New, January 2021:
Three Postdoc Positions available in Immune-Tissue Interactions in Physiomimetic Systems.
Three postdoc positions are available in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT, for experimental and computational approaches to “immune chips”, in areas ranging from microfluidic device implementation to tissue engineering of immune models to systems immunology of immune-tissue- (microbe) interactions. These are related to two related projects led by Prof. Linda Griffith, in collaboration with Prof. Doug Lauffenburger (Biol. Eng./ Ragon institute)), Prof. Bryan Bryson (Biol. Eng. / Ragon Institute), Prof. David Trumper (Mechanical Eng) and Prof. Roger Kamm (Biol. Eng)., and include applications in endometriosis, Lyme disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
Interested candidates should send a cv, statement of research and career interests, and list of 3 references to Prof. Linda Griffith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1 – Microfluidic platforms for analyzing sexually dimorphic immune-mediated changes in microvascular permeability. This postdoctoral position spans the Griffith, Trumper and Kamm labs and focuses on translating advanced microfluidic models developed for microvascularized endometriosis lesions into practice with a team of tissue engineers and biologists, including incorporation of imaging modes and translation to mucosal barrier models. Applications in addition to endometriosis include infectious disease (Lyme), gut, and liver models. A strong background in mechanical engineering device design and implementation, including theoretical and conceptual understanding of microfluidic principles in addition to experimental implementation, is desired. Familiarity with imaging of biological tissues, and biological applications of microfluidic devices, is desired but not required. Demonstrated accomplishments in engineering design and fabrication are essential; candidates with experience solely in computational modeling are will not be considered, as the project requires extensive hands-on iterative experimentation in collaboration with biologists.
2 – Engineering immune-tissue interactions in Lyme disease. This postdoctoral position spans the Griffith, Bryson, and Lauffenburger labs and focuses on building 3D models of innate immune system – tissue interactions in models of acute and chronic Lyme infection, and evaluating the effects of sexual dimorphism and other factors in responses. This project builds on a strong foundation of 3D tissue engineering using synthetic biomaterials developed in the Griffith lab, and integrates systems immunology approaches from the Bryson lab with experimental design and data interpretation approaches from the Lauffenburger lab. The ideal candidate will have a background in immunology / cell biology with either experience in or interest in tissue engineering. Extension to additional immune system components is encouraged, but innate responses are the initial emphasis of the project.
3 – Computational analysis of immune-tissue-microbe interactions in Lyme disease. This postdoctoral position is centered in the Lauffenburger lab and focuses on experimental design and analysis of systems serology data from Lyme disease patients, in collaboration with the lab of Galit Alter at the Ragon Institute/MGH. The project also includes design and interpretation of in vitro models of infection, in collaboration with the Bryson and Griffith labs.
PhD Students: I generally accept 1-3 graduate students per year into my laboratory and welcome your interest in my lab. Applications for admission to PhD programs for fall term 2018 are due in December, through departmental websites. I will know the status of possible projects in Spring, 2018. If you are applying to the Biological Engineering graduate program, you can ask to meet with me during the visit weekend in March, when we interview prospective students. If you are admitted to Mechanical Engineering and want to discuss my lab before making a decision about attending MIT, please send me a note and we can arrange to meet during the ME visit weekend or some other time. It is not necessary to contact me before or during the admissions process, as I do not have influence over admissions decisions and cannot give you feedback on your probability of being admitted. Admissions decisions are made by departmental admissions committees based on the entire pool of applicants.
Many ME students carry out Master’s degree work prior to pursuing the PhD. I sometimes co-supervise such students, usually in collaboration with other ME faculty.
External Master’s Students: The lab has hosted several master’s students from EPFL and other schools. Master’s students must be able to spend at least 9 months on a project, and provide their own funding support. I do not have funding for non-MIT Master’s students.
Undergraduate Students and Summer Interns: MIT UROP students are typically matched through graduate students and postdocs in the lab, often facilitated by Prof. Griffith. Except in unusual circumstances, undergraduates are expected to work in the lab at least one term for credit before applying for paid UROP, especially for summer positions. The lab hosts non-MIT students in the summer through several programs including the EBICS REU, the Amgen Scholars program, and the MIT MSRP program, all of which provide a stipend, assistance with housing, and structured professional development activities. I receive at least 100 requests per year for internships from abroad, and am unable to host students unless they have highly relevant prior training, stay at least 9 months, and have an external source of funding.
High School Students: The lab occasionally hosts high school students, though capacity is limited by high administrative barriers: due to legal requirements, high school students must have a senior lab member by their side in lab at all times. There are occasional projects suitable for high school students, however, availability of such projects varies a lot. We wish we could host more but – lawyers!