Subject: Research Internship Position at the Center for Devices and
Radiological Health, FDA
We are seeking a candidate who:
(i) has extensive biology and/or biochemistry laboratory experience, with a
working knowledge of basic chemistry and physics principles;
(ii) has previously demonstrated the ability to conduct meticulous laboratory
work, including the recording of protocols and results;
(iii) is available full time during the summer (40 hours/week for 12 weeks)
and part time during the year (15-20 hours per week)
Interested individuals may contact Dr. Das ([log in to unmask]) or Dr.
Gonzalez ([log in to unmask]) before May 10th with transcript and
two recommendation letters from their recent lab-supervisor or professor.
Interviews will be held during the weeks of May 16th and 23rd.
In the 1990s, studies were undertaken in CDRH to address the critical public
health concern related to the possibility of passage of pathogenic viruses,
such as HIV, hepatitis virus, and human papilloma virus, through natural
rubber latex condoms. To more easily conduct the experiments, a
bacteriophage, ΦX 174, of similar size and shape to the pathogenic viruses
was used as a non-pathogenic test surrogate. Results of this investigation
confirmed the effectiveness of intact condoms in preventing the passage of
small molecules and thus, protecting consumers from sexually transmitted
infections (STI). As a result, a modified version of the method was
introduced in FDA guidance and an ISO standard. This method, however, did
not account for the presence of personal lubricants that are often used in
conjunction with condoms. The presence of a personal lubricant may promote
the transmission rate of small biological molecules through the thin layer of
a condom by either increasing the pore size in the condom material or
increasing the chemical affinity of the molecule in the external environment.
In this investigation, we plan to determine if the presence of personal
lubricants that may swell the latex material and change its elasticity by
relaxing the polymer network, change the permeability of the membrane to ΦX
174, as well as of two of the smallest known pleomorphic (capable of changing
shape) bacteria, Ureaplasma urealyticum and Mycoplasma hominis, compromising
the ability of the condom to prevent transmission of STI.
**Please note that these organisms can cause miscarriage. Any applicant must
be aware of the risk and be willing to work with the organisms.
Contact Person: Dr. Srilekha Das
Contact Email: [log in to unmask]
Contact Phone Number: 301-796-2615