Public Health Ontario

Laboratory Technician - NGS- GP- 21-0095 - CX (BB-88561)

Found in: Neuvoo CA


Position Title: Laboratory Technician- NGS-GP-CX

Department: PHOL Toronto

Job ID: 21-0095

Organizational Overview

Great people, exceptional teams building a stronger Public Health Ontario.

We are Public Health Ontario (PHO). We live our values as a shared promise to each other, our clients and our partners. We value credibility, innovation, responsiveness, collaboration, integrity and respect. With our partners in Ontario's health system, we monitor and address the needs of the population by providing the scientific evidence and expert guidance that shapes policies and practices for a healthier Ontario. With locations across Ontario, we are working to ensure that Ontario has the strongest public health system in the world so that every day Ontarians wake up in one of the safest places to live in the world.

For more information about PHO, visit

Position Details-

Position Title: Laboratory Technician- NGS-GP-CX
Department: PHOL Toronto
Location: 661 University Avenue, Toronto, ON
Duration: Temporary - 12 month contract
Hours of work: Full-Time, 36.25 hours per week
Compensation Group: OPSEU
Salary: $26.89 to $30.69 hourly

Posting Date: February 17, 2021
Closing Date: March 3, 2021

Position Summary-

To lead the development and implementation of a robust genomics program at Public Health Ontario (PHO) to monitor genomic changes and rapid detection of emerging variants of pathogens of public health significance for Ontario. PHO has been mandated by the province to lead the establishment of a hub and spoke model for integrated program model for COVID-19 genomics in Ontario, working in collaboration with Ontario Health and other clinical laboratories and researchers undertaking genomics. The program will enable and support early identification and containment, enhanced case and contact management, outbreak management, surveillance and epidemiological analysis and reporting.

As the hub for this program, PHO will increase its capacity to undertake genomics for COVID-19 variants of concern and contribute to sequencing up to 1000 specimens a week (of the anticipated provincial total sequencing need of 2000 specimens per week). PHO will also provide enhanced COVID-19 analytics and host a provincial expert advice on variants of concern (VoC) to provide advice to decision-makers for improved methods, tracking and interpretation of emerging mutations and variants, and meaningful public health action.

The immediate focus is to strengthen and expand COVID-19 genomics program resulting in direct medical and/or public health action for the pandemic response. The goal of this program is to enable the delivery of an integrated genomics initiative for Ontario's COVID-19 public health response.

Key Responsibilities-

  • Under the guidance of a Medical Laboratory Technologist or Molecular Specialist, manual or partially-automated set up of real-time PCR, including preparation of primer and probe stocks, and Sanger sequencing.
  • Manual or automated extraction of nucleic acids on high throughput platforms as assigned.
  • Operation of real-time thermalcycler, extraction platforms, Sanger sequencing platform, and automated liquid handling platforms.
  • Real-time PCR data analysis using vendor thermalcycling software.
  • Technical support for validation or evaluation studies under the direction of the manager, team lead, MLT or molecular specialist.
  • Handling or processing of human specimens including respiratory specimens, blood, urine is advantageous.
  • Prioritizes work and responds to urgent or unpredictable demands.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills-

  • Strong understanding molecular theory and best practices including real-time PCR, nucleic acid extraction, molecular workflows, primer and probe dilution calculation and preparation is a strong asset.
  • Sanger sequencing, Next Generation-Sequencing (NGS).
  • Experience with standard molecular lab applications and instrumentation (e.g. DNA extraction, pipetting, PCR set up, sequencing) an asset.
  • Familiarity with general laboratory equipment including centrifuges, incubators, pipettors, automated liquid handlers, incubators, biological safety cabinets.
  • Good working understanding of and experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, Access.
  • Time management and ability to prioritize.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • High degree of comfort with automation.
  • Adaptability to changing demands and willingness to learn.
  • Understanding of Sanger sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing theory is an asset.

Education and Experience-

  • Bachelor of Science.
  • Minimum of 6 months of real-time PCR, preferably in a clinical genetics or molecular genetics laboratory.
  • Minimum of 6 months of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS).

Attributes and Competencies-

  • Works within established procedures for a Medical Laboratory Assistant and within PHO Lab standards and protocols.
  • Follows technical instructions (SOP) for testing of samples and preparation of reagents.
  • Solves basic problems (e.g., mismatched samples, issues with prepared media such as incorrect pH).
  • Seeks advice and direction in solving more complex problems.
  • Determines which organisms can/cannot be handled due to safety/risk.
  • May be required to lift up to 10 kg..
  • May be required to work within a biological safety cabinet/fumehood.
  • Physical coordination and manual dexterity in the use of keyboard, operate and maintain laboratory equipment, and perform testing of specimens.
  • May be required to perform repetitive tasks such as pipetting.
  • May be required to stand or sit for the period of one shift.
  • Requires physical activity such as walking, lifting, stretching and bending.
  • May be required to work shifts as scheduled.
  • Works within a Laboratory environment which contains hazardous and infectious materials, odors, noise generated from automated analyzers, some temperature extremes, such as walk in fridges and freezers.
  • Required to adhere to Laboratory safety including proper use of biological safety cabinets, autoclaves and personal protective equipment.
  • Works shifts as assigned.

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