The University of Washington in Seattle, Washington seeks to fill a full-time acting post-doctoral research associate position. The proposed position focuses on the development and translation to clinical care of a near-patient assay for measuring antiretroviral drug concentrations indicative of long-term adherence to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The successful candidate will work in Jonathan Posner’s research group, will have an appointment in either the Departments of Mechanical Engineering or Chemical Engineering, and will work closely with our project collaborators at UW Departments of Global Health, Epidemiology, Medicine, Lab Medicine at the Harborview Medical Center and the Center for Aids Research.
This NIH funded project focuses on the development and validation, and pilot evaluation of a near-patient, objective assay for measuring adherence to PrEP. Oral PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV acquisition, but PrEP efficacy is highly dependent on drug adherence. In several trials and implementation studies, PrEP clients have had difficulties maintaining adequate adherence and persistence, and monitoring their PrEP use has proven challenging. PrEP providers have relied on self-reported adherence, which is often inaccurate and unreliable. The lack of an objective, near-patient PrEP adherence monitoring tool has led to inefficient counseling and poor supportive care. To address this need, we recently developed RESTRICT, a novel enzymatic assay that semi-quantitatively measures antiretroviral drug concentrations by assessing inhibition of reverse transcriptase, which is the cellular target of oral PrEP drugs. We seek a postdoctoral scientist seeking to conduct translational research that will to measure drug concentrations in whole blood of PrEP clients using the RESTRICT assay, validate the assay to meet Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements, and conduct a feasibility and acceptability study among PrEP clients and providers in Seattle.
The project is experimentally intensive and involves the development and optimization of molecular assays. Successful candidates will have a passion for technical solutions to challenges in global health and demonstrated experience in any of the following areas: point of care diagnostics, nucleic acid assays, enzymatic assays, sample preparation, and biochemistry. A PhD in engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, or related field is required. Candidates should have published in peer-reviewed publications, work well in a team, and have strong communication skills.
The University of Washington is in Seattle, Washington. UW is one of the world’s preeminent public universities, ranking No. 14 in the world on the 2018 Academic Ranking of world universities. Over the past several years, UW has been the top federally funded research institution in the US and recognized as the most innovative public university in the world (Reuters). Seattle is home to some of the largest international companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and Starbucks. It is a vibrant metropolitan city that is progressive, has great food, culture, and is friendly to biking. In 2019, it was ranked as one of the top ten cities to live (US News). Just outside the city there is endless natural beauty of fresh water lakes, Puget Sound and it’s hundreds of islands, and large number of mountains for hiking and skiing.
To apply, please send electronically a cover letter, a CV, and the names and contact information for three references to Jonathan Posner at firstname.lastname@example.org.