NRC Research Associate Programs
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Participating Agencies - CCDC CBC

Opportunity at U.S. Army CCDC Chemical Biological Center (CCDC CBC)

Deployable and Automated Biological Assay for Biological Detection

Location

U.S. Army CCDC - Chemical Biological Center, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, & Behavioral Sciences

RO# Location
11.01.04.C0311 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210105423

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Basi, Kelly Ann kelly.a.basi.civ@army.mil 410-417-0177
Miklos, Aleksandr Ettore aleksandr.e.miklos.civ@mail.mil 410.436.5975

Description

Our research team provides innovative integration of the physical, biological and computational sciences to drive a holistic systems biology approach in developing multi-omic methods for broad-spectrum characterization of emerging pathogens, detecting human exposure signatures and predicting dynamical behavior in complex biological systems. Specifically, we investigate novel strategies for biological characterization, indentification, decontamination and detection.

A research opportunity is available for an Associate interested in working on programs for biological detection and identification, from different environmental samples, and to include research and development, prototype development/device integration and support of testing in laboratory settings. 

Deployable and automated biological assay devices based on isothermal amplification and microcontrollers have become highly accurate and cost-effective. Molecular analysis is performed from a given sample in an automated fashion utilizing a single-use microfluidic cassette and a positive/negative detection strategy. Some units utilize rotational motion to help transport the sample within microfluidic wells, each performing a given operation of the sample preparation or molecular analysis. Low-power thermal modules and novel fluorescence-sensing modules can be integrated into these analyzers. This enables real-time monitoring of loop-mediated isothermal nucleic acid amplification (LAMP) of biological agents. Currently developed state-of-the-art prototypes, such as the AnyMDx system developed at Pennsylvania State University (PSU), utilize microcontrollers that perform a variety of functions to coordinate the processes needed to perform the sample preparation and LAMP procedure. The motion of the AnyMDx device coordinates the movement of DNA bound to pH charge switchable magnetic beads between each reaction chamber as steps in the sample preparatory procedure are accomplished. Precise timing of the rotation and activation of electromagnets in tandem enable movement of sample from chamber-to-chamber. During the LAMP assay, the detection of DNA amplicons bound by a fluorescent dye is achieved via LED excitation and using an optical sensor to detect the intensity of fluorescence emission from the sample in real time. This prototype system seamlessly integrated all nucleic acid testing steps from sample preparation to real-time amplification and detection. The standalone and user-friendly system also works in an insert-and-test fashion.

Keywords:
Biological detection; Loop-mediated isothermal nucleic acid amplification; Biothreat agents; Expeditionary reconnaissance; Stand-off detection

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants

Stipend

Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$74,950.00 $3,000.00

$5,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

$4,050 Supplement for each year of experience in the DTRA CBD-funded NRC tenure at CCDC.

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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