*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.
A research opportunity is currently available in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Carlson, in the Office of Vaccines Research and Reviews (OVRR), at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will be involved in projects designed to assess the potential of bacteriophage therapies against Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus species.
Since the advent of antibiotics in the 1920s, these drugs have saved millions of people from diseases such as pneumonias, healthcare associated infections, and foodborne illnesses. However, the continued use of antibiotics has led to several unintended consequences, including disruption of the indigenous beneficial gut bacteria and a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year in the United States, and these organisms constitute a growing problem worldwide. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), which have been classified as a serious threat by the CDC, are responsible for 20,000 U.S. infections annually. The inability to treat these infections with common antibiotics necessitates the development of alternative methods of intervention. The objective of this project is to develop and characterize an effective bacteriophage therapy against VRE, including both vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis and E. faecium. The project will include mouse model development as well as assessment of bacteriophage efficacy and pharmacokinetics in this model system. Additional studies will determine mutations that result in bacterial resistance against bacteriophage and understanding how to overcome this resistance to generate a successful therapeutic. These bacteriophage therapy investigations will have a significant impact on a largely understudied field and contribute to solving the antibiotic-resistant bacteria problem. The participant will be involved with all aspects of this project, learning basic microbiology, bacteriophage biology, use of animal models for VRE and phage therapy evaluation, and various bioinformatic tools.
The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.
- An interest in microbiology, bacteriology, the microbiome, and/or infectious disease
- Basic understanding of molecular biology/microbiological laboratory techniques
This opportunity is available to US citizens only.
If you have questions, send an email to ORISE.FDA.CBER@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity (FDA-CBER-2020-0012) in your email.