Targeted Parasite Elimination (TPE) Project Specialist
Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI), Global Health Group, University of California San Francisco (UCSF GHG)/Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)/Swaziland National Malaria Control Programme (NCMP)
Targeted Parasite Elimination Study
Swaziland is currently aiming for malaria elimination. A major part of the approach has been reactive case detection (RACD), or the testing of neighborhoods around index cases as a way to identify and treat asymptomatic infections. MEI, CHAI and NMCP have been collaborating on the evaluation of Swaziland’s RACD programme. Although the approach is useful for finding asymptomatic infections and hotspots, there are some technical and logistical challenges relating to the use of molecular testing. Presumptive treatment without testing, also known as targeted parasite elimination (TPE), has potential to be more effective and feasible. The goal of this project is to critically evaluate TPE versus RACD as a surveillance and response strategy for malaria elimination in Swaziland.
The TPE study will be conducted through a partnership between NMCP, CHAI and MEI. NMCP’s role is to lead study implementation and data collection, support study coordination and through collaboration with the Swaziland Laboratory Health Services, will perform laboratory assays. MEI’s role is to lead study design, provide oversight to data collection, support coordination and implementation of the laboratory work, as well as lead the data analysis and dissemination of findings. CHAI has supported the study design, will lead the study coordination and will also support data collection, the analysis, dissemination, and importantly, the adoption of relevant findings into policy.
TPE Specialist Position
To support the TPE study, the Specialist will: support data management, lead coordination of laboratory work, support data analysis, and lead the serology sub-study. This is a full-time position and will be based in San Francisco at UCSF but spending 3-6 months/year in Swaziland at the CHAI office and the Swaziland Laboratory Health Services in Mbabane. It is fully funded with benefits through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (to MEI). The position starts April 2016 and goes until December 2017 with potential for extension. The Project Specialist will report to the MEI Operational Research Deputy Lead, and when in country will co-report to the CHAI Malaria Program Manager and Principal Technologist at the Swaziland Laboratory Health Services. The Project Specialist will work closely with the CHAI Malaria Research Associate, and the Malaria Molecular Technologist and the Assistant Molecular Technologist at the Swaziland Laboratory Health Services.
• PhD in epidemiology or related field with laboratory and epidemiology coursework
• Experience with PCR, PCR optimization, serology
• Advanced statistical skills
• Willingness to travel to Swaziland and regional and international meetings
• Field experience in developing country
• Strong writing skills; experience preparing articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
• Proven reliability, organizational skills, and record keeping abilities
• Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills
- Lead coordination of laboratory work: a. Work with UCSF malaria laboratory to maintain updated SOPs for laboratory assays. b. Coordinate trainings and re-trainings as needed in ELISA. c. Provide regular updates and reports to Principal Technologist. d. Liaise with UCSF malaria laboratory as needed regarding quality assurance, troubleshooting, data analysis. e. Work with Malaria Molecular Technologist to develop SOPs for sample collection, transport, storage, processing, and data transfer.
- Lead field implementation and overall coordination of serology sub-study: a. Develop field and laboratory SOPs for serology sub-study. b. Work with Research Associate in field coordination for serology sub-study c. Work with UCSF malaria lab to procure appropriate antigens. d. Perform ELISAs and capacitate molecular technologists in performance of ELISAs e. Ensure timeliness of laboratory results.
- Support genotyping study: a. Liaise with UCSF laboratory on progress of genotyping and provide updates to NMCP, SHLS and CHAI.
- Support data management and analysis: a. Provide technical support to NMCP as identified by implementing partners for TPE data management and analyses. b. Work with UCSF malaria lab and LSHTM in serologic analyses. c. Develop SOPs for data cleaning, management, and analyses. d. Perform quarterly data cleaning and interim reports. e. Maintain updated study database with merged data. f. Support Study Statistician in additional analysis as needed and as feasible to meet study aims and objectives.
- Support costing and cost effectiveness studies: a. Help liaise between UCSF economist and CHAI and NMCP regarding data collection and analyses for costing and cost effectiveness studies. b. Provide support to Economist as needed for field components of the study.
- Subcontract and budget monitoring, purchasing: a. Work with UCSF Malaria Program Manager and Financial team to develop yearly sub-contracts. b. Work with UCSF financial team to manage UCSF internal budget. c. Procure drugs and perform regular monitoring to ensure adequate stocks. d. Work with UCSF Laboratory Manager to procure other field and laboratory supplies not purchased in Swaziland.
- Manuscript, reports, and presentation preparation: a. Participate in meetings with NMCP and CHAI as required. b. Participate in weekly TPE teleconferences and provide input on agenda items to the CHAI Research Associate. c. Work with CHAI Research Associate to prepare presentations of TPE study findings at monthly surveillance meeting. d. Work with CHAI Research Associate to prepare reports and briefs of TPE study findings for NMCP. e. Work with UCSF Malaria Program Manager to prepare reports to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. f. Prepare presentations and reports for other meetings and conferences with permission from NMCP as needed and as feasible to meet study aims and objectives. g. Prepare manuscripts and revisions for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
- Manage UCSF IRB: a. Submit protocol for UCSF IRB approval. b. Submit any amendments as needed. c. Manage re-submissions for UCSF IRB approval.
- Other duties: a. Support or lead other operational research activities as need and feasible.
UC San Francisco seeks candidates whose experience, teaching, research, or community service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.
Please apply online at https://aprecruit.ucsf.edu/apply/JPF00790