Attention all folks looking for a great place to do virology research! We are hiring MULTIPLE positions at @VIDOInterVac.

✅Principal investigators
✅Postdoctoral fellows
✅Laboratory technicians
If you're a virologist (or bacteriologist) on the academic job market, consider joining us here! Our facilities are world-class & you'd be joining Canada's newly established National Pandemic Research Centre with amazing colleagues & institutional support!…
Are you interested in the host response to viral infection? Want to work on emerging viruses like SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, flu, etc? Do you know how to analyze large sequencing datasets in R and/or Python? Then come join my lab team!!!!…
Looking for a lab technician job that would allow you to work on cutting edge projects in a phenomenal high containment lab? Interested in helping develop new vaccines and studying emerging pathogens? (FYI one of these positions is for my lab!)…
Perhaps you are thinking...Saskatoon? Really?

Well, I'm from Seattle. Saskatoon has no mountains or salt water & yes it gets cold. BUT it also has:
✅Affordable housing
✅No traffic
✅Great schools
✅Beautiful scenery
✅Fantastic restaurants/bars
✅Vibrant arts & cultural scene
I truly LOVE Saskatoon & though I never imagined I'd move here, I am SO glad that I did. I have talented colleagues who have become great friends like @sci_questions and @akelvinlab to work with. I have the freedom & support to take on challenging & risky but rewarding projects.
We've had tons of investment from the municipal, provincial, and federal governments to build a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility and upgrade our already excellent CL3 space. We'll soon have CL4 capabilities as well as expanded animal space.
It's so exciting being part of this ambitious effort to establish @VIDOInterVac as an international leader in cutting edge research on emerging pathogens and One Health. If that sounds cool to you, come join us!

And feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions.

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More from @angie_rasmussen

28 Oct
I spoke with @betswrites at length for this piece on the ongoing saga of NIH oversight on the CoV work conducted with EcoHealth Alliance. It contains new information about compliance with the terms of the grant.…
First off, I'll just say that my thread from last week may be a bit out of date given that EHA is disputing the claim from NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak that they did not comply with reporting requirements for their grant.
Specifically, EHA contends that they did report their findings of increased replication of a chimeric SARS-related coronavirus as required and that they submitted their annual report on time.
Read 18 tweets
21 Oct
This tweet is wrong as the letter below clearly states that this wasn’t GOF by the P3CO definition, which for NIH-funded work is the relevant standard.

But though this is politically motivated, the lack of transparency & failure to comply with NIH requirements is indefensible.
I don’t do work that meets the P3CO standard for enhanced potential pandemic pathogens, but I do work in containment on dangerous emerging viruses. Compliance with regulations and transparency are essential to doing this work safely and ethically.
Withholding data from the government agency that funds your work with taxpayer dollars does not engender trust. Federal research grants are not an entitlement. Failing to comply with oversight measures put into place largely for safety reasons is inexcusable.
Read 12 tweets
18 Oct
Yes, Colin Powell died of a breakthrough infection. That is why boosters are recommended for people at high risk for severe COVID-19.

Yes, that means vaccines aren’t 100% effective.

No, that doesn’t mean that vaccines are 0% effective.
Every death from COVID is a preventable tragedy. As long as prevalence is high, even some vaccinated people will be infected & a small percentage of those will become very sick. An even smaller percentage will die. But the vast majority of deaths are in the unvaccinated.
So get vaccinated AND wear masks AND try to limit exposure to people outside your household AND rapid test if you can get them AND try to improve indoor air quality AND use caution.

But don’t think this means vaccines don’t work. They work very well, just not perfectly.
Read 5 tweets
14 Oct
This has now happened a second time: an Ebola outbreak has occurred due to transmission from a persistently infected person of a virus that has barely changed in years.

This hints at an unknown and completely novel persistence mechanism for an RNA virus.…
This Ebola virus diverges from the most closely related genome by only 6 nucleotides. That virus was sampled from a deceased EVD patient in July 2019, meaning that in over 2 years, this virus has barely changed.

Which is really, really weird.
RNA viruses famously have a very high mutation rate, The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) that copies the viral genome can't proofread & correct "typos" during replication. Thus, you can count the typos—mutations—as a measure of evolutionary time if you know the mutation rate.
Read 10 tweets
24 Sep
Much respect for Dr. Gilbert but I don’t agree with this. Viruses don’t always become attenuated (less virulent). When they do, it’s because there is an evolutionary selection pressure driving it. No such pressure exists for SARS-CoV-2.
An example of this type of selection pressure would be a virus that is so virulent, it kills its host before it can be transmitted to another one.

A virus is essentially a machine programmed to make more viruses. To do that, it needs to be spread to new hosts.
So variants that are so virulent they kill a host before that host can pass it along, that is under negative selection pressure. The more virulent viruses won’t be passed on. But attenuated variants will. They are under positive selection.
Read 8 tweets
21 Sep
Fellow J&J recipients: big press release out on impact of boosters. While the confidence intervals are huge, there’s evidence that boosting with a 2nd shot (of J&J) increases effectiveness.…
We need to see the full dataset but hopefully when it’s examined in detail, it will support a recommendation for those who got J&J to get a second shot. All the data (for any COVID vaccine) suggests there’s substantial benefit to boosting.
And I’m not sure where we are at with J&J supply, but last I saw, there wasn’t a lot. ACIP/FDA should consider recommending heterologous (mix and match) boosting with a mRNA vaccine. There’s data with AstraZeneca + mRNA that supports the safety of this approach.
Read 4 tweets

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