Two post-doc and multiple PhD student positions available at NPR (posted 9/15/2019)

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Two NIH-funded postdoctoral research associate positions are available at the Neuroengineering & Pain Research (NPR) lab in the University of Connecticut (UConn). A particular interest of the lab is to study sensory afferent neurophysiology and biomechanics of the visceral organs to reveal their contributing roles in mechanical visceral nociception; mechanical stimuli is the major modality to evoke pain from the visceral organs. Another research focus is to advance the science of neuromodulation as a non-drug alternative for managing chronic pain. The lab implements an integrative approach to study the neural encoding of sensory afferent endings, macro- and microscale biomechanics of distal colon and rectum, transcriptome assay of sensory afferent somata coupled with functional characterization, and multi-scale computational simulation of colorectal mechanical neural encoding. NPR lab benefits from being located in UConn School of Engineering to implement cutting-edge technologies in pain research, including customized fast GCaMP imaging system and data processing, microfabrication of electrode arrays for afferent recordings, nonlinear imaging with second harmonic generation, and machine learning-based signal processing. NPR lab also collaborates extensively with the Physiology & Neurobiology Department at UConn to implement state-of-the-art neuroscience research techniques, including mouse behavior assay of visceral pain, single-fiber extracellular recordings, sharp-electrode intracellular recordings, patch-clamp electrophysiology, cell culture, optogenetics, single-cell transcriptome assay, optical tissue clearing and immunohistochemistry.

Candidates should have a PhD in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, neurophysiology or a related discipline at the time of appointment. Exceptional candidates from other disciplines will be considered. Candidates are expected to have a fundamental understanding of the sensory nervous system. Highly preferred skill-sets include electrophysiological recordings from mammalian nervous systems, biomechanics, and/or single-cell molecular biology.

The responsibilities of the post-doctoral research associate will include: project development, data acquisition, analysis and evaluation, manuscript preparation, and presentation of findings at lab meetings and scientific conferences. The post-doctoral associate will also gain experience with grant writing and with mentoring more junior lab members. Appointment is for 1-3 years, with each year contingent upon satisfactory progress. Salary is commensurate with the NIH postdoctoral fellow pay scale. To apply, please send a cover letter briefly describing your research experience, a detailed CV, and the names and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Bin Feng at fengb@uconn.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until both positions are filled.

PhD students

Multiple positions are available for students interested in pursuing a PhD in the NPR lab. Preferred candidates should have prior background in biomedical engineering, biology or neuroscience. Exceptional candidates from other disciplines will be considered. The PhD student can have the option of pursing the degree in Biomedical Engineering or Physiology & Neurobiology. I will strive to match students’ talents and interests with their thesis research projects.

About UConn Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering Department (BME) at UConn is top tiered and ranked 23rd among 171 similar programs in the USA by “Best Engineering Colleges” in 2015.  Many of our current 43 core faculties are internationally renowned for their academic contributions. The BME Department also provides highly collaborative environment for faculties to work closely with other engineering and life science departments on