Create and release your Profile on Zintellect – Postdoctoral applicants must create an account and complete a profile in the on-line application system. Please note: your resume/CV may not exceed 2 pages.
Complete your application – Enter the rest of the information required for the IC Postdoc Program Research Opportunity. The application itself contains detailed instructions for each one of these components: availability, citizenship, transcripts, dissertation abstract, publication and presentation plan, and information about your Research Advisor co-applicant.
Additional information about the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is available on the program website located at: https://orise.orau.gov/icpostdoc/index.html.
If you have questions, send an email to ICPostdoc@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.
Research Topic Description, including Problem Statement:
The links between changes to the human gut microbiota, the expression of genes in the gut and health and disease have become increasingly apparent in the 21st century, with a range of complex diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases linked to aberrant changes to the gut microbiome. With these changes, the value in understanding the phenotype of microorganisms expressed in the gut, how gene expression is regulated and the pathways they use to signal changes to the rest of the body have become of increasing interest.
With changes to the human microbiome/microbiota implicated in the initiation and facilitation of disease progression, an ongoing area of research is how the microbiome could be modified to reduce the risk of disease development. However conversely, this also presents a biosecurity risk that the human microbiome could be accidentally or deliberately modified to cause disease within a given individual, with beneficial research leveraged nefariously to cause intended effects. The biosecurity risks related to this growing area of research are poorly understood, including the potential range of impacts that might occur following changes to the microbiome. A better understanding of the risks is necessary to support defense by being able to detect when changes have occurred, if they are natural, accidental or deliberate, and if necessary, attribute any changes.
This proposal seeks to further characterize the potential causes of microbiome changes and understand the range of impacts that could be triggered following microbiome changes in order to support mitigations, detection and if necessary attribution.
A possible approach may include:
Relevance to the Intelligence Community:
Modification of the human microbiome presents a biosecurity risk as changes to the microbiome can have a range of effects on a human host, both positive and negative, including being a risk factor for a range of naturally occurring diseases. In order to mitigate this risk, additional information is needed to characterize the range of impacts that could be elicited, including how to identify and detect natural and deliberate changes to the microbiome to better enable potential attribution
Key Words: Microbiome; Microbiota; Biosecurity; Detection; Attribution; Disease