Open PhD positions

Here at the bioengineering department, prospective graduate students may apply for available PhD positions. Featured below are the most recent positions available.

 

Current Openings

Positions at the Biomedical Imaging Lab

Job Description 1:

BMIL has an open PhD position for a student interested in photoacoustic neuroimaging using DNA-based voltage-sensing nanoparticles. Students will engage in a multi-disciplinary research team to develop new engineering tools for mapping neuronal activity in brain-on-chip models as well as in small animals. These methods will be applied for addressing a variety of neuroscience research questions.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

Strong background in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, or neuroscience; Prior experience in ultrasound or photoacoustic imaging and/or cell culture desired but not necessary

Funding Support:

The project is currently funded by NSF. We anticipate 1 fully funded Graduate Research Assistantship position starting in Fall ‘22.

Faculty Contact: 

Parag Chitnis, pchitnis@gmu.edu

Job Description 2:

BMIL has an open PhD student interested in ultrasound-mediated localized drug delivery. The current application focuses on ultrasound imaging and actuation of implantable hydrogel devices for improving wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

Strong background in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, biology, or physics. Prior experience in ultrasound imaging and/or biomaterials desired but not necessary.

Funding Support: 

The project is currently funded by DARPA. We anticipate 1 fully funded Graduate Research Assistantship position starting in Fall ‘22.

Faculty Contact:

Parag Chitnis, pchitnis@gmu.edu

Positions at Biomaterials and Nanomedicine

Job Description:

The project focuses on the design and development of mRNA delivery vehicles using lipid nanoparticles. We design and synthesis ionizable lipids and self-assembly processes to make more efficient and safe delivery vehicles.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

Several positions are available for students with different backgrounds including bioengineering, chemistry and biology.

Funding Support:

The project has multiple funding sources.

Faculty Contact:

Michael Buschmann, mbuschma@gmu.edu

Positions at the Computational Hemodynamics Lab

Job Description:

The project includes modeling thrombus formation, fibrin deposition, and endothelialization after endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms with flow disrupting devices.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

Strong background in computational modeling, CFD, mathematics, physics, and programming are desired.

Funding Support:

We anticipate 1 fully funded Graduate Research Assistantship starting in Fall 2022.

Faculty Contact:

Juan Cebral, jcebral@gmu.edu

Positions at the Spatial Cognition Lab

Job Description 1:

The Dannenberg lab investigates neural mechanisms underlying the coding of spatial memory and spatial navigation. This project studies the role of cholinergic modulation in the coding of location and running speed in the medial entorhinal cortex in freely behaving mice. Students will be part of a multi-disciplinary research team and acquire experimental data using fiber photometry recordings of cholinergic activity, electrophysiological measurements of neural activity, and measurements of behavioral states and navigational parameters.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

The ideal candidate will be an ambitious, highly motivated, team-oriented student with a background in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, biological science, or a related field. Prior research experience with animal experimentation and electrophysiology techniques is advantageous.

Funding Support:

The position is currently fully funded by departmental start-up funds.

Faculty Contact:

Holger Dannenberg, hdannenb@gmu.edu

Job Description 2: 

The Dannenberg lab investigates neural mechanisms underlying the coding of spatial memory and spatial navigation. This project tests hypotheses on the modulation of neuronal codes for memory-guided navigation by medial septal projection neurons. As part of a multidisciplinary research team, students will conduct behavioral experiments in freely behaving mice using optogenetics and multiple single unit recordings of grid cells.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

The ideal candidate will be an ambitious, highly motivated, team-oriented student with a background in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, biological science, or a related field. Prior research experience with animal experimentation, optogenetics, and electrophysiology techniques is advantageous.

Funding Support:

The position is currently fully funded by departmental start-up funds.

Faculty Contact:

Holger Dannenberg, hdannenb@gmu.edu

Job Description 3:

The Dannenberg lab investigates neural mechanisms underlying the coding of spatial memory and spatial navigation. This computational project tests hypotheses on the time scales of firing rate modulation in functionally defined cell types in the hippocampus and medial entorhinal cortex such as grid cells, head direction cells, and speed cells by sensory inputs, theta rhythmic activity, and cholinergic activity. Experimental data sets acquired in the lab as well as publicly available data sets will be analyzed to advance our understanding of rate codes and tuning curves in the formation of a cognitive map for memory-guided navigation.

Desired Student Background and Skills:

The ideal candidate will be an ambitious, highly motivated, team-oriented student with a background in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, biological science, or a related field. Coding skills in Python or Matlab are required, prior experience with signal processing and statistical models is advantageous.

Funding Support:

The position is currently fully funded by departmental start-up funds.

Faculty Contact:

Holger Dannenberg, hdannenb@gmu.edu

Positions at the Center for Neural Informatics

Job Description 1:

The project aims to develop informatics resources and web solutions to foster large-scale analysis, modeling, and visualization of digital reconstructions of neuronal morphologies for NeuroMorpho.Org

Desired Student Background and Skills:

Strong background in Python, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, and Unix servers; interest in neuroscience.

Funding Support:

NIH funding is available for at least 2 years.

Faculty Contact:

Giorgio Ascoli, ascoli@gmu.edu

Job Description 2: 

The project aims to develop informatics resources and web solutions to enable real-scale, data-driven simulations of spiking neural networks of the hippocampal formation from Hippocampome.org

Desired Student Background and Skills:

Strong background in PHP, MATLAB, and computational neuroscience.

Funding Support:

NIH funding is available for at least 2 years.

Faculty Contact:

Giorgio Ascoli, ascoli@gmu.edu

Positions at US Naval Research Labs

Job Description 1:

Open PhD position for a student interested in applying multistep enzyme catalysis towards the synthesis of new molecules. Students will be part of a multi-scientist, multidisciplinary research team that creates nanoparticle-enzyme systems that access enhanced biocatalytic processes.  These materials are meant to form the basis for next generation de novo synthetic biology.

Project/Lab Name: Nanoparticle Enhanced Cell Free Enzymatic Catalysis

Desired Student Background and Skills:
Strong background in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, physics, mathematics, and chemistry. Prior experience with molecular biology, bacterial and eukaryotic cell culture, along with enzymes desired but not necessary.

Funding Support:
The project is currently funded by the US Naval Research Laboratory. We anticipate 1 fully funded Graduate Research Assistantship position starting in Fall ’22 or 23.

Faculty Contact: 
Igor Medintz, igor.medintz@nrl.navy.mil

Job Description 2:

Open PhD position for a student interested in applying DNA nanotechnology and photonics to energy harvesting, energy transfer and creating diagnostic and theranostic nanodevices.

Project/Lab Name: DNA Based Nanophotonic Devices

Desired Student Background and Skills:
Strong background in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, physics, mathematics, and chemistry. Prior experience with DNA nanotechnology and DNA-based diagnostics desired but not necessary.

Funding Support: 
The project is currently funded by the US Naval Research Laboratory. We anticipate 1 fully funded Graduate Research Assistantship position starting in Fall ’22 or 23.

Faculty Contact:
Igor Medintz, igor.medintz@nrl.navy.mil