Lead Scientist

A&M System Member : Texas A&M Vet Med Diagnostic Lab
Department : College Station - Clinical Pathology
Job Category : Other or Not Specified
Job Type : Staff
Location : College Station/Bryan
Proposed Minimum Salary : Commensurate
Job Requisition Number : R-053122
Security Sensitive? : Yes


Job Title

Lead Scientist

Agency

Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory

Department

College Station - Clinical Pathology

Proposed Minimum Salary

Commensurate

Job Location

College Station, Texas

Job Type

Staff

Job Description

About TVMDL:

The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) was first created by the Texas Legislature in 1967 to serve the state’s livestock industry. Now as part of the Texas A&M University System, TVMDL has grown to include two full-service laboratories and two poultry laboratories serving veterinarians, livestock producers, and government agencies across the state and world. TVMDL has proudly served Texas as the state veterinary diagnostic laboratory for over 50 years. In addition to their history of excellence, TVMDL has also made positive contributions to diagnostic testing, veterinary medicine, and disease surveillance, ensuring future Texans and other stakeholders are safe for years to come.


Annually, TVMDL performs over 900,000 tests from every state and approximately 17 countries. Each day, TVMDL tests hundreds of samples in an effort to protect our clients’ pets, livelihood, and Texas’ 18 billion dollar livestock and poultry industries. Employees work in the fields of science, technology, animal agriculture, and veterinary medicine. However, no matter the field, TVMDL employees contribute daily to the One Health/One Medicine approach of protecting both animal and human health through diagnostics.

Working at TVMDL:

As part of the Texas A&M System, TVMDL offers an array of programs to ensure its employees maintain a healthy work/life balance. These programs include health, dental, vision and System paid life insurance with a financial incentive to offset the cost of health benefits.

Other standard benefits include:

  • Generous retirement plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave
  • Opportunities to earn state compensation time
  • Wellness Release Program offering paid leave to exercise

Additional TVMDL employee programs:

  • Formal career ladder
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Paid annual dues in two professional associations for all TVMDL professional staff.
  • A complimentary onsite fitness center with state-of-the art training equipment and showers
  • Free onsite fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba, and circuit training
  • Discounted diagnostic testing, veterinary care, and pet supplies
  • Staff appreciation events throughout the year.

The TVMDL laboratory is a secured, state-of-the-art facility full of natural lighting with seating areas that offer a relaxing view of the grounds and pond. Each office is furnished with a sit to stand desk and ergonomic chair.

If this sounds like your kind of place, apply today.

General Description

Ensure scientific accuracy, completeness, and promptness of testing and the generation and distribution of laboratory results. Daily laboratory tasks may include, but are not limited to, routine testing, review and release of test results, client communications, quality assurance and control. Serve as a subject matter expert for routine diagnostic testing as well as test validation and possibly novel test development in a specified discipline. Lead efforts to standardize training within the clinical pathology laboratory. Develop, improve, and validate current and new diagnostic assays. Serve as a backup to section leadership and laboratory technicians when necessary.

Sample Prep, Sample Cataloging

Responsible for timely and accurate sample processing and preparation. Oversee sample processing and preparation performed by Technicians, providing training and correction, when necessary. Responsible for samples collected/cataloged for assay research and validation.

Testing

Responsible for daily diagnostic testing in the section. May fill in for technical staff when necessary. May serve as the subject matter expert on a discipline(s), technique(s), or diagnostic methodology(ies). May assume responsibility of new instrument installation and certification. May perform or interpret complex assays or techniques for routine and non-routine testing. Prepare reagents, standards and controls, as needed. Interpret quality control charts and trends, as needed. Troubleshoot complex assay or instrument problems by recognizing sources of possible errors and implementing steps for resolution of errors or process improvements. All work shall be performed in accordance with validated test methods, SOPs, procedures, employee training and proficiency, and equipment standards.  

Data Entry, Interpretation, Results

Provide analysis and review of results. Data entry as performing tests, where indicated. Review results from other sections, clarify conflicting results and provide interpretation as necessary. Release results to clients in a manner consistent with TVMDL's published turnaround times. Interpret results that require complex subjective evaluation. Review and make adjustments to observations, results and measurements by Technicians when scientifically appropriate. Lead efforts to identify, investigate and resolve unexpected results.

Client Communication

Communicate test results, interpretations, recommendations, and answer complex questions on cases, where applicable. Triage complex or higher level calls from clients to appropriate professional staff throughout TVMDL. Solicit information to better assess the feasibility and need for potential testing. May offer recommendations on sample selection, test selection, collection, shipment, etc. May interact with veterinary students, tour groups and other colleagues touring or training in the section.

