Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Fairfax, VA
Commensurate with education and experience
Nov 03, 2021
Jan 26, 2022
Analyst, Research
Full Time
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, College of Engineering and Computing The George Mason University Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), within the College of Engineering and Computing, invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellow position focused on developing nanotechnology-based treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This interdisciplinary project is led by Dr. Jeffrey Moran from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing, and in collaboration with Dr. Geraldine Grant from the Department of Biology, College of Science. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment. About the Project:IPF is a deadly lung disease in which scar tissue accumulates in the lungs, preventing the lungs from effectively transporting oxygen into the bloodstream. IPF mostly afflicts elderly populations and leads to over 40,000 deaths in the United States per year (comparable to breast cancer). With the long-term goal of developing more efficacious treatments for IPF, the objectives of this project are to (1) synthesize and validate hydrogels derived from donated human lung tissue as realistic models of the fibrotic lung microenvironment, and (2) use these hydrogels as platforms to test the efficacy of magnetically-propelled drug-laden nanorods to navigate and deliver drugs to regions of severe fibrosis. This treatment strategy could improve the distribution of drugs in disease sites, dramatically reducing the required dose of antifibrotic drugs to achieve therapeutic benefit. Responsibilities:The incumbent should be a highly-motivated individual with a strong background in biomaterial synthesis and characterization, mechanobiology, and nanotechnology, to lead the day-to-day experimental tasks of this project. Drs. Moran and Grant will provide mentorship and training in nanofabrication, IPF biology, hydrogel synthesis, and mechanical characterization of the hydrogels. The postdoctoral research fellow will officially report to Dr. Moran, but will work closely with personnel in both laboratories. The incumbent will also be expected to: Lead the design and execution of experiments to quantify the mechanical and rheological properties of hydrogel tissue mimics, fabricate and load magnetic nanoparticles, and test efficacy of magnetic propulsion as a method of moving rods and delivering therapeutics in tissue models;Disseminate research findings in peer-reviewed journal articles and at scholarly conferences;Exercise limited supervision over graduate and undergraduate research assistants;Collaboratively write and submit grant proposals;Complete other duties as assigned. Required Qualifications: PhD in Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Biochemistry, or a related field by the start date of the position;Experience with cell culture techniques;Strong written and oral communication skills;Prior experience effectively performing interdisciplinary research. Preferred Qualifications: Expertise in mechanobiology, including mechanical characterization of tissues using atomic force microscopy, micro rheology, or a related technique;Experience with grant proposal writing and submission. Mason Engineering: The Future of Engineering is HereThe College of Engineering and Computing at George Mason University is comprised of the Volgenau School of Engineering and (effective June 1, 2021) a new School of Computing. The College is a fast-growing force for innovation in research and education. It boasts more than 8,600 students in 37 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degree programs, including several first-in-the-nation offerings. Of the 250 full-time faculty who comprise the School, 90 are tenured, 50 are tenure-track, 85 are instructional faculty, and 25 are research faculty. As part of a nationally ranked research university, its research teams expended more than $60 million in sponsored research awards last year and has projects with over $400 million in current and anticipated awards. Located in the heart of Northern Virginia's technology corridor, Mason Engineering stands out for its research in many leading areas including artificial intelligence, data analytics engineering, cybersecurity engineering, biomedical imaging and devices, community-based healthcare, autonomous systems, 5G communications, systems architectures, computational biomedicine, advanced materials and manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, and more. The School highly encourages multidisciplinary research and provides faculty with opportunities to work with other disciplines. George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia, with an enrollment of over 38,000 students studying in over 200 degree programs. Mason is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. It was classified as an R1 research institution in 2016 by the Carnegie Classifications of Institutes of Higher Education. Mason is located in the city of Fairfax in Northern Virginia at the doorstep of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, with unmatched geographical access to a number of federal agencies and national laboratories. Northern Virginia is also home to one of the largest concentrations of high-tech firms in the nation, providing excellent opportunities for interaction with industry. Fairfax is consistently rated as being among the best places to live in the country and has an outstanding local public school system. In conjunction with Amazon's decision to establish a second headquarters in Northern Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced a multi-year plan to invest in the growth of degree programs in computing, and George Mason University has committed to accelerate its plans to grow its capacity in computing and high-tech fields. Among the exciting initiatives being undertaken by the university is the launch of the Institute for Digital InnovAtion, a university think tank and incubator to serve the digital economy, and the expansion of its Arlington Campus with a planned 400,000 square foot Digital InnovAtion Building. These initiatives reflect hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment by Mason that will rapidly elevate Mason's already leading national position in computing and related areas. For full consideration, applicants must complete the online application at for position number F668AZ; and attach a cover letter, CV, a statement of what diversity and inclusion means to you (to attach as 'Other Doc'), and a list of three professional references with contact information. Full consideration will apply to applicants who submit their completed application by October 15, 2021; however, review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

For full consideration, applicants must apply at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

"Great Careers Begin at Mason! George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research. Mason holds a top U.S. News and World Report "Up and Coming" spot for national universities and is recognized for its global appeal and excellence in higher education. Mason is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason's diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create. If you are interested in joining the Mason family take a look at our current opportunities and catch some Mason spirit at! George Mason University, Where Innovation is Tradition.New hires starting after August 15, 2021, must have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination by their start date, be fully vaccinated within 45 days of their start date, and submit documentary proof unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption by their start date. For updated George Mason University COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please visit George Mason University Vaccination Requirements."

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