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Deputy Director, Diagnostics and Pathogen Characterisation

UK Health Security Agency
Porton, Salisbury
£73,000 - £117,800
Closing date
26 Mar 2023

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The UKHSA’s Science Group are looking to appoint its Deputy Director, Diagnostics and Pathogen Characterisation.

The Deputy Director of Diagnostic Development, Evaluation and Pathogen Characterisation is responsible for the operational running of the pathogen characterisation, diagnostic development, evaluation, and translation functions in UKHSA.

The function drives the initial analysis and characterisation of new and emerging pathogens, development and evaluation of diagnostics for them and translation of diagnostics to meet UKHSA needs and the wider need for diagnostics in NHS. This includes development of in-house tests, evaluation of commercial tests and working with academic and commercial interests to rapidly identify and develop new tests and/or new innovative diagnostic technologies collaboratively or as a fee for service to support CA marking as coordinating the components across Science groups which comprise the “Diagnostic Accelerator” concept. The capability includes provision of initial reagents to support diagnostic development and implementation working with teams in culture collections and NEQAS and Quality assurance for UKHSA, NHS and industrial applications. The work will also include responsibility for CTDA and VOC of Covid assays whilst these remain under remit of UKHSA and other pathogens as required.

The function requires development and maintenance of staffing, expertise and capabilities to deliver these activities as well as working with other groups in the directorate, across Science Group and within UKHSA. Externally the function will work with NHS, commercial suppliers, Industry bodies and academic groups to develop diagnostic solutions.

There will need to be close engagement with DD for Foresight and Innovation to ensure their awareness of the Diagnostic Strategy and ongoing lab-based activity in this area in the DDEPC directorate. The directorate will also work closely with regional network directorate, Quality, Safety and Regulatory Performance assurance, VDEC and HCM & Biological Investigation directorates, UKHSA Culture Collections, NEQAS to ensure diagnostics and outbreak response reagent workflows are in place and diagnostics are developed in line with CA marking and regulatory compliance needed where tests are feeding into local network labs or beyond into NHS.

The postholder will ensure that innovations are evaluated using a range of suitable methods for both rapid and substantive assessment to inform adoption and spread.

The function brings together the development of people, equipment, facilities and ways of working that use scientific knowledge to identify future challenges and opportunities and to generation innovations in meeting health security challenges.

Closing date: 26 March 2023.

We expect to hold interviews week beginning 17 April 2023. Please note, this may be subject to change.


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