postdoc for engineer w/fab in bio lab

Beth Pruitt pruitt at
Tue Sep 15 19:26:31 PDT 2009

from a collaborator -- if interested, please contact Prof. Lockery 
directly: shawn at

Postdoctoral Position
Institute of Neuroscience
University of Oregon

Project title: Microfluidic devices for electro- and 
optophysiological screening and analysis of new anthelmintics.

Description.  There is an urgent and continuing need for new 
anti-nematode drugs, known as anthelmintics.  Anthelmintic drug 
discovery efforts have not kept pace with emergence of 
anthelmintic-resistant strains in humans and economically important 
livestock.  This problem arises because resource-limited countries do 
not support markets that can offset the enormous cost of drug 
development, estimated to be on the order of $800 million per drug. 
Anthelmintic screening strategies have not changed significantly in 
almost 50 years.  The proposed research addresses this problem by 
combining microfluidics and electro- and optophysiology to screen 
drug candidates and identify their biological targets simultaneously. 
We currently have proof-of-concept for microfluidic devices that 
allow one to record changes physiological activity in nematodes upon 
delivery of candidate anthelmintics.  The main activities of this 
position will be (1) to scale these systems up to tens to hundreds of 
simultaneous recordings, (2) to develop automated data analysis 
strategies for interpreting the effects of candidate drugs, and (3) 
to demonstrate the practical utility of these novel systems.

Degree. PhD in engineering (bio-, electrical, mechanical, or chemical).

Qualifications.  The main qualifications are a track record of 
inventiveness and out-of-the box thinking in the design, 
construction, and testing of novel devices.  Prior experience in 
microfabrication (esp. soft lithography and/or bio-MEMS), optics, 
time-series data analysis, and/or image processing would be 
considered a plus.

Funding.  The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health 
via the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).  Support is 
guaranteed for two years with the possibility of longer term funding 
as the project advances, including commercial ventures.

Starting date.  In keeping with the spirit of the ARRA, the position 
is available immediately, but the goal is to fill the position by 15 
January 2010.

Contact.  Dr. Shawn R. Lockery, Associate Director, Institute of 
Neuroscience, 1254 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.  E-mail: 
shawn at

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