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EPA Training Opportunity in Predictive Toxicology to Evaluate Cross Species Differences in Chemical Susceptibility: Minnesota

Job Description

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Duluth, Minnesota
Job Category
Last Date to Apply
*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process. EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE), Great Lakes Toxicology & Ecology Division (GLTED) located in Duluth, Minnesota. Research Project: Understanding chemical toxicity across the diversity of species from data generated with model organisms is essential to EPAs mission in protecting both human health and wildlife. Predictive computational tools for addressing such challenges in extrapolating data from one species to many (i.e., cross-species extrapolation) are needed to support research objectives in the Office of Research and Development and regulatory needs across Program Offices. The research participant will be involved in the development, testing, and application of bioinformatics tools to inform predictions of cross-species chemical susceptibility, particularly the Sequence Alignment to Predict Across Species Susceptibility tool (SeqAPASS; Additionally, literature review will be conducted to capture cross-species biological pathway information linking mechanisms of chemical perturbation to adverse effects with the potential to experimentally evaluate cross species similarities and differences in identified pathways. Learning Objectives: The research participant will be trained in predictive toxicology aimed at characterizing the similarities and differences across species that drive chemical sensitivity. This research opportunity will primarily be computationally-based research taking place in an office setting with the potential to apply molecular techniques in the laboratory to validate computational results. With guidance from the mentor, the research participant may be involved in any or all of the following training activities: Designing various program scripts for carrying out large scale data mining of protein sequence/structural data. Using data collection and modeling to analyze biological data. Proposing solutions and strategies to improve existing web-based U.S. EPA tools (e.g., . Extending existing software programs, web-based interactive tools, or database queries as analysis needs evolve. Exploring and operate molecular modeling, docking, and virtual screening programs to support research. Testing computational applications to identify bugs and recommend fixes. Documenting all database changes, modifications, or problems. Conceptualizing data visualization. Creating application training videos and develop strategies for integration for computational tools with existing applications. Developing or apply data mining and machine learning algorithms. Conducting large scale literature review, integrating computational methodology to expedite knowledge synthesis. Developing adverse outcome pathways to support risk assessments. Analyzing gene expression using real-time polymerase chain reaction and developing novel primers, probes, and standards for gene expression analyses. Conducting in vitro bioassays with immortalized recombinant cell lines and/or primary tissues collected from exposed and non-exposed test organisms. Conducting comparative toxicology experiments considering aquatic vertebrates/invertebrates. Presenting research results at regional, national, and/or international conferences and workshops. Contributing to the preparation of peer-reviewed journal articles and disseminating research results to project partners and stakeholders. Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Carlie LaLone ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 5, 2023. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends. EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA. ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. ORISE offers all ORISE EPA graduate students and Postdocs a free 5 year membership to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination). Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g., Biochemistry, Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, Toxicology, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology). Degree must have been received within five years of the anticipated appointment start date or be currently pursuing with completion by 9/1/2023. Preferred Skills: Previous research experience in molecular biology, beyond lab-oriented course work alone Experience with basic molecular biology techniques used for analysis of proteins and nucleic acids (e.g., gel electrophoresis, PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, use of thermocyclers and/or bioanalyzers, etc.) Cell culture experience (e.g., plating, maintaining, freezing animal cells using aseptic technique). Course work or experience in bioinformatics Computer programming capabilities
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