USDA RESEARCH SCIENTIST POSITION TO STUDY NUTRITION AND IMMUNE FUNCTION
POSITION: The USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC) located on the campus of the University of California, Davis is seeking an outstanding applicant to fill a full-time, permanent Research Scientist position (Research Molecular Biologist, GS-401-12;13) to study the effects of diet on the immune system. The incumbent will be a principal investigator managing an independent research program at the WHNRC, where there are 12 such scientists in two research units, Immunity and Disease Prevention (IDP), and Obesity and Metabolism. The WHNRC has a major focus on human studies in healthy adults and also uses model systems (animal and cellular) to examine questions of importance to human nutrition. The incumbent will have intramural funding and will also compete for extramural grants.
MAJOR DUTIES: The incumbent will be a Research Molecular Biologist (Nutritional Immunology) in the IDP Research Unit and will develop an independent research program examining the effect of diet on the functioning of the human immune system. The incumbent will have independence to develop a research program focused on how specific nutrients, food components or their metabolites affect the functioning of the human immune system in the context of maintaining health and preventing the development of acute or chronic disease. The incumbent may focus on direct effects of nutrients, dietary components or their metabolites on cells of the immune system, or on indirect effects on the immune system mediated by the effect of diet on the physiology or fitness of the host, or on the composition or metabolism of the host’s microbiome. Such research will focus on the impact of diet and nutritional status on the ability of the immune system to respond appropriately to routine challenges including vaccination, exposure to pathogenic microorganisms or the commensal microbiome, or to immune-activation and inflammation related to the development of diet-related metabolic disease.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: The incumbent will have thorough and detailed knowledge of human immunology and nutrition, including knowledge and experience in use of standard methods in these fields of research. The incumbent will also have detailed knowledge of physiology, metabolism, cell biology and molecular biology. The incumbent will also have knowledge and experience in current methods for the computational and statistical analysis and presentation of such scientific data.
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES AND METHODOLOGY: The overall objective of the research is to determine how specific nutrients or dietary components affect immune function. The incumbent will establish a laboratory-based research program to investigate how diet, or the host response to diet, affect the immune system using state-of-the-art methods of cell biology and cellular immunology. Such methods will include flow cytometric analysis of samples from human studies conducted with collaborating scientists, from animal models or from appropriate cell culture models. Other methods may include metabolic assessment of immune cells, transcriptomic analysis of immune cells or analysis of specific cell-signaling pathways, as appropriate. The incumbent will be part of a team working with other WHNRC scientists conducting observational or interventional studies in human volunteers to assess the impact of diet on human health.
CONTACT: For further information, contact Charles B. Stephensen, Ph.D., Research Leader, IDP Research Unit, USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center, 430 West Health Sciences Drive, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. E-mail: email@example.com.
TO APPLY: Interested parties may apply for position number ARS-D20Y-10859667-CMH between July 10th and August 10th, 2020 at https://www.usajobs.gov. U.S. citizenship is required for this position.
The USDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider.
Additional Salary Information: GS-401-12;13
Internal Number: ARS-D20Y-10859667-CMH
About United States Department of Agriculture, Western Human Nutrition Research Center
The USDA’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC) functions as a world-class laboratory for nutrition research. This state-of-the-art facility contains a metabolic kitchen and laboratories capable of a broad range of experiments, including: body composition, energy expenditure, molecular biology, genomics, and metabolomics. The WHNRC is located on the University of California, Davis campus and houses a variety of laboratory and research spaces, clinical facilities, offices, and meeting areas. Scientists at the WHNRC are focused on a variety of diet and nutrition related problems including: stress biology, inflammation, microbiota and gut health, mineral and micronutrient metabolism, metabolomics, eating behavior and obesity.