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Description

OpenBiome is a nonprofit biobank that uses the human microbiome to solve unmet health needs. We provide patients access to safe Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT), and researchers access to the global biodiversity of the human microbiome to catalyze breakthroughs for public health.

Since launching in 2013 out of MIT, our stool banking service has redefined the standard of care for an emerging field of medicine. When we began, only a handful of clinicians offered FMT, a treatment that has an 85% cure rate for C. difficile, the most common hospital-acquired infection in the country. Today we support FMT programs at medical centers across the country, and have delivered more than 60,000 treatments for recurrent C. difficile infection, radically improving the lives of thousands of patients who lacked treatment alternatives.

OpenBiome has also emerged as a leading independent research organization.  We have developed a pill formulation for FMT, published more than 20 scholarly works and enabled the launch of 30 clinical trials in indications spanning autoimmune disease, infectious disease, malnutrition, metabolic disease, obesity, and neuropsychiatric disease, to identify opportunities for microbiome-based health interventions. The research that we enable is at the vanguard of understanding how the microbes in our bodies shape major public health challenges. 

We are now expanding our work through the addition of a new program: the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) at OpenBiome.  The GMbC was founded at MIT in 2016, with a mission of biobanking the full biodiversity of the human microbiome as a long-term platform to promote globally representative microbiome research. To date, the GMbC has biobanked and whole-genome sequenced ~10,000 gut bacterial strains from more than 1,000 participants in 35 underrepresented communities worldwide. Contributing to the growth of local research capacity – especially in low- and middle-income countries – is a cornerstone principle of the GMbC; all work is conducted in partnership with local research collaborators. The GMbC has established a network of over 80 collaborators in 37 countries, and continues to grow.

For more information about the GMbC click the link: http://microbiomeconservancy.org/

Position Summary: 

The Senior Microbiologist will serve primarily as the scientific lead for OpenBiome’s Global Microbiome Conservancy program, leading the biobanking, data generation, and strain distribution activities, and engaging in global research collaborations.  This is a unique opportunity to contribute significantly to building an innovative program “from the ground up”  as well as to shape its ultimate scientific and public health impact. The requisite start date for this position will be on or preferably before Dec. 01, 2021. 

Position Responsibilities / Duties:

  • Manage the set-up of a microbiology wet lab equipped for high-throughput  human gut bacterial isolation and sequencing (e.g., whole genome sequencing, metagenomics)
  • Set targeted bacterial biobanking and dissemination priorities based on a deep understanding of the field of microbiome  research and engagement with thought leaders and potential end-users
  • Set and implement lab strategy, for example, evaluating whether and how to transition from manual bacterial isolation and revival methods to automated approaches
  • Establish and engage in global scientific research collaborations, including co-authoring papers
  • Develop and optimize novel protocols e.g., for sample collection, bacterial isolation, revival, storage, and library prep
  • Perform microbiological lab work and data analysis
  • Hire, train, and supervise lab personnel (1 tech initially, to grow as needed)
  • Engage with the administrative team to coordinate global sampling
  • Work with the Program Director and communications team and provide science-based content for Program progress reports, fundraising documents, and other communications
  • Conduct international field sampling (anticipated frequency: 1-3 times per year, but may vary).  This may require being out of the U.S. for up to  ~3 weeks at a time.


Requirements

 Position Skills, Knowledge, Qualifications, and Experience:

  • The Senior Microbiologist is a mid-career level role, ideally for candidates with 5+ years of microbiological laboratory experience and at least one year of experience managing other laboratory personnel
  • A PhD in Microbiology or closely related field is required
  • 2+ years’ experience culturing anaerobic bacteria strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated track record of meticulous lab work with strict adherence to protocols and excellent, organized documentation
  • Clear, articulate communicator
  • Strong problem-solving and trouble-shooting skills
  • Project management-oriented
  • Curious and ‘forward thinking’ individual who will actively seek ways to improve processes
  • Successful track-record of securing grants a plus
  • Willing and able to travel internationally 1-3 times per year (once conditions permit safe travel), including to rural and remote areas, and regions with different cultural norms
  • Passionate about advancing public/global health, using science to support underserved communities, and supporting the development of scientific capacity in low and lower-middle income countries
  • Must be fluent English speaker; French, Spanish, or other language skills a strong plus
  • Must be legally eligible to work in the United States.

OpenBiome is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with disability, or any other legally protected status. All applicants must be able to show proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 58791238
  • Location:
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Position Title: Senior Microbiologist, Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) Program at OpenBiome
  • Company Name: OpenBiome
  • Industry: Non-Profit
  • Job Function: Research
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Min Education: Ph.D.
  • Required Travel: 10-25%
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