We are currently seeking postdoctoral candidates for a leadership role within a new research center at the University of Minnesota (UMN). The NSF Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio) was awarded Fall 2020 and will provide funding for at least 5 years. The goal of the Center is to pursue scientific knowledge, technologies, and clinical and laboratory capabilities to store and globally distribute cells, living tissues, organs, and organisms for transplantation and regenerative medicine, biomedical research, conservation of species, and sustainable food sources. This position will include extensive collaboration across a number of institutions and industrial partners and thus extensive opportunities for training, networking, and mentorship for either tenure- or industry-track career paths. Specifically, we are looking for a candidate to lead the development of new magnetic nanoparticle and cryoprotective agent formulations and study their interactions with cells, tissues, organs, and organisms.
A key technology focus is using magnetic nanoparticles to rewarm tissues and organs in radiofrequency fields, which has shown promising feasibility in rodent organs and which we hope to translate to the clinical scale in the next several years [Manuchehrbadi et al. STM 2017, Finger and Bischof. Org Pres Proc 2018]. One critical barrier to translation is the identification and study of appropriate cryoprotective agents to minimize toxicity in the different organ and tissue systems. Further, these complex, high molarity solutions provide a unique challenge for maintaining the necessary colloidal stability for delivering and washing out the nanoparticles required for rewarming at rapid rates [Gao et al. Adv Sci 2020]. We are looking for a strong technical leader and contributor to address these challenges, as we look to transform the field of cell, tissue, and organ cryopreservation.
This Position will be co-advised by Professors John Bischof (Mechanical Engineering) and Erik Finger (Department of Surgery). Professor Bischof is director of ATP-Bio and Professors Bischof and Finger are co-directors of the University of Minnesota Organ and Tissue Preservation Center.
*Duties/responsibilities - performing high level experimental, theoretical, and numerical research and data analysis (65%) - presentation, publication, and proposal preparation (20%) - mentoring students or technicians (10%) - laboratory organization and management (5%)
Candidates are expected to function and communicate effectively as a member of highly collaborative research teams, which includes mentoring and providing direction to graduate students and junior researchers. Key responsibilities include designing and executing experimental plans to achieve the objectives of existing grants, leading the generation of new grant proposals, authoring and contributing to high-impact publications, and generating patentable technologies.
-Lead development of the next generation of magnetic nanoparticles (higher heating and improved stability) and scale-up and GMP of synthesis approaches. -Investigate colloidal stability and interaction of CPAs with iron oxide nanoparticle suspensions. -Investigate interactions (e.g. toxicity) of CPA solutions in various cell, tissue, and organ systems. -Develop robust, repeatable protocols for mixing stable, high-molarity CPA solutions. -May include physical characterization of CPA properties (e.g. thermodynamic properties, viscosity). -Provide direction to technicians and students in execution of experimental plans. -Function effectively in a large research team environment (15+ researchers and growing). -Support work across multiple grants and projects. -Contribute towards co- and first-author publications, including potential development towards senior author publications. -Contribute toward and generate new grant proposals. -Opportunities for networking and mentorship for either tenure- or industry-track career paths. -Potential to start immediately or deferred hire.
Required qualifications -Ph.D. in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a closely related field -Experience working in a wet-chemistry lab -Established record of quality first-author publications -Willingness to work with biological systems including cells and explanted tissues and organs -Desire to work collaboratively as a member of team
*Preferred qualifications -Experience with cell or tissue culture or biological assays -Experience with nanoparticle synthesis -Experience with large batch synthesis and purification techniques -Knowledge or experience with cryopreservation of biological systems -Demonstrated ability to direct and mentor junior researchers -Established record of writing proposals
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.