Campus/Location: University Park Campus Campus City:
University Park, PA Date Announced: 12/12/2019 Date Closing: open until filled Job Number: 92505 Level/Salary Band: 03 K Exempt Work Unit: Eberly College of Science Department: Biology Full/Part Time: FullTime
The Boni Lab in the Department of Biology at The Pennsylvania State University is recruiting a highly-motivated Computational Scientist to work on several key public health questions using large-scale individual-based malaria simulations. Our lab's research interests can be seen at http://mol.ax.
The position can begin anytime in 2020. Our lab is based at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at The Pennsylvania State University (University Park Campus). The Computational Scientist 3 will be funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Malaria Modeling Consortium (MMC), and the research will be integrated into MMC activities that currently include five institutions: Penn State, Institute for Disease Modeling (Seattle), Oxford, Swiss Tropical Institute, and Imperial College.
Some key malaria questions we will be answering include (1) how do we best implement multi-drug mass drug administration campaigns (MDA) to minimize the detrimental effects of drug resistance, (2) how do we introduce novel antimalarial drugs so that they remain effective for as long as possible, (3) what drug-resistance threats will be able to undermine the deployment of triple artemisinin-combination therapies in 2022, and (4) will the presence of partner-drug resistance in Africa allow for the easy invasion of artemisinin-resistant genotypes? The questions above are analyzed with the use of a malaria microsimulation (i.e. agent-based simulation) for which development began in 2010; the current version of the C++ source code can be found at the following URL (https://github.com/merlinvn/OUCRU-Malaria-Sim-v3.0.2). Many of these questions will be adapted to run in country-specific scenarios (Cambodia, Burkina Faso, Zambia as the first likely ones). Candidates are encouraged to apply if they are interested in developing applied epidemiological skills through the use of computation, simulation, and new software development. Typically requires a Master's degree or higher in a field of study with focus on computational research methods or higher plus four years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
A Ph.D. degree or higher in a computational field of study is strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will have experience in one or more mathematical modeling methods, will demonstrate proficient and comprehensive knowledge of individual-bases simulation methods, and will be able to work independently on challenging assignments. The ideal candidate will be able to analyze results from individual-based simulations, re-design the experiments, and independently investigate the reasons that different simulations yielded different outputs.
The ideal candidate should be able to evaluate new software libraries or programming techniques that may be necessary for further software development, should be able to lead projects and grow into a leadership role within the research group, and should be able to provide technical guidance to other staff. The position requires strong knowledge of the C++ programming language. Applications must be submitted electronically.
A complete application should include a cover letter detailing experience and research interests, a current CV, and contact information for three professional references. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from the date of hire, with possibility of re-funding. Review of applications will begin immediately and be ongoing in 2020.
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