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At MHRP you'll be a part of a team that will advance the HIV field as we search for an effective vaccine, and help save lives in Africa through HIV prevention, care and treatment programs.
Join MHRP’s team and make a difference in the worldwide effort to control the HIV pandemic.
Position: Manager, Specimen Processing Lab
Education: Virginia Tech, B.S. Biochemistry; Johns Hopkins, M.S. Biotechnology
Years at MHRP: 7
Why did you decide to join MHRP?
I started as an entry-level technician in 2004, fresh out of college. I was stoked at the prospect of having a job—having a job that actually mattered on a global scale was that much more exciting. The tuition assistance and benefits (which I understand the value of now) just made accepting my offer a no brainer.
What are you working on?
My day-to-day activities consist of managing the lab that separates blood components from specimens collected during various clinical trials, as well as for diagnostic testing purposes. The blood components are then cryopreserved. I also manage the long-term specimen repository, which contains more than 1 million specimens dating back more than 26 years.
What has been most rewarding about your MHRP experience?
The fact that we're working for a solution to a real problem. So many of my friends have jobs that they feel no connection to. For me, working at MHRP is not just a paycheck, I feel like I'm making a difference.
What are the best aspects of your current job?
I started at MHRP doing benchwork, but it was only a few years before I found myself in a position where I could help investigators during the experimental design portion of the study. I've found it extremely useful to be able to play a role in developing a large-scale protocol—to witness where the bench top science meets the real world. This has been an invaluable experience.
What do like best about working at MHRP?
My coworkers. It's great knowing that I get to wake up every morning and come to work with some of the smartest people in the world, many of whom aren't afraid to dress up for Halloween.
MHRP Principal Deputy Col. Jerome Kim has won the 2013 John Maher Award for Research Excellence from the Department of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University (USU).
U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E. Lenhardt recently visited MHRP’s site in Tanzania to inaugurate a new specialized TB laboratory at the Mbeya Referral Hospital.
This HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, we reflect upon how much we've learned in the quest for an effective vaccine. While we don't have a vaccine yet, we know a vaccine is possible and will be a critical tool to help end the epidemic.
In a ceremony held May 1, Col. Nelson Michael received the Hero of Military Medicine Award for the U.S. Army for his excellence as an HIV researcher and leader in global health.