Madison, Wisconsin

Akima Systems Engineering (ASE) supports the Intelligence, DoD, and Science and Research communities with tools, domain knowledge, analyst teams and essential mission staffing services. We continually seek people with the skills, experience and passion to successfully leverage the complete intelligence lifecycle across America's most critical initiatives. As an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC), 100% of our company's profits go back to our more than 14,000 Iñupiat shareholders that have resided near and above the Arctic Circle for more than 10,000 years. Our business helps support their way of life and contributes to the survival of a culture that has thrived in a challenging environment.

Job Summary:

The National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) is a science center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with specialized laboratories dedicated to wildlife disease detection, control, and prevention. Their mission is to advance wildlife health science for the benefit of animals, humans, and the environment and involves the performance of scientific research to better understand the biology of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and the effects of the disease on cervids and other susceptible mammals. Akima is hiring a Biologist I to collaborate with government scientists to deepen understanding of CWD and CWD prion biology.

CWD is a fatal neurodegenerative contagious prion disease of cervids. Like other prion diseases, CWD involved interactions between the agent PrPCWD and a host factor PrPC. CWD is spreading across the United States and increasing in prevalence in those areas where it is endemic. CWD is currently affecting white-tailed and mule deer, elk & moose. Research areas being addressed include detection approaches to discriminate different variants of CWD prions, diagnostic techniques for CWD prions, environmental persistence of prions, transmission of CWD, CWD pathobiology and animal host susceptibility.

Akima is hiring a qualified Biologist I to perform the tasks described below and within written established guidelines. The work required is to design and perform scientific experiments, generate scientific data, and conduct appropriate analysis in support of experimental conclusions. Experimental designs, hypotheses, results, and conclusions shall be documented, and records shall be submitted documenting progress towards task accomplishment. The Biologist will collaborate with USGS staff and scientists to collect data, perform analyses, and write and publish USGS report products, in accordance with fundamental science practices and quality assurance standards.

Some travel may be required to support program tasks, including occasional attendance t professional society meetings workshops or travel to pick up and drop off samples.

Laboratory and office facilities are located at:

U.S. Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center

6006 Schroeder Road, Madison, WI 53711

Job Responsibilities:

The Biologist I will perform laboratory studies of prions and chronic wasting disease to include the following:
  • Perform the laboratory studies.
  • Collect, curate, and prepare biological and environmental samples that may contain CWD prions.
  • Assist in developing protocols for prion detection from a wide range of biological and environmental samples.
  • Prepare preliminary experimental designs to perform laboratory experiments for review.
  • Purify recombinant prion proteins from E. coli suitable for use as substrates in real time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays.
  • Perform and troubleshoot RT-QuIC assays.
  • Examine tissue and environmental samples for the presence of disease-associated prion proteins.
  • Quantitate the abundances of relevant proteins from tissue samples.
  • Extract nucleic acids from tissue samples.
  • Prepare nucleic acids for genotyping and sequencing.
  • Provide preliminary analysis of data to support the conclusions of the experiments.
  • Assist to assemble, evaluate, and analyze data for presentation in a scientifically appropriate manner.
  • Assist to assemble, evaluate, and analyze data for inclusion in reports describing results.
  • Ensure all laboratory safety standards are met.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in a science related field.
  • up to 2 years' experience.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Department of Interior PIV card (equivalent of a Public Trust).

The duties and responsibilities listed in this job description generally cover the nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position. This is not intended to be a complete list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required. Subject to the terms of an applicable collective bargaining agreement, the company management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as may be necessary. We wish to thank all applicants for their interest and effort in applying for the position; however, only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender or gender-identity, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, pregnancy or parental status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

We are committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position please contact, Recruiting Services at or 571-353-7053. Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Please do not use the dedicated email or phone number above to inquire on the status of your job application.

In order for our company to stay compliant with government regulations, please apply online. Please DO NOT email resumes or call in lieu of applying online unless you have a physical and/or mental disability and need assistance with the online application.

Madison, Wisconsin

Akima supports a diverse portfolio of operating companies with one strategic goal: enabling superior outcomes for our customers’ missions.  Together with its operating companies, Akima represents an uncommonly broad array of specialized talents, technologies, domain expertise, and proven program success at some of the most visible and demanding implementations across all of government and industry.


Akima is an enterprise with 30 years of federal contracting experience and over 7,500 employees supporting more than 14,300 Iñupiat shareholders in the NANA region of Alaska.  Akima provides the backbone infrastructure to support more than 40 socio-economically disadvantaged small businesses (SDBs) with mature business processes and shared back-office support services normally only found in a Fortune 500 defense contractor.


We leverage this infrastructure and the shared experiences of our operating companies to bring world-class solutions to U.S. Department of Defense, intelligence community, and civilian organizations in 46 states and 12 countries.

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