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Postdoctoral Associate, University of Florida

The Department of Biology at the University of Florida seeks a full-time Postdoctoral Associate to develop analysis methods to study the dynamics of arbovirus (dengue, chikungunya, Zika) transmission in the context of a US NIH funded cluster-randomized trial of an intervention to reduce transmission in mosquitos in Brazil.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in related field (i.e. epidemiology, biology, ecology, physics, biostatistics) with strong quantitative focus
  • Experience working with mathematical models, dynamical systems, Bayesian statistical inference.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills

The Departments of Biology and Biostatistics at the University of Florida invites applications for a postdoctoral associate to develop models for analysis of a cluster-randomized trial for the deployment of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes with Dr. Derek Cummings and Dr. Matt Hitchings. This trial, EVITA Dengue, is being conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to understand the impact of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti on the incidence of dengue and other arboviruses in humans. School-aged children have been enrolled and are providing annual blood samples, from which arbovirus infection will be inferred from changes in serological status (i.e. antibody levels). We will develop Bayesian methods for reconstruction of antibody dynamics to better infer infection from these annual surveys, and provide additional insight on the effectiveness of the intervention. The successful candidate will work to develop existing models that have been applied to observational data for the context of a cluster-randomized trial, incorporating passive surveillance data, demographic data, and environmental data where appropriate. This work will involve building simulation models of the trial and inference methods to analyze simulated and trial data. Many opportunities for further research within the scope of the trial, or in related projects, will be available including work on other pathogens (influenza, SARS-CoV-2) in other contexts. Collaboration with other members of Dr. Cummings’ and Dr. Hitchings’ research groups will be encouraged.

This position is supported by an NIAID/DMID-funded cluster randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in reducing the incidence of arboviral infection in Brazil (EVITA Dengue). The successful candidate will join a research group that spans multiple departments and divisions at the University of Florida, and will work closely with co-investigators at Federal University of Minas Gerais, São José do Rio Preto School of Medicine, the World Mosquito Program, and the Brazilian Ministry of Health with leadership from Emory University Vaccine Trials Evaluation Unit, the University of Florida, and Yale University. The postdoctoral associate will be affiliated with the Department of Biology and/or the Department of Biostatistics and the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida. There will be opportunities for travel to the field site in Brazil, and for further collaboration with these partners.

This is a full time, fixed term position. Candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent in a subject with a substantial quantitative component and a strong record of productivity. Familiarity with infectious disease dynamics and/or modeling is highly desirable. The successful candidate will be able to work independently and will be responsible for carrying out their own research.

  • Salary: $56,000-65,000 annually, commensurate to experience
  • Work type: Postdoctoral associate
  • Time-limited: Yes (2 years with possible extension)
  • Interested candidates should email Derek Cummings (datc@ufl.edu) and Matt Hitchings (mhitchings@ufl.edu) with a CV and statement of interest.
  • The deadline for applications is June 15th.

 

The University of Florida is an equal opportunity institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. Searches are conducted in accordance with Florida’s Sunshine Law. If an accommodation due to disability is needed to apply for this position, please call (352) 392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at (800) 955-8771 (TDD).

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