Postdoc Opportunity- Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Ecology Project

The current opportunity is to participate in an ongoing research project entitled “Ecology of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) in North America”.  Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) is an arthropod-borne virus that causes serious vesicular disease resulting in economic losses to the cattle, swine, and horse industries due to decreased animal production and quarantines.  In cattle and swine, the disease is clinically indistinguishable from Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), one of the most devastating exotic diseases in livestock.  For decades, outbreak cycles of VS lasting 1-3 years have occurred sporadically in the southwestern United States.  Different VSV strains causing each of these outbreak cycles are closely related to those circulating in enzootic areas of Mexico, but their means of transmission, determinants of viral virulence and mechanisms of introduction to the United States remain unclear.  The environmental, host, and viral factors influencing the emergence, spread, and transmission of VSV are poorly understood.  This research project is aimed at understanding the viral, host and ecological factors influencing emergence of VSV in North America.  This understanding will provide scientific evidence to generate models that predict future outbreaks and to develop intervention strategies to minimize the impact of future disease outbreaks.

The project will involve research activities at the Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit (FADRU) at Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient, NY in close collaboration with the Arthropod Borne Disease Research Unit in Manhattan Kansas and the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research Program, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.  The successful candidate will be actively involved both in laboratory aspects including virus genetic characterization by next generation sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of outbreak strains. In addition viral genetic determinants of virulence will be studies using an existing infectious clone through reverse genetics. Pathogenesis will be studied both in-vitro and in-vivo in insect and mammalian cells as well as in animal hosts.  Travel to Kansas and New Mexico might be necessary during different phases of this research. This position will involve training in biosafety and various aspects of research in high containment (BSL3Ag).

PIADC is the only U.S. laboratory facility performing research, development and diagnosis of foreign animal diseases of highest threat to the U.S. This critical national asset is located off the northeast coast of Long Island, NY, and accessible by government-provided ferry from Orient Point, NY, and Old Saybrook, CT. Access to the facility requires eligibility requisites including medical and security clearances that are requisites for final selection.

To apply use this link: www/

For information please contact:

Apply online at

Luis L. Rodriguez,  D.V.M., Ph.D.  Research Leader
Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit
USDA/ARS Plum Island Animal Disease Center
P.O. Box 848 Greenport NY 11944
Tel. 631 323 3364, Fax: 631 323 3006