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Job ID: 221558

Associate Director, NERBL Research Operations
Tufts University

Date Posted Sep. 18, 2023
Title Associate Director, NERBL Research Operations
University Tufts University
Medford, MA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Research


The role of the New England Regional Biosafety Laboratory (NERBL) is to support advanced infectious disease research. The NERBL provides BSL2 and BSL3 biocontainment laboratory and animal accommodation facilities to investigators from academia as well as industry partners engaged in the development and validation of preventives and interventions targeted to infectious disease.


What You'll Do

The Associate Director will act in a leadership position to oversee the research operations of the NERBL. Core job functions include managing BSL2/BSL3 research-related functions within the facility, advancing the scientific mission of the NERBL, and growing collaborative research with both academic (internal and external) and industry entities.


As an Assoiate Director for NERBL you will:

  • Expand and implement scientific mission
  • Work with Tufts Cummings/Tufts University leadership to grow the NERBL as a regional resource of excellence
  • Develop short- and long-term research related goals that leverage state of the art technologies available at the NERBL and Tufts Cummings School
  • Develop and undertake a research project on an infection relevant to the mission of the RBL that serves as a model and means for training staff
  • Create blueprint for sustainable expansion of research capacities
  • Assist with relevant applications for extramural funding that support sustainability of the NERBL
  • Respond to inquiries for collaborations or contracts, develop task or research design as well as budget, and identify appropriate staff and advisors to successfully complete the objectives
  • Oversee research operations and associated workflow
  • Work with Tufts Biosafety to develop and implement oversight of key research equipment including SOPs for use and maintenance.
  • Collaborate with, consult and advise research stakeholders (internal/external, academic/industry) to address current and future study needs, including aspects of scheduling, feasibility, design and biosafety
  • Coordinate and manage use of key equipment and research resources by internal and external stakeholders
  •  Develop and institute comprehensive plans for preventative maintenance and eventual replacement of key research equipment
  • Work with NERBL Director and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education to establish yearly budget for research operations
  • Manage affiliated research staff and students
  • Oversee schedules and work assignments for research staff (staff scientists, research associates) and students in the BSL2/BSL3/ABSL3
  • Ensure that all staff and students have appropriate BSL3/ABSL3 training prior to engaging in research studies, including general safety as well as instrument specific trainings; conduct targeted training sessions as needed
  • Coordinate relevant safety trainings with Associate Director, NERBL Operations 20%
    Ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulatory guidelines
  • Work with Tufts Biosafety to ensure regulatory compliance in relation to Federal Select Agent Program, AALAC accreditation, IACUC and IBC, EHS, occupational health, respiratory protection program.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Director of NERBL Facility Operations and Director of LAMS, conduct routine safety drills as required by both Tufts and the town of Grafton.
  • Work with Tufts Biosafety to create, implement and sustain necessary documentation related to regulatory guidance.
  • Network and communicate within the biosafety and local community
  • Attend the annual RBL/NBL meeting
  • Participate in relevant community forums (conference calls, listservs, etc.)
  • Engage in training opportunities as needed
  • Establish regular meetings with relevant Tufts stakeholders (Biosafety, EHS, OHS)
  • Develop and maintain a community outreach program.

What We're Looking For

The successful candidate will have have strong communication skills and relationship/team building skills. Excellent judgement and reasoning ability enabling problem-solving and issue resolution, with a variety of options in varying situations. Ability to work independently, take initiative and make decisions with in-depth understanding. Responsible for setting and meeting deadlines in alignment with research operations strategic and operational plans. 


Basic Requirements:

  • DVM (or equivalent) degree
  • PhD degree in relevant field (infectious disease, immunology)
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in BSL2 laboratory and animal research, with outputs (such as publications) in relevant field relating to infectious disease research
  • Minimum 5 years leading in vitro and in vivo study design and execution
  • Experience in research animal handling and welfare needs and working with IACUC
  • Minimum 3 years A/BSL3 experience with knowledge of operational requirements and biosafety needs of A/BSL3 labs, working with IBC
  • Federal select agent clearance
  • Broad knowledge of BSL-2/3 related study needs for grant funded and contract research.
  • Experience in training and supervising personnel in BSL2/3 settings (both technical and professional staff)
  • Experience in design and optimization of assays and utilization of scientific equipment for applications such as fluorescence and confocal microscopy, quantitative PCR, viral quantification, ELISA/neutralizing assays, flow cytometry
  • Computer skills including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and data analysis in Excel, GraphPad Prism.
  • Experience writing manuscripts, funding applications and study reports
  • Medically fit for working in A/BSL3 environment including use of PAPR or other respirator


Special Work Schedule Requirements: Extended hours, including weekend and holiday hours may be required. Assists in critical alarm response for building alarms after hours and weekends/holidays.

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