Director, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID

Review begins: July 21, 2022

POSITION:  The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the largest Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is seeking an exceptional and visionary leader for the position of Director of the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC). NIAID supports and conducts basic, applied, and clinical research to better understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. 

The VRC is goal-oriented and conducts vaccine and biomedical research that leads to fundamental advances in knowledge regarding protective medical countermeasures and field-shifting biomedical technologies. The VRC's mission is to discover and develop novel vaccines and biologics targeting infectious diseases of domestic and global public health importance. The VRC applies scientific and technological innovation to: (1) optimize design and development of vaccine and biologic test products, and to carry out pilot manufacture of clinical materials under cGMP for use in first-in-human clinical studies; (2) advance regulatory science to streamline the pathway to human clinical trials; (3) evaluate investigational vaccines and antibody-based products for immunogenicity and safety; and (4) provide scientific expertise to United States government activities supporting development of efficacious vaccine and biologic test products. Additionally, the VRC is committed to fostering collaborations with domestic and international partners in academia and industry for the development, efficacy testing, and licensure of vaccines and antibody-based products. Through a translational research infrastructure, the VRC advances scientific discovery into practical and accessible public health interventions. More information about the VRC and its scope of research activities can be found at https://www.niaid.nih.gov/sites/default/files/NIAID-VRC-Brochure.pdf.

The VRC Director reports to the NIAID Director and provides overall executive direction and scientific leadership for VRC's basic, clinical, and translational research activities. The position also serves as a principal advisor to the NIAID Director on vaccines and related biomedical research affairs. In addition, the incumbent serves as an expert consultant and advisor both nationally and internationally on the development of novel vaccine and biologics strategies targeting HIV and other biodefense and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, such as influenza, Ebola/Marburg, West Nile virus, coronavirus-associated disease (such as SARS-CoV-2, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), malaria, tuberculosis, alphavirus-associated disease such as Chikungunya, and the Western/Eastern/Venezuelan class of encephalitis. The VRC Director manages an annual research budget of approximately $200 million in operating funds and approximately 275 Federal employees and trainees and 300 contract employees, in addition to a contractor-supported production plant. The VRC organization consists of three primary laboratories as the major organizational units; the laboratories house 11 sections, under which 11 research cores operate. These cores serve to facilitate ongoing research efforts by providing services available to all sections, such as flow cytometry, antibody identification, development and screening, tissue analysis, structural and integrative bioinformatics, and genomic analysis.

Key responsibilities of the position include prioritizing VRC mission goals and objectives to shape the strategic development process; promoting and ensuring conduct of collaborative research and advancing the scientific exchange of information within the VRC and beyond; developing, directing, and coordinating VRC's basic research laboratories as well as its translational and clinical research programs, which are modeled as the NIH equivalent of a fully self-contained biotechnology organization, and encompass preclinical testing in animal models (Translational Research Program); process development and cGMP manufacture of controlled quality materials for human clinical studies (Vaccine Production Program); clinical trial protocol development, design, and analysis (Clinical Trials Program); pharmacovigilance, clinical monitoring, and regulatory compliance (Regulatory Science and Strategy Program); and basic and translational B cell immunobiology research, and development/deployment of novel high throughput automated immunoassays (Vaccine Immunology Program). The VRC Director determines current VRC research effectiveness and recommends developing new or revised programs to meet national public health needs and serves in a lead role in overarching NIAID/NIH/United States government pandemic preparedness and response activities. The position oversees program operations; allocates VRC personnel, financial, and physical resources; and develops and recommends policies for the execution of multi-disciplinary research. 

Along with the primary responsibility of leading the team of VRC investigators, the successful candidate is also expected to establish their own cutting-edge independent research program for which resources will be available. 

LOCATION:  Bethesda, Maryland

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  The VRC is currently home to a highly productive and interactive team of internationally recognized basic, translational, and clinical researchers. Applicants must be both highly capable and enthusiastic about being a leader and member of such a dynamic team. Applicants must have an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree, be a U.S. citizen, and exhibit exceptional demonstrated leadership ability managing complex basic, translational, and clinical research programs encompassing cutting edge frontiers of virology, immunology, genetic bioengineering, structural and molecular biology, pathogenesis, and laboratory animal medicine. The successful candidate will possess the experience to lead complex, multidisciplinary, and collaborative activities and help advance the NIH "discovery to health" pathway accelerating potential availability of effective vaccines and biologics. Candidates must have a detailed understanding of vaccinology, immunology, virology, and pathogenesis as related to HIV and other infectious diseases; and of the strategies and principles involved in the development of novel medical countermeasure platform technologies. The successful candidate will also have demonstrated scientific excellence and ability to direct and manage their own cutting-edge independent research group.

SALARY/BENEFITS:  Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate. Full Federal benefits will be provided, including retirement, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, leave, and a Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent). A recruitment incentive may be available and relocation expenses may be paid.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT:  Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, with no discrimination for non-merit reasons such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, age, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization. The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT/FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE:  The NIH inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles. NIH employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes, as well as agency-specific regulations described at the NIH Ethics Website at https://ethics.od.nih.gov. The position is subject to a background investigation and requires the incumbent to complete a public financial disclosure report prior to the effective date of the appointment.

FOREIGN EDUCATION:  Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is equivalent to education received in accredited education institutions in the United States. We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation.  For more information on foreign education verification, visit National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) at https://www.naces.org/members.htm. Verification must be received prior to the effective date of the appointment.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION:  NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodations during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

HOW TO APPLY: Provide curriculum vitae, bibliography, and a detailed statement (no more than one page) describing your fundamental vision for stimulating successful and productive multidisciplinary team-oriented research, from basic immunology and virology through vaccine design and production and conduct of clinical trials. Please include in your CV a description of mentoring and outreach activities in which you have been involved, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research.

Application packages should be sent via e-mail to Dr. Cliff Lane, Search Committee Chair, c/o Laura Faile at NIAID-VRC-Director-Apply@mail.nih.gov. Review of applications will begin on July 21, 2022, and applications will continue to be accepted and considered until the position is filled. Please contact Laura Faile at NIAID-VRC-Director-Apply@mail.nih.gov with questions and for more information about this position. All information provided by applicants will remain confidential and will be reviewed only by authorized officials associated with the recruitment.

PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR BIRTH DATE OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) ON APPLICATION MATERIALS.  

HHS, NIH and NIAID are equal opportunity employers.