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Research Project Description

Virology Research Support Position, Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Orient Point, NY


Project Description:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is seeking a motivated scientist (DVM, post-master’s or post-baccalaureate) interested in conducting animal virology laboratory research aimed at developing novel strategies to control foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The position is with the Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) and is offered through the PIADC Research Participation Program. The position is available immediately and is funded for 1 year, with the opportunity for renewal.

PIADC is the only U.S. laboratory facility performing research, development and diagnosis of foreign animal diseases of highest threat to the U.S. This critical national asset is located off the northeast coast of Long Island, NY, and accessible by government-provided ferry from Orient Point, NY, and Old Saybrook, CT. One of the missions of PIADC is to develop technologies to help mitigate the risks of catastrophic economic losses caused by foreign animal disease (FAD) agents accidentally or deliberately introduced into the United States.

At PIADC, the scientist will perform laboratory tests to evaluate the efficacy and potency of vaccine and antivirals against FMD. The scientist will prepare specimens and samples, operate standard laboratory equipment, maintain tissue cultures, assist in animal experiments, stay up-to-date regarding technical developments, conduct literature searches on identified topics relevant to the research, and follow and ensure adherence to strict safety procedures and safety checks. Research will be performed in a Bio-Safety Level 3 containment laboratory and animal facility.


Common methodologies employed will include virus isolation, propagation and titration; preparation of vaccines; determination of serum antibody titers using virus neutralization assays and/or ELISAs; evaluation of vaccine potency and efficacy in swine, cattle and mice; and use of several techniques of recombinant DNA technology, real time PCR, protein expression in bacteria and in tissue culture, light and fluorescence microscopy.

Additional Information:

For additional information about the PIADC Research Participation Program, please see

How to Apply:

Information about the application process and application forms are available on the program Web site: