Diedre Ribbens

Diedre Ribbens is a science writer, editor and communicator based in Minneapolis. She earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Connect with her on LinkedIn or by Email.).


Southeast, Midwest, West

Microbiology jobs for new grads

4/21/2017 2:02:20 PM

As commencement approaches, many soon-to-be grads are going to be flooding the job market. It can get competitive! If you want to up the ante and make sure your application gets to the top of the pile, focus your application materials on a particular skill set. Microbiology skills are commonly learned at the undergraduate level, and this week’s post highlights a number of jobs that are available for recent, entry-level graduates at the bachelor’s and master’s level who possess microbiology skills!

The University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (Minneapolis, Minn.) seeks a microbiology researcher. This researcher will perform molecular biology analyses and prepare reagents in support of the research being conducted by the lab. The researcher will also work with mouse colonies and help perform experiments with the lab’s mice. Requires a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and experience working with mouse colonies.

Pinpoint Pharma (Schaumburg, Ill.) seeks a microbiologist to work in its quality department. This microbiologist will provide testing for  clinical studies (Phase II, III and IV), as well as help to evaluate new pharmaceutical compounds. Specific tasks will include using testing to identify microbial organisms down to the genus/species level, maintaining and calibrating equipment, writing reports of testing results, and complying with quality-control practices. Requires a B.S. or M.S., preferably in microbiology, as well as experience working in a microbiology or pharmaceutical lab.

IHRC Inc. (Atlanta) seeks a microbiologist to help “provide technical and logistic support for testing of clinical and nonclinical specimens in a laboratory setting.” These test results will then be logged into information-management systems. IHRC provides this type of information-management support to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The microbiologist will also help design assays, adhere to quality-control plans, and help maintain lab equipment. Requires a bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology or a related discipline, as well as experience working in a Biosafety Level 2 facility.

The University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa) seeks a research intern “to conduct experimental tests and procedures in a research laboratory using the techniques of biochemistry, microbiology, immunocytochemistry and molecular biology.” This job requires no experience – training will be provided – but does require a baccalaureate degree and an interest in medical research.

BioFire Diagnostics (Salt Lake City, Utah) seeks applicants for two relevant openings!

The first is a research associate I position. Join “a motivated team that supports analytical studies for regulatory submissions of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) products” developed by the company. These analyses will require molecular and microbiology lab work, as well as development of protocols. The research associate also will craft reports to disseminate the results of analyses. Requires general laboratory skills (emphasis on the techniques needed to conduct the analyses); a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline is preferred.

The second opening is for a research associate III, which is a more senior position. This person will conduct all the same tasks described above – and will keep up with the current literature in the field, craft scientific publications, and attend scientific conferences. Requires a master’s degree in molecular biology, microbiology, or a related discipline, as well as training and familiarity with Biosafety Level 2 facilities.

BSI (Minneapolis, Minn.) seeks a microbiologist to provide technical expertise for BSI in its review of medical devices for the European market. BSI is a notified body responsible for evaluating the clinical evidence surrounding a medical device before approving it for sale on the European market. The microbiologist will evaluate the medical device manufacturer’s sterilization and microbiology practices, ensuring compliance with its own quality system as well as international requirements.

Par Pharmaceutical (Rochester, Mich.) seeks a microbiologist who can perform “day-to-day operations within the QA Sterility Assurances group.” This microbiologist will test samples according to specified procedures, review protocols, document and release data, and initiate corrective actions when needed. Requires a B.S. degree in a relevant discipline and two years of experience in a pharmaceutical or comparable environment.

Looking for more jobs posts or for other tips on how to search for jobs? Check out the additional posts by searching your area of interest or geography on the ASBMB Careers Blog. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!

Northeast, Midwest, West

STEM education and outreach jobs

4/14/2017 3:35:32 PM

Science education and outreach careers are a great way to inspire learning and ensure the bright future of science! You can work with students of all levels, as well as the general public, sharing your love of science with them. You can also create educational materials to bring science education to the masses through textbooks and training materials or coordinate academic programs as an administrator.

McGraw-Hill Education (based remotely, multiple locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan) seeks a curriculum specialist to provide “educational expertise to the sales team and schools for the sale and implementation of a variety of instructional materials/programs and services to private, parochial, and public schools and school districts.” The curriculum specialist will work with customers, delivering sales presentations and holding product meetings with educators. Requires a bachelor’s degree, three years of teaching experience, and strong verbal and written communication skills. Spanish fluency and a master’s degree are highly preferred.

McGraw-Hill Education also seeks a learning specialist (based remotely covering New Jersey, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland). This learning specialist will “improve student, instructor, and institutional outcomes through the use of [McGraw-Hill Education] premium digital products and services.” This will requiring networking and becoming a member of the local education community, helping ensure the digital products are used effectively and correctly by educators, analyzing data of digital material usage, and helping to improve and develop new digital products. Requires a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in education or educational technology or equivalent work experience with teaching/education.

AmeriCorps (San Jose, Calif.) seeks a K-12 STEM member for its VISTA program that focuses on “eliminating race, class, and gender disparities in STEM.” Working with California State University, the VISTA member will help prepare educators to teach STEM and computer science in an effective and engaging manner, ultimately developing a strong and diverse local workforce near Silicon Valley. Requires a strong background in science, some interest in computer programming, interest in science education, and excellent communication skills.

The University Hospitals Medical Group (Cleveland, Ohio) seeks a neurology academic education coordinator. This coordinator will work with the residency program and medical students to coordinate placement of residents and students at hospitals within the UHMG network. The coordinator also will help recruit residents and manage administrative duties for the resident program. Requires an associate’s degree and one to two years of experience working in an academic setting, preferably with residents.

Amplify is looking for a science specialist (remote work only) to support the sales team and market Amplify’s science education products for K-8 classrooms. Travel up to 60 percent of the time in this fast-paced job that requires connecting with the sales staff to “support strategic customer and prospect meetings by presenting Amplify’s Science solutions and Next Generation Science Standards.” Requires a bachelor’s degree and experience working h K-8 science education as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. Advanced degree preferred.

The Pacific Science Center (Seattle) seeks a performance science educator who “engages directly with guests through our innovative stage, planetarium programs, hands-on workshops, and with our exhibits to create a positive and memorable experience at Pacific Science Center.” This interactive role will allow the educator to creatively deliver accurate science information to guests.

The Pacific Science Center also seeks an interpretive science educator who “creates a positive and memorable experience for guests by sharing hands-on and engaging educational activities with large and small groups as well as individual guests.” These educators help guide discussion of exhibits to foster discovery opportunities, delivering scientifically accurate information on a level that resonates with each guest. Both this position and the one above require great communication skills with guests from diverse ages and backgrounds, a demonstrated enthusiasm for science and education, knowledge and interest in integrative sciences, and current pursuit of a college degree in science or education.

Looking for more jobs posts or for other tips on how to search for jobs? Check out the additional posts by searching your area of interest or geography on the ASBMB Careers Blog. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!

Consider a job in biodefense

3/17/2017 3:55:14 PM

Looking to use your background in microbiology or chemistry in an edgy career? Look no further than biodefense! There’s a whole research community engineering ways to thwart potential bioterrorism agents.  

Before you explore biodefense jobs, it’s helpful to learn some of the specific acronyms associated with the business of keeping ordinary citizens safe.

A primer on some of the important acronyms in biodefense:

Biosafety level (BSL)

BSL refers to the level of containment precautions required for a laboratory that handles dangerous biological agents. The more dangerous the biological agent, the higher the BSL number.

  • BSL-1 facilities are for biological agents that pose a minimal threat to healthy individuals. There’s pretty much no special containment or procedural requirements for BSL-1 facilities.
  • BSL-2 facilities are also pretty typical labs. They handle agents such as pathogenic E. coli, Toxoplasma gondii, etc. that can cause mild disease in humans.
  • BSL-3 facilities are housed in buildings with appropriate containment controls and require special training and handling precautions for the biological agents. BSL-3 agents can cause lethal disease in humans, such as SARS coronavirus, Rickettsia rickettsii and West Nile virus.
  • BSL-4 facilities handle extremely lethal biological agents that can easily be aerosolized or that have no available vaccines or treatments. At BSL-4 facilities, all labs are set up as cabinet-style or protective suit laboratories. Airflow in and out of BSL-4 labs is tightly controlled, and the entrances even have airlocks! The biological agents handled at BSL-4 facilities are Ebola virus, Flaviviruses and new, uncharacterized, potentially dangerous pathogens.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

