to interrogate parasite populations from high burden to near elimination settings in Mozambique to derive epidemiologically actionable information for malaria molecular surveillance. We will target 3 use cases: a) antimalarial and diagnostic resistance; b) parasite importation and characterization of local transmission in near-elimination settings; and c) stratification, monitoring and impact evaluation. The final aim is to integrate main genetic data data into surveillance activities in Mozambique through periodic interactions with the National Malaria Control Program and other stakeholders in the country working on the surveillance space.
  • Project management
  • Provide molecular support to the team in other research projects.

Specific Duties

  • Design a single, multiplexed amplicon sequencing panel including a) drug resistance markers & hrp2/3 deletion, and b) measures of transmission and connectivity using samples already collected in Mozambique.
  • Targeted sequencing of malaria parasites from Mozambique 
  • Transcriptional analysis of malaria parasites using qRT-PCR and other platforms
  • Publication curation and entry into databases.
  • Interact with the research team in Mozambique & USA for training and harmonization purposes.
  • Coordinate the development of protocols and follow their correct implementation (from the collection of samples in the field to the genetic analysis)
  • Supervise project activities in Spain and Mozambique
  • Coordinate with partners (meetings, teleconferences and summary of the discussions with study participants)
  • Plan, conduct and coordinate training activities as well as reporting activities
  • Additional duties as assigned.

Skills

  • Strong problem-solving competence and effective communication skills. 
  • Drive and determination.
  • Desire to learn.
  • Focus and discipline.
  • Respects and embraces diversity of perspective.
  • Enjoy solving problems; inquisitive and analytical; engaged and motivated.
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a larger team.
  • Ability to see the big picture and work towards that goal.
  • Ability to build and manage relationships with various collaborators across and outside the company.

Language level

Fluent English

Conditions

  • Duration: 3 years (extendable depending on the performance) 
  • Starting date: February-March 2021
  • Contract: Full time
During the crisis caused by COVID19, standard working conditions will be adapted to sanitary requirements. 

How to apply

Applicants must fill in the request form and include the following code reference position: Molecular Biologist_Malaria_Dec20, attach the CV and a Cover Letter. Each attached document must be named with the candidate name and surname. 

The receipt of applications will be open until 15th February 2021
Applications will be accepted until 17.00 CET of the closing date.

Only the applications submitted through the request form will be considered.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The interviews could be placed during the reception candidatures period.

In ISGlobal we are committed to maintaining and developing a work environment in which the values and principles of our organization are respected and equal opportunities between women and men be promoted in each of the areas in which we operate, not tolerating discrimination based on criteria such as age, sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, disabilities, political leanings, religion or sexual orientation.