Bioheat and Mass Transfer Laboratory Post-Doctoral Associate
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Salary: 50,290.00 - 65,000.00
Internal Number: 352876
The University of Minnesota Bioheat and Mass Transfer Lab (led by Professor John Bischof) is seeking postdoctoral candidates for a leadership role related to nanoparticle development for use in cryopreservation and rewarming of organs for clinical transplant. This work is being supported by several NIH grants and is part of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio), which was awarded in 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 within the University of Minnesota and across a number of institutions and industrial partners. This will provide extensive opportunities for training, networking, and mentorship for either tenure- or industry-track careers. Specifically, we are looking for a candidate to lead the development of new magnetic nanoparticle coating and cryoprotective agent formulations and study their interactions with cells, tissues, organs, and organisms.
A key technology focus in our lab the use of magnetic nanoparticles to rapidly and uniformly rewarm cryopreserved tissues and organs in radiofrequency fields, overcoming a barrier that has limited progress in this critical field for decades. We have shown promising feasibility in rodent organs and hope to translate to the clinical scale in the next several years [Sharma et al. Advanced Science 2021; Gao et al. Advanced Material Technologies 2021; Sharma et al. Annals of Biomed Engineering 2022]. One of the critical barriers to translation is the need for high-heating and biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles which can remain colloidally stable in the high-molarity, complex solutions used in cryopreservation, allowing the nanoparticles to be perfused and washed-out of the organ vasculature without aggregation [Gao et al. Advanced Science 2020; Pasek-Allen et al. J Materials Chemistry B 2022]. Further, scalable synthesis approaches are needed, as gram quantities of the nanoparticles are required for rewarming a single clinical scale organ. We are looking for a strong technical leader and contributor to address these challenges, as we look to transform organ transplant medicine.
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.
Major responsibilities will include: -Lead development of the next generation of magnetic nanoparticle formulations (improved stability and higher heating) and scale-up and GMP of synthesis approaches. -Investigate colloidal stability and interaction of cryoprotective agent (CPA) solutions with iron oxide nanoparticle suspensions. -Investigate interactions (e.g. toxicity) of CPA solutions in various cell, tissue, and organ systems. -Participate in ex vivo and in vivo studies focused on the development and application of nanoparticles for tissue and organ cryopreservation. -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. -Other duties as assigned.
Required qualifications -PhD in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry, or 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 coating/functionalizing nanoparticles for biomedical applications -Experience characterizing nanoparticle stability and with a variety of chemical characterization techniques -Experience synthesizing nanoparticles -Experience with large batch synthesis and purification techniques -Experience with cell or tissue culture or biological assays -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.