Ph.D. or Sc.D. in microbiology from an accredited college or university
Active certification in medical and public health microbiology by The American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM).
Must pass a computer literacy examination administered by the Allegheny County Health Department with a score of 75% or higher.
Condition of Employment: Must meet the personnel qualifications for high-complexity testing under the provisions of the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) 88 and for technical testing under the Pennsylvania Clinical Laboratory Act.
This position provides highly responsible, professional, supervisory, and administrative work assisting the Public Health Laboratory Director in directing a public health laboratory.
The employee in this class assists the Public Health Laboratory Director in planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the work of the Public Health Laboratory staff. The employee develops, maintains, and oversees highly specialized, technical, and innovative test systems including systems supporting bioterrorism and pandemic emergency response investigations and influenza surveillance programs. The employee ensures that the laboratory complies with state and federal laboratory testing regulations. The work involves assisting the Public Health Laboratory Director in developing and implementing policies and procedures, training staff, and monitoring staff performance. Work is performed under the direction of the Public Health Laboratory Director and is subject to review for compliance with departmental and Public Health Laboratory policies and procedures and for meeting performance goals and objectives
- Assists the Laboratory Director in the operation and administration of the Public Health Laboratory System including the support, maintenance, and enhancement of laboratory testing services.
- Maintains and oversees the Public Health Laboratory’s Select Agents Program with CDC including the maintenance and operation of a BSL-3 laboratory, maintenance of the building automation system, and maintenance of the building security system.
- Opens and oversees a Laboratory Response Network B (LRN-B) Reference Laboratory to support bioterrorism response.
- Opens and oversees a World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza Collaborating Laboratory to support local, national, and international influenza surveillance.
- Develops and maintains rapid, high-capacity testing systems and laboratory readiness for emergency activation to support investigations and control of pandemics caused by presently known and unknown pathogens.
- Oversees the development and implementation of whole genome sequencing systems to support pathogen tracing in bioterrorism events, pandemic investigations, influenza surveillance, and outbreak investigations of foodborne, waterborne, and bloodborne illnesses of public health importance.
- In support of bioterrorism and pandemic investigations and control efforts, develops and maintains multiple testing platforms to provide low-, moderate-, and high-test volumes and minimize disruption of testing services from supply chain problems.
- Designs and monitors studies to validate testing systems authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Designs and monitors bridging studies to verify the performance of modifications of testing systems authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Oversees the development and implementation of laboratory developed tests (LDTs) to support investigations of bioterrorism, pandemics, outbreak investigations, and provision of critical public health laboratory testing services.
- Designs and monitors studies for emergency use of a test system and develops materials for consideration by the laboratory director to request that the FDA issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the test system.
- Prepares and/or participates in preparing grant proposals.
- Prepares or directs the preparation of budgets and expenditure control procedures.
- Participates in health department and community activities to support the mission of the Allegheny County Health Department Public Health Laboratory.
- Coordinates, trains, and evaluates competencies of staff.
- Ensures compliance with requirements of state and federal regulatory agencies.
- Supervises technical and administrative staff to ensure competency, safe work practices, and accurate and efficient reporting of test results.
- Collaborate with health department information technology specialists in configuring LIMS to provide efficient laboratory data entry and test reporting processes.
- Collaborate with managers and supervisors in scheduling administrative and technical staff to meet developmental and service needs.
- Participates in the performance of subordinates’ work consistent with operational and organizational requirements.
- Responds to emergencies as needed.
- Performs related work as required.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:Knowledge of:
- Knowledge of principles, practices, current developments for operating a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) laboratory.
- Knowledge of high-capacity nucleic acid extraction systems and automated, high-capacity liquid dispensing systems for PCR setup.
- Knowledge and skill to operate whole genome nucleic acid sequencing systems.
- Knowledge, ability, and skill to design and conduct verification studies of FDA approved test systems and test systems authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use.
- Knowledge, ability, and skill to design, conduct, and implement laboratory-developed tests (LDTs).
- Knowledge, ability, and skill to conduct risk of assessments of laboratory test systems.
- Knowledge of the principles, practices, current developments, and problems in bacteriology, serology, toxicology, and virology as applicable to the operation and management of a public health laboratory.
- Knowledge of current literature and research developments in the field of public health laboratory testing.
- Knowledge of the principles and practices of public health laboratory administration and the effective methods of administration and instruction as applied to the work of professional and technical staff.
- Knowledge of the federal, state, and local agencies, resources, laws, regulations, and procedures which affect the operation of a public health laboratory.
- Knowledge of the principles and practices of effective supervision and management.
- Knowledge of the basic principles of the microbiology, serology, toxicology, and statistics.
- Ability to plan and organize the work of a professional, technical, and clerical staff engaged in the conduct of public health laboratory service and testing activities.
- Ability to supervise public health laboratory managers, supervisors, microbiologists, technicians and other staff.
- Ability to exercise sound judgment in making decisions.
- Ability to statistically analyze public health laboratory data and understand the implications of such data.
- Ability to use laboratory equipment in the evaluation and interpretation of tests and reports presenting unusual problems in diagnosis and involving important and responsible medical decisions.
- Ability to write scientific papers, reports, and standard operating procedures.
- Ability to give oral presentations of research findings, service assessments, budget reviews, etc.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with subordinates, associates, state laboratory officials, and federal program officials.
- Ability to respond to emergencies.
- Ability to wear a respirator (N95, N100, PAPR) and pass medical evaluation and fit testing for approval to use respirators.
- Ability to drive an automobile and have a personal automobile in traveling to different sites; ability to take public transportation as directed.
- Ability to occasionally lift items weighing up to 35 lbs. and to move a 6-foot ladder, and laboratory equipment on wheels including refrigerators, freezers, vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilizer etc.
- Ability to make minor repairs and corrections using common tools including screw drivers, chalking device, utility knife, etc.