To reach the ambitious goal of malaria elimination, surveillance systems need to be strengthened, and tools are needed to improve diagnosis of infection, track drug resistance, improve the characterization of the parasite reservoir, and better assess transmission to provide precise and robust data for surveillance. Integrating molecular and genomic data as part of Nigeria’s surveillance effort will provide a sensitive approach and will give a more detailed picture on parasite population structure and contextualized data that could help customize interventions. As a result, we are carrying out malaria molecular surveillance in Nigeria, in collaboration with the (National Malaria Elimination Program. This project will utilize whole genome sequencing (WGS) to provide an informative, accurate, more detailed, and comprehensive approach to surveillance. We will use genomic data to provide information about the parasite population structure at the local level, track drug resistance and HR2/3 deletion, detect foci of transmission, investigate genetic diversity, and characterize connectivity and transmission of different parasite strains.
Molecular data collected will be translated to an easily understandable reporting tool that the NMEP will use to detect drug resistance and prevent the spread- especially the emergence and transmission of a potential large-scale artemisinin resistance. This project is harnessing and simplifying genomics for malaria eradication. It will strengthen and expand the types of data collected by integrating molecular surveillance into malaria control and elimination in Nigeria through the Malaria Indictor Survey (MIS), thereby aiding the NMEP in using genomic data to inform decision making targeted at interventions.
We are looking for two highly motivated and passionate individuals to join our team. We are directly involved in all aspects of data generation and analysis including field work, generating laboratory data, communicating directly with the National malaria elimination program, and helping build research capacity. Competitive salary including benefits will be provided commensurate with experience and qualifications and the post offers ample opportunities for career development.
The Research Scientist/Associate will have an advanced degree in molecular biology and/or public health (PhD is an advantage), and will assist with all laboratory research and program implementation activities throughout the duration of the project. The candidate will be expected to lead laboratory-based efforts to study the malaria parasite, and ideally engage fully in related bioinformatic and analytical work. The candidate will also perform literature reviews, data analysis, presentation of research results, and preparation of scientific manuscripts.
- University degree in a relevant field (Life Sciences, Global/Public Health, etc.)
- Advanced Degree (PhD is an advantage) in molecular biology, biological sciences, public health, and related fields preferred.
- 2-3 years of laboratory level research in parasite biology
- Experience in DNA extraction, PCR, gel electropheresis.
- Understanding of chemotherapy and parasite drug resistance
- Understanding of next generation sequencing
- Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Must be adaptable and able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously
- Must have the ability to interact with an interdisciplinary group including international collaborators, global health researchers, research scientists, and data analysts
- Experience in global health or malaria genetics desired.
- Outstanding communication and collaboration skills, to ensure good interactions across multiple research teams;
- Excellent organization and record keeping skills;
- Independence and motivation, a self-starter and problem solver;
- Focused and inspirational approach to leadership, setting the standard for others to follow.
Interested and qualified candidates should send a detailed resume and a one-page cover letter, explaining suitability for the position in a single pdf document titled with full name in a mail with ‘Research Scientist/Associate’ as its subject to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is March 16, 2022. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.