Job Posting for The Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Director for Molecular Diagnostics and Virology Laboratory

Title: Director for Molecular Diagnostics and Virology Laboratory

Organization: Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Brief Summary of Position:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (BIDLS) seeks an experienced, highly motivated, and technically proficient public health laboratory scientist with specialized expertise in Molecular Diagnostics and Virology. He/she will lead this core Division of the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL) while providing oversight of laboratory diagnostics and applied public health research activities including Virus Isolation and Virus Serology, Rabies, Molecular Diagnostics, Arbovirus Surveillance, Next Generation Sequencing, and Biowatch.

The Director plays a critical role in the overall operations and accountability of the lab utilizing specialized, advanced, and scientific knowledge to support the evolution of public health laboratory practice and implementation of new technologies including next generation sequencing. These laboratory functions are essential to public health response to outbreaks and preparedness initiated by numerous infectious diseases.

Official Title: Program Manager Specialist VII

Primary Location: United States-Massachusetts-Boston-305 South Street

Agency: Department of Public Health

Schedule: Full-time

Shift: Day

If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Engie Mota  617-348-8471

Bargaining Unit: M99-Managers (EXE)


Applicants must have at least (A) five years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, supervisory or managerial experience in the particular specialty (i.e. scientific, professional, or technical) and (B) of which at least one year must have been in a managerial capacity. The above entrance requirements are to be used only for positions for which educational and/or experience requirements have not been established by the General Laws. Entrance requirements established for particular positions by law must be used.  

Applicants must possess current licensure and/or registration requirements established for the performance of the duties of the position.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of molecular testing methods and technology within a BLS 3 Laboratory as well as health/safety precautions and procedures
  • Prior experience with specimen accessioning, processing, test execution and result reporting
  • Strong familiarity of federal and state legal, regulatory, accreditation standards, practices and procedures required for laboratory operations
  • General understanding of laboratory quality control, statistical measurements and evaluation as well as the laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of a public health laboratory
  • Critical thinking skills, using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems
  • Basic principles of management, including business writing, budgeting and cost-allocation
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise staff including performance appraisal, employee coaching/training/development, and performance management
  • Established resourcefulness in setting priorities, creating, reviewing and improving SOPs
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and proficiency in Microsoft Office applications including Excel, Outlook and Word

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of a Biosafety Level 3 (BLS-3), 24/7 public health laboratory ensuring best practices are implemented, documented and sustained
  • Provide interpretive expertise for all testing of human, environmental, veterinary, and food specimens for biologic and mosquito-borne agents as well as new/emerging infectious diseases
  • Evaluate current and new testing capabilities and capacities  for molecular testing methods and equipment in response to terrorist related events or other public health threats
  • Ensure implementation in chain-of-custody and security related clearance issues relevant to molecular diagnostic testing per the Department of Homeland Security Biowatch program
  • Prepare recommended strategies and response plans in consultation with other MSPHL laboratory scientists, other public health lab professionals and academia utilizing the incident command structure
  • Draft and review grant proposals and prepare operational budgets for testing supplies and other scientific equipment/inventory
  • Develop, maintain and continuously improve the laboratory quality system, quality control, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations
  • Provide subject matter expertise and recommendations regarding state and federal legislation which may affect laboratory response to public health emergencies
  • Recruit, train, manage and coach laboratory staff, ensuring that all employees are adequately qualified and motivated to perform their duties
  • Maintain professional affiliations and enhance professional growth/development to keep abreast of the latest trends in laboratory science;  Remain current on issues/trends impacting public healthIn the context of work in a BSL-3 environment the successful candidate must understand the following:
    • All Tier 1 Staff will undergo a security risk assessment (SRA), which includes signing a confidentiality statement, and renewal every three years
    • Working conditions include potential exposure to infectious agents
    • All Tier 1 designated staff who may be exposed to Tier 1 Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT) must complete OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation  Questionnaire (29 CFR 1910.134 Appendix C), be evaluated and determined able to wear a respirator before working in any HSLI laboratory (Tier 1, non Tier 1 and non SAT) that requires a respirator
    • All Tier 1 designated staff are subject to ongoing suitability assessment to ensure compliance with federal regulations regarding Tier 1 Select Agents. Failure to pass the SRA and/ or suitability assessment required for access to Tier 1 BSAT may be laid off if no other resolution is reached


Salary: $44,590.00  $120,932.40 Yearly. As an employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you are offered a great career opportunity influencing a wide-spectrum of services to the diverse populations we serve – but it’s more than a paycheck. The State’s total compensation package features an outstanding set of employee benefits which you should consider towards your overall compensation, including:

  • 75% state paid medical insurance premium
  • Reasonable Dental and Vision Plans
  • Flexible Spending Account and Dependent Care Assistance programs
  • Low cost basic and optional life insurance
  • Retirement Savings: State Employees’ Pension and a Deferred Compensation 457(b) plan
  • 11 paid holidays per year and competitive Sick, Vacation and Personal Time
  • Tuition Remission for employee and spouse at state colleges and universities
  • Short-Term Disability and Extended Illness program participation options
  • Incentive-based Wellness Programs
  • Professional Development and Continuing Education opportunities
  • Qualified Employer for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

To Apply:

Please apply online here.

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