Quality Assurance & Safety

Identify and initiate proactive solutions to quality assurance and safety issues. Assist section managers with audits and visits by external clientele and agencies. Responsible for safe handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals when relevant. Ensure adherence and compliance with the TVMDL Quality Assurance Manual and associated quality assurance procedures. Assure quality control and maintenance of analytical instruments is accurate, complete and properly logged.

SOPs, Procedures, Forms, Other Documentation

May write, review and/or edit quality assurance documents (SOPs, procedures, workflows, forms, etc.), ensuring proper formatting, content and compliance with quality assurance requirements. May serve as editor of documents in the quality assurance system. Prepare reports on special assignments.

Research, Reference Materials, Development

Under the direction of the Section Head, may lead and/or implement new assay development and validation, including test development, instrument configuration, documentation of assay protocols, and modifications to existing processes. May represent the section on the Test Relevancy Committee. May be responsible for external document control for assigned assays. Proactively seek opportunities to develop new diagnostic capabilities and present R&D recommendations to management. Train fellow Scientists in development and validation processes. Write journal articles and present scientific sessions documenting research discoveries, where applicable.

Supplies, Stock, Inventory, Equipment

Work with laboratory Technicians and Assistant Section Head to monitor laboratory supplies and inventory. May oversee calibration and maintenance of laboratory equipment. Work with vendors and contractors to ensure timely service. May maintain records for radioactive materials and communication with regulatory agencies. May inventory and order supplies for the section.

Administrative Duties

Assist Section Head and/or Assistant Section Head, as needed. Recommend, assist in drafting, and aid in implementing laboratory policies and procedures.

Training & Mentorship

Mentor and provide training to Scientists, Technicians, and/or Laboratory Supervisors. Develop training tools/programs for fellow Scientists and section Technicians in new and current methods, quality assurance, safety or equipment methods. Identify training needs and communicate needs with Assistant Section Head or Section Head. May create testing and training in the quality management software program.

Supervisory, Evaluation, Employee Support

Assist Assistant Section Head and/or Laboratory Supervisor in oversight of technical staff performing routine testing. May assist with job performance evaluations for assigned staff. Support an ethical, non-discriminatory, positive and safe work environment.

Teamwork & Cooperation

May participate in flex scheduling, including work prior to 8 AM, after 5 PM, on weekends or on holidays. Collaborate with colleagues in clinical pathology, other sections, TVMDL locations and other veterinary diagnostic laboratories across the country in development and pursuit of scientific advancement. Participate in industry recognized meetings and affiliations to gain knowledge within the relevant scientific disciplines and industries.

Other

Work shall be performed with adherence to federal, state, Texas A&M University System, and TVMDL safety rules, regulations, policies and procedures. Perform work in such a way as to not expose others or myself to hazards that are avoidable by reasonable and approved methods. 

Work in conjunction with Diagnostic Services and Marketing to actively promote new or modified tests, TVMDL services or other client-education topics by writing and/or editing copy, speaking at conferences or meetings, or participating in TVMDL-sponsored exhibit shows. Assist/host/lead programs for 4-H students, career fairs, student tours and other lab guests. Performs other job related duties as required.

Required:
Education and Experience: Master's degree or higher in a related field or any equivalent combination of training and experience. Eight years of related experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Advanced knowledge of section-specific discipline. Knowledge of quality assurance and safety programs in a laboratory. Ensure attention to detail. Able to multitask and work cooperatively with others. Able to perform assigned assays with minimal technical supervision and considerable independent decision making. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Preferred:

Education: Medical laboratory technology, veterinary technology, DVM or PhD in a related field or any equivalent combination of training and experience (7 years with a master’s degree or 12 years of experience with a bachelor’s degree).

Experience: Five or more years’ experience in scientific research, clinical, experimental, or diagnostic work.

Licenses, Certifications, or Registrations: Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) through ASCP or Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT).

Knowledge: Understand various testing techniques (i.e. microscopy, ChL, ELISA, RIA, standard hematology and chemistry analyzers), word processing, excel spreadsheet, laboratory safety practices, quality control and assurance, and veterinary/laboratory terminology. Knowledge of normal/expected values for relevant tests and species and ability to apply knowledge to test interpretation.

Skills: Perform and troubleshoot various testing methodologies, interpret quality control and laboratory data. Experience in research design, assay development and/or validation.

Abilities: Detail oriented, ability to reason and solve problems, calm under pressure, communicates well with staff and clients. Ability to work with no technical supervision and exercise considerable independent decision making.

All positions are security-sensitive. Applicants are subject to a criminal history investigation, and employment is contingent upon the institution’s verification of credentials and/or other information required by the institution’s procedures, including the completion of the criminal history check.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer committed to diversity.