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Research Project Description

Molecular Microbiologist (Immunology) Postdoctoral Research Associate
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Ames, IA


Project Description:

The Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research Unit (FSEPU) at the National Animal Diseases Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa is seeking a Molecular Microbiologist (Immunology) Postdoctoral Research Associate. 

NADC is the premier research institute within the USDA for studying diseases of large animalsAt the NADC, scientists are able to investigate microbe-host interactions from every perspective—molecular, microbe, and natural host.

The postdoctoral appointee will be a member of a research team investigating intestinal mucosal responses and host defense mechanisms (innate and acquired) of early life swine.  Factors eliciting those responses include pre-weaning and post weaning colonization by intestinal commensal microbes (including foodborne pathogen species), diet composition, and environmental stress (temperature).

Along with traditional immunological assays, the selected applicant will perform and develop transcriptomics and protein based analyses (e.g. microarrays, qRT-PCR, next-generation NA sequencing, ELISPOT assays) to monitor the physiological and immunological development and responses of swine intestinal tissues.


To be eligible, applicants must have a received a doctorate in an appropriate discipline within five years of desired starting date. This position requires a broad knowledge of immunology, microbiology, pathogenic bacteriology, protein/peptide biochemistry, molecular biology, animal genomics, and statistics to evaluate host immune responses to intestinal microbes. Research experience analyzing mammalian or avian immunological responses to microbes is essential.

Demonstrated skills and research ability investigating microbial-host interactions, particularly innate and adaptive immunity at mucosal tissue interfaces, while not essential, are highly desirable.  Research experience with large animals and computer based nucleic acid technologies while not required, are considered favorable for the ideal candidate.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with ARS, this position requires a pre-employment check and a full background investigation.

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) and foreign nationals.

This is an equal opportunity program open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

Additional Information:

The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of the ARS and availability of funding. The annual stipend rate for this position is $73,638. A stipend supplement is included in this rate to offset the cost of an individual or family health insurance plan. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. Health insurance may be obtained through ORISE. Relocation expenses of up to $500 are included in this amount and will be reimbursed, with prior approval. The rate also includes a travel allowance of $3,000 per year to reimburse travel-related expenses to scientific and professional development activities. The participant does not become an employee of the USDA, ARS, or ORISE.

For additional information about the ARS Research Participation Program, please visit

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Please reference Project # ARS-FSEPU-2014-0037 in your application and when calling or writing for information.