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Post-Doctoral Fellow - Chemist

Employer
U.S. FDA
Location
College Park, Maryland
Salary
$68,000-$102,506
Closing date
May 10, 2024

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Field of specialization
Analytical, Biochemical, Food
Work Function
Analyst, Laboratory, Research-Applied
Job Type
Full time

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) in College Park, Maryland seeks to hire post-doctoral fellows to participate in our food safety research program. The Office of Regulatory Science (ORS) within CFSAN conducts laboratory investigations in a variety of research areas which include, but are not limited to, food additives, food packaging, contaminants, toxins, allergens, elemental analysis, and nutrients in foods, food packaging, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.

Candidates with expertise in any of the following areas are encouraged to apply.  Please refer to the specific position number that you are interested in/qualified for in your application:

  1. Nutrient analysis, GCxGC, LC-GC, LC-MS. The position will involve the development and validation of methods for the identification of nutrients and emerging contaminants in fats/oils, foods, and dietary supplement products using chromatography-based techniques.  Candidates should be knowledgeable about the latest gas chromatographic and liquid chromatographic techniques, with and without mass spectrometry detection. Training and working experience in GCxGC, LCxLC, LC-GC, LC-MS, and lipid analysis are also desirable.
  2. Non-targeted analysis, HR-MS. The position will involve the development and validation of methods for the identification of emerging cannabinoids in foods and products marketed as dietary supplement using high resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS).   Candidates should be experienced with the latest liquid chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques including data acquisition and processing, compound identification, and small molecule quantitation. Training in non-targeted analysis (NTA) including experience in NTA software tools (e.g., Compound Discoverer software, Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking), is also highly desirable.
  3. HR-MS.  The position will be in applied regulatory research for targeted and non-targeted mass spectrometric methods for the identification of economic adulteration of food products such as honey and fruit juices.  Candidates with expertise in analytical chemistry, especially HR-MS are encouraged to apply.  The post-doctoral fellow will work collaboratively, identify markers, develop databases or libraries, and validate a mass spectrometric method to identify biomarkers and metabolites formed in the production of syrup matrices in comparison to pure honey. Additionally, research will be expanded into characterizing and identifying marker ions that can be used to discriminate the substitution of fruit juices, such as lime and lemon juice. Also, duties will include monitoring instrument performance metrics in lab quality assurance and control programs, as well as providing routine instrument maintenance and calibration service.
  4. Microwave-assisted sample digestion, extraction methods, ICP-MS, and HPLC-ICP-MS.  The project will develop and validate a method to determine chromium species in food products and dietary supplements. The candidate will learn how to evaluate existing methods for extraction and quantification of the target analytes in a regulatory setting and develop methods that can meet the objectives of this study. The participant will receive hands-on training on the use of various sample preparation and analytical techniques including microwave-assisted sample digestion, extraction methods, ICP-MS and HPLC-ICP-MS. The candidate will also learn method validation procedures to establish the performance of the developed method to enable assessment of their applicability. The methods will be used for regulatory or surveillance activities to ensure the safety of the food supply and accuracy of food and dietary supplement labeling.
  5. Microwave-assisted sample digestion, extraction methods, ICP-MS, ICP-TOF, SEM, TEM.  The project involves development of a method to detect and characterize naturally occurring or engineered nanoparticles in foods, cosmetics, and dietary supplements. The candidate will develop novel methods for extraction of nano-sized (< 1 micron diameter) particles from foods, learn to isolate the particles from the food matrix, and learn to calibrate and characterize those particles by instrumental analysis. The participant will receive hands-on training on the use of various sample preparation and analytical techniques including microwave-assisted sample digestion, extraction methods, ICP-MS, ICP-TOF, SEM, TEM, and other analytical techniques as needed. The candidate will also learn method validation procedures to establish the performance of the developed method to enable assessment of their applicability. The candidate will conduct laboratory experiments to help evaluate and validate the analytical procedures under study and work with the mentor in the preparation of reports and scientific manuscripts. The method may be used for regulatory or surveillance activities to ensure the safety of the food supply and accuracy of food, cosmetic, and dietary supplement labeling.

Candidates should have a Ph.D. in chemistry or a related field.  Job responsibilities can include, but are not limited to, (1) adapting, developing, and/or validating quantitative analytical methods for the determination of a variety of compounds in foods, packaging, dietary supplements, and cosmetics, (2) operating and maintaining highly complex and specialized scientific instrumentation, (3) writing reports, scientific papers, and scientific publications, and (4) participation at scientific conferences and meetings.  U.S. citizenship, permanent resident status, or a valid J1 Visa is required. Applicants must have resided in the United States for at least 36 of the previous 60 months to be eligible. A successful background investigation is also required. The position is located in College Park, Maryland.

The start date is negotiable.  If interested, please email your CV to ORS-DAC-inquiry@fda.hhs.gov.

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