The Animal Production and Health Laboratory (APHL) of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division is carrying out the research and development of nuclear- and nuclear-related tools for the detection and surveillance of zoonotic diseases at the animal/human interface, to support disease control and surveillance programs.
As preparedness is critical for successful control of zoonotic and emerging viruses, and to avoid their spread in animals and humans, the APHL is focusing on the use of metagenomics and high throughput genomics methods to identify potential reservoir of zoonotic pathogens and discover new variants. Metagenomics is a powerful approach for the broad identification of pathogens in clinical samples, though data analysis is challenging.
As part of these activities, the laboratory is working on the creation and optimization of novel procedures for the direct identification of pathogens directly in clinical/environmental material using metagenomics and targeted sequencing approaches.
The consultant shall work at the intersection of bioinformatics and metagenomics. S/he will actively work in the laboratory to process samples for genetic analysis using the Ion S5 sequencing and Oxford Nanopore's MinION technologies to generate data as well as on bioinformatic platforms to analyse the genetic data obtained. The aim is to develop, test, and apply innovative metagenomics approaches, compatible with friendly and consistent bioinformatics analysis pipelines, for the direct detection of viruses in clinical samples. In close collaboration with the laboratory team, the molecular biologist will take part in the development and optimization of innovative metagenomic approaches for pathogens' detection and discovery.
The incumbent shall work in collaboration and in close communication with the APHL Research and Development (R&D) team to: