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Responsible for the development and evaluation of new seed health assay methods. Create and oversee new seed health R&D projects. Establish laboratory accreditation and certification programs and ensure staff training and certification. Audit out-sourced labs to ensure seed health testing competency. Work with QA managers to establish the direction and priorities for the SAH seed health testing program. Work with SSC-QA and subsidiaries to develop and implement Sakata’s global seed health testing programs. Represent the interests of Sakata by participating in U.S. and international seed health organizations (e.g. ISHI).
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES*:
- Develop, implement and improve seed health protocols. Work with in-house, public and seed industry scientists to refine current seed health testing protocols and develop/implement state-of-the-art techniques that improve test accuracy and efficiency.
- Create and oversee new seed health research and development projects to solve problems impacting seed health testing. Keep current on developments in seed health that may affect the company’s products and goals.
- Establish necessary and appropriate laboratory accreditation and certification programs to meet or exceed industry seed health standards. Ensure SAH seed health staff has the required training and certifications.
- Review and audit out-sourced labs to determine competency and suitability for SAH work. Develop collaborative projects and establish comparative tests with out-sourced labs.
- Prepare, analyze and present data resulting from research projects and recommend protocol improvements and solutions to seed health testing problems affecting the company.
- Work cooperatively with other Sakata pathologists to provide expertise and counsel to all company groups on matters relating to seed health. Work with Sakata Coporate Headquarters QA team to develop and implement Sakata World Wide seed health testing. Represent Sakata and U.S. seed industry interests and participates in international seed health organizations/groups (e.g., NSHS, ISHI, ASTA-VTS).
- Participate in routine seed health testing activities with seed health staff. Help supervise and train temporary help, technicians, trainees, visiting scientists, other Sakata personnel.
- Network and interact with publicly funded researchers active in the areas of seed health research.
- Travel as required to maintain and enhance skills and to share information and technology with other Sakata companies.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Working knowledge in molecular biology, seed pathology, seed health testing and statistics.
- Excellent laboratory skills in microbiology and molecular techniques with ability to conduct seed health research work.
- Ability to setup, coordinate and carry out research projects, to refine and document protocols, and to perform tasks with precision and attention to detail.
- Ability to interact effectively and professionally with other department personnel, company staff, and external professionals.
- Ability to effectively manage a team, set clear team goals, and create an open communication culture.
- Ability to work independently, yet cooperatively.
- Good organizational and communication skills.
- PhD. in plant pathology or closely related field with emphasis on molecular detection of pathogens, or an MS degree in plant pathology or a closely related field plus 5-years experience supervising a seed health testing lab.
EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND:
- Demonstrated ability to conduct quality research in seed pathology.
- Demonstrated abilities and at least three years of experience (through academic training or work) in plant pathology, molecular detection of pathogens, and plant disease management.
- Experience with seed health testing procedures.
- Knowledge/experience in plant pathology in a commercial seed industry setting desirable.
WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
- Must be able to work with hazardous lab chemicals, pesticides, or other possibly irritating substances.
- Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when necessary or required.
- Must be able to work long and irregular hours (including overtime) and stand or sit for long periods.
- Must be able to travel (drive, fly, and ride) for extended periods of time, and travel both domestically and internationally.
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