Postdoctoral Scholar

Penn State University

Campus/Location:
University Park Campus
Campus City:
University Park, PA
Date Announced:
10/23/2019
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
91588
Work Unit:
Eberly College of Science
Department:
Biology

Description

The Boni Lab in the Department of Biology at the Pennsylvania State University is recruiting highly-motivated postdoctoral scholars to work in computational epidemiology and computational seroepidemiology Our lab’s research interests can be seen here http://www.cidd.psu.edu/people/mfb9 and here http://mol.ax Positions will begin in in 2019 or 2020. The initial area of research of the postholder will be influenza serology work related to a Centers for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) grant that was awarded to our group in September 2019 through NIAID and the Johns Hopkins University CEIRS center. See key research area (1) below. Other areas of seroepidemiological research are listed below under (2) and (3). We are based at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and the Department of Biology at The Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. We have had a >10 year collaboration with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (http://www.oucru.org) in Ho Chi Minh City where we still run field studies including a large multi-site seroepidemiology study focused on influenza seroprevalence and an mHealth reporting study centered on influenza-like illness patterns in Ho Chi Minh City. Our computational work focuses on evaluating malaria treatment strategies (http://mol.ax/pdf/nguyen15.pdf), exploring seasonality of influenza and ILI in the tropics (http://mol.ax/pdf/thai15.pdf), estimating the exposure frequency of avian influenza in the general population (http://mol.ax/pdf/boni13b.pdf), and the development of the recombination detection tool 3SEQ (http://mol.ax/3seq). The main pathogens of interest in our research group are influenza, malaria, and dengue. Candidates are encouraged to apply if they are interested in developing new directions for any of the ongoing projects described above, or if they see an opportunity to merge computational and field methods in a novel way. Candidates who are considering spending time in the field or learning field methods are also encouraged to apply. The position requires a Ph.D. in one of Ecology, Evolution, Computational Epidemiology, Mathematical Modeling, Population Genetics, Bioinformatics, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, or a related field. The ideal candidate will have experience in one or more programming languages and in a variety of statistical and modeling methods. Complementary expertise in epidemiology, ecology, or immunology may also be helpful. Excellent communication skills, including writing, are required, as is a strong publication record. A complete application should include a cover letter detailing experience and research interests, a current CV, and contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will be ongoing in 2019 and 2020. Key research areas include: (1) CEIRS Project 2019-2021. Our CEIRS award aims to answer to main questions. First, are influenza antibodies to the stalk region (HA2) of the haemagglutinin protein associated with protection from influenza infection, and do these HA2 antibody titers wane quickly or slowly post-infection? We have data to answer these questions from clinical studies that we ran in Ho Chi Minh City. Some new assays are required, and if the candidate has laboratory experience, they may be able to manage/supervise this new laboratory work. Second, is the rate of influenza evolution associated with the population-level of immunity. Likewise, this hypothesis can be tested using serological samples already tested in Vietnam. Additional sequencing work will be done during the grant period, and the candidate will focus on the phylogenetic analysis portion of this project. (2) Tropical Influenza Seroepidemiology. The second major area that the candidate will have the opportunity to work in is seroepidemiology of influenza virus in Vietnam. Data have already been collected (http://mol.ax/pdf/nhat17.pdf) including on avian antigens (http://mol.ax/pdf/boni13b.pdf). Key questions to focus on are tropical influenza attack rates, presence/absence of seasonality, reconstruction of past epidemics including silent epidemics, and exposure to avian influenza viruses. (3) General Seroepidemiology for other pathogens. Together with our collaborators Prof Marion Koopmans (https://www6.erasmusmc.nl/viroscience/research/researchers/marion_koopmans/?lang=en) at the Erasmus Medical Centre and Prof Stephen Baker at Cambridge (https://www.infectiousdisease.cam.ac.uk/directory/dr-stephen-baker) we will be developing serological methods and analyses for norovirus, dengue virus, zika, chikungunya, Salmonella, and a range of zoonotic pathogens. Please feel free to contact any of us if you have a preference for the institution you would like to be based at. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire, with possibility of re-funding. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088