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Job Details

SIDRA4393 - Staff Scientist - Microbiome

Department: Translational Medicine Div
Division: Translational Medicine Dept
Contract Type: Full Time
Closing Date: 16-Aug-2017
Organizational Profile:

Sidra Medicine is a state of the art academic medical center that will function to the level of the highest international standards. Its clinical focus is on the specialty care of women and children.

Sidra’s Vision is: “Sidra Medicine will be a beacon of learning, discovery and exceptional care, ranked among the top medical centers in the world”.

Achieving this vision will encompass three essential activities:

World Class: Patient and Family Centered Care Health Education Biomedical Discovery


The Research branch will house several hundred researchers working on many aspects of Feto-maternal health. It will cover Basic, Translation, Clinical trials and Informatics research. The Department comprises two research floors totaling 10,000M2 and 9 smaller “satellite laboratories” throughout the hospital. The department will house basic laboratories as well as state of the art core facilities, e.g. Genomics, medicinal chemistry and Imaging.

Sidra’s Vision is to become a beacon of learning, discovery and exceptional care and to rank among the top medical centers in the world. The Sidra Medical and Research Center works closely with Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and Qatar University to raise the standard of health and health care throughout the State of Qatar.

Dr. Al Khodor’s group is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which microbes signal through the cell, colonize the host, evade the immune response and cause infection. Moreover, she aims to study the role of the human microbiome in normal and pathological conditions and to develop models to study the host-microbiota interactions. She is interested in deciphering whether perturbations in the microbiota composition can predict disease onset and progression: ie whether changes in the vaginal microbiome can predict woman’s health and pregnancy complications and whether manipulating the gut microbiome composition can improve outcomes of Vitamin D treatment and kidney disease prognosis.

Key Role Accountabilities::

The ideal candidate for this position should hold an MD or PhD in biological sciences acquired within a minimum of 5 years experience, with a strong background in molecular biology, microbiology, microbial genetics, and immunology documented by peer-reviewed publications. A prior research experience in the microbiome field as well as in the host-pathogen interface is essential. Experience in computational analyses on microbiome data including taxonomical and functional classification, analysis of bacterial communities using various omics approaches is highly preferred.

  • The staff scientist should be able design and execute experiments and analyze bacterial communities of any kind (gut, vagina, saliva,  FFPE/ FF tissue samples) and to work with various human samples.

  • Plan and design experiments to elicit host-microbiome interactions.

  • Present findings at lab meetings, seminars, and national/international conferences

  • The staff scientist will be in charge of coordinating lab activities, contributing to project development and grant management in addition to assigned lab projects

The Al Khodor lab values scientists who conduct cross-disciplinary research projects with a high level of independence and yet work in close collaboration with other scientists with complementary expertise.

 In addition, the ideal candidate:

  • Performs complex scientific research on high throughput data, at the highest standards, under the general guidance and direction of an Investigator
  • Collects, analyzes and processes biomedical data, conducts statistical analysis, experiment design and database development

  • Communicates research results/findings to the relevant scientific community via published papers

  • Maintains external research relationships to identify and develop new funding sources

  • Makes significant contributions to technical proposal preparation and/or presentations

  • Presents ongoing work and findings to colleagues at both local and in academic conferences

  • Manages projects of a larger scope and makes substantial contributions to determining feasibility of goals and objectives in concert with the Investigator

  • Identifies problems and related technical issues leading to long-term, generic solutions; identifies a technical approach for solving problems and meeting research leadership and grantor needs

  • Provides ideas/recommendations to improve organizational efficiency at project and program levels 

  • Works closely with the Investigators, Chairs and core facilities leaders to gauge/understand their needs

  • Monitors the work of others and redirects efforts to achieve task/project objectives or enhance quality

  • Contributes to positive co-worker/customer/investigator relationships through efficient interaction on current grants/projects

  • Supervises and trains Post-Doctoral Fellows and other members of staff

  • Mentors junior staff in the development of relevant skills

  • Attends academic events on behalf of Sidra

  • Adheres to Sidra’s standards as they appear in the Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest policies

Interested candidates should attach 1-2 paragraph cover letter summarizing their interests, lab skills and experience .

In view of the evolving needs and opportunities within Sidra during this pre-operational phase, this position may be required to perform other duties as assigned and reporting relationships may vary.

Qualifications Job Specific Skills and Abilities::





    • PhD in a relevant field



    • Successful completion of Post -Doc fellowship


    • 5+ years of research experience post-PhD at the Staff Scientist – Associate level.


    • Academic/Industrial research experience with publications in peer-reviewed academic journals and/or conferences


    Certification and Licensure



    Professional Membership



    Job Specific Skills and Abilities

    • Established distinguished technical expertise


    • Broad knowledge of principles, practices and procedures in the field of specialization


    • Effective problem-solving skills and ability to effectively apply experience, judgment, and creativity to both short- and long-term challenges


    • Ability to organize and manage project plan and deliverables


    • Ability to validate results to wider technical audience


    • Critical reasoning and analysis


    • Practiced mentoring and training of junior staff


    • Presentation and communication skills to a wider audience


    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite


    • Fluency in written and spoken English




Other information: Sidra offers competitive total compensation package, including fully furnished housing, transportation and other benefits.
Sidra’s Organizational Values:
  • Trust: Being competent; acting consistently, reliably and predictably; acting with honesty and integrity; respecting patient, employee and commercial confidentiality; delivering on commitments
  • Care: Acting with empathy, kindness and compassion; being humble; listening and responding; acting with cultural sensitivity; Caring for patients and staff
  • Teamwork: Sharing information and knowledge and learning from demonstrated expertise; being respectful, and thereby earning respect of others; acting with professionalism; leading and following; collaborating and being accessible
  • Transparency: Frequent and honest communication; open access to information for decision making; willingly acknowledge shortcomings; speaking up about concerns; publishing performance indicators
  • Innovation: Freedom to innovate; welcoming ideas and encouraging creativity; supporting talent; creating confidence; celebrating successes
  • Efficiency: Providing measurable value; using data to drive decision making; having and achieving clear goals; building processes that work; continuously improving outcomes in patient and family care
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