DTRA, pronounced “DIT-trah,” also known as “America’s Shield,” is a center that safeguards the nation from weapons of mass destruction, including biological agents and chemical threats. DTRA invests in (funds) basic science research as one way to prepare for and combat these threats. DTRA has several “solicitations” or research grants available to support basic science research under its J9-Research and Development Directorate.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

USAMRIID is an organization whose goal is to research and develop medical solutions to protect military service members from biological threats. USAMRIID manages a number of BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs to conduct this research and partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization


Battelle (Frederick, Md.) seeks a science lead to coordinate projects at its BSL-3/4 high-containment facility, liaising with government staff partners. Battelle’s research studies focus on host-pathogen interactions with “high consequence viral pathogens” to evaluate animal models and medical countermeasures. Requires an M.D., D.V.M., or Ph.D. in microbiology with extensive experience in infectious disease research, as well as eight to 10 years of experience working in a BSL-3/4 laboratory.  

USI (Lorton, Va.) seeks a biological scientist with an emphasis in microbiology to assist and advise the DTRA Chemical & Biological Department. Specifically, the scientist will support the Diagnostic, Detection, and Disease Surveillance Division (J9 CBA) using both scientific and project-management skills. Working with a multidisciplinary team, the scientist will design and execute biological defense research projects, developing “theories for understanding, characterizing, and organizing natural phenomena into a systematic and meaningful pattern for research into potential new products of inventions.” Requires a Ph.D. plus nine years of experience in a related discipline.

CEVA (Lenexa, KS) seeks a scientist to conduct and oversee microbiological analysis of clinical lab samples. The scientist will collect samples for serology, histopathology and bacterial/virus isolation, as well as for molecular biology analyses, including the isolation and identification of microbial species from samples. Requires a bachelor’s degree or M.S. in microbiology, immunology or biology, as well as three to five years of work experience in a microbiology laboratory.

General Dynamics Information Technology (Frederick, Md.) seeks a drug-discovery subject matter expert for its Therapeutics Development Center, which is focused on “establishment of an internal U.S. defense pipeline of therapeutic drugs to backup current and future clinical candidates.” This group is an arm of USAMRIID and is a collaborative effort among government, contract researchers, clinicians and academic experts. Requires a master’s degree in a scientific discipline or a Ph.D. in a relevant field of life sciences.

General Dynamics also seeks a virology scientist to work as a principal investigator and “conduct basic and applied research on current and emerging viral threats in support of the biodefense and infectious disease program.” The scientist will be responsible for conducting studies in BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories as well as seeking funding from DRTA and other funding agencies. Requires a master’s degree or Ph.D. in virology, as well as eight to 10 years of scientific research experience.

Dynamis Inc. (Fort Belvoir, Va.) seeks a biological scientist with a background in microbiology to work at the DTRA headquarters “providing scientific analysis and program assistance on a variety of current and emerging applications addressing concerns in the area of biological warfare defense as well as assist in shaping the strategy and overall program portfolio.” The scientist will help design and execute research projects as well as help develop patent applications. Requires a Ph.D. plus nine years of experience in a related field, as well as people and project-management experience.

Laulima Government Solutions (Ft. Detrick, Md.) seeks a biodefense regulated laboratory analyst to work in its USAMRIID laboratory. The analyst will “conduct studies…and support a variety of laboratory-based activities associated with FDA regulatory compliance, analytical method optimization and validation.” Requires a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field, 10 years of experience and the ability to work in biocontainment environments.

Sandia National Laboratories (Livermore, Calif.) seeks an R&D laboratory support technologist to conduct “chemical, biological, or physical experiments…and [perform] qualitative and quantitative analyses.” This department of Sandia conducts research “at the interface between materials science, biology and medicine.” Requires a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or chemistry and at least five years of experience in sol-gel chemistry.

Looking for more jobs posts or for other tips on how to search for jobs? Check out the additional posts by searching your area of interest or geography on the ASBMB Careers Blog. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!