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Job ID: 170385

Director of Agriculture Improvement Core Facility
Texas A&M AgriLife Research


Date Posted Oct. 26, 2021
Title Director of Agriculture Improvement Core Facility
University Texas A&M AgriLife Research
College Station, TX, United States
Department Applied Genomics and Biotechnology
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
 
 
  • Director/Manager
  • Biology - Genetics
 
 

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is seeking a Director for the newly established Agriculture Improvement Core Facility. The Director of the Agriculture Improvement Core Facility will provide strategic leadership to enhance AgriLife’s approach to basic and applied genomics and biotechnology research by providing gene editing and transformation services which enable impactful research and tools to address priority issues for plant, animal and human health and nutrition. The Director will manage and advance a core facility whose organizational structure enables coordinated animal, vector and plant gene editing and transformation services across the Texas A&M AgriLife Research community, including collaboration opportunities with outside partners and clients. The Director should have experience in the management and functioning of a service organization or a core facility, and in submitting extramural equipment funding proposals to public and private funders. Experience with the production of genetically modified organisms – animals or plants, including tissue culture, and ability to develop new transformation/transfection protocols is desirable.

Job Description
The Director of the Agriculture Improvement Core Facility provides strategic leadership to enhance AgriLife’s approach to basic and applied genomics and biotechnology research, resulting in efficient, effective, and collaborative gene editing and transformation services which enable impactful research and tools to address priority issues for plant, animal and human health and nutrition. The Director will manage and advance a core facility whose organizational structure enables coordinated animal, vector and plant gene editing and transformation services across the Texas A&M AgriLife Research community, including collaboration opportunities with outside partners and clients.

The Director will work with complementary existing core facilities including the Texas Genomics and Bioinformatics Services (TxGen) and the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM) – as well as the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science (CVMBS) to avoid duplicative services, improve synergies and services.

The Director should have extensive experience in the management and functioning of a service organization or a core facility. Experience with the production of genetically modified organisms – animals or plants, including tissue culture, and ability to develop new transformation/transfection protocols is desirable.

Responsibilities

  • Develop a clear 5-year business plan outlining the following: 1) initial investments required (e.g. scalable staffing models, capital investment) 2) multi-year implementation of a full cost recovery model 3) detailed description of services offered and how prices are competitive with peer institutions 4) staffing technical skill sets – initial, mid-, and long-term 5) internal and external collaborations required for success 6) marketing and communications plan (in consultation with MarCom)
  • Develop strategic plan for the core facility, including effective synergies with or non-duplicative linkages to other AgriLife/TAMU core facilities or topic related programs; and in support of AgriLife’s Strategic Plan.
  • Supervise core facility staff, manage budgets, and have overall responsibility for the performance of the core facility.
  • Maintain quality control and product delivery.
  • Assist internal customers to facilitate their research and develop protocols; engage as requested on grant proposals. Conflict of interest due to project prioritization should be clearly delineated.
  • Develop a curricular training plan for undergraduate, graduate and postdoc students. This should be a fee accruing activity.
  • Be available for mentoring graduate students by participating on graduate student committees as needed. Conflict of interest due to project prioritization should be clearly delineated.
  • Secure state-of-the art equipment through industry partnerships and creation and submission of equipment grants.
  • Attract external contracts and market and manage projects for external clients. Business development role, particularly for those services which are not effectively filled by external entities.
  • Supervise and direct senior scientists’ activities to: a) develop and test new gene editing and transformation technologies and improvements and/or new techniques to assist with improving the core facility’s services. b) Explore for unique new technologies not existing and/or that require special high-tech instrumentation procured by/for the Core facility that fill identified gaps in the gene editing and transformation field, enable improved services, and/or advance science in this field. The facility should engage in collaborative applied research development activities, including adoption and adjustments of new technologies and techniques as they become available. c) Faculty research should be prioritized over these activities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Interpersonal, technical, and organizational skills to engage with faculty, customers, and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and timely achievement of project milestones and deliverables
  • Ability to effectively lead an educated technical team.
  • Experience in plant or animal transformation, in vitro tissue culture, gene editing and work with RNAi.
  • Experience with CRISPR or other leading edge genome editing techniques, transformation systems, genetics, molecular biology, sequencing, and bioinformatics.

Qualifications
PhD and appropriate experience in relevant field (e.g. genetics, biotechnology, molecular biology, etc.)
Experience in a successful, fiscally solvent academic management/business environment.
Extensive experience in the management and functioning of a service organization or a core facility.
Experience in submitting extramural equipment funding proposals to public and private funders.
Experience with the production of genetically modified plants, including tissue culture, plant regeneration, protoplast preparation, plant transformation and ability to develop transformation protocols. Or extensive experience in the production of genetically modified animals, including tissue culture and ability to develop new transfection protocols.


  • Texas A&M is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer committed to diversity.


 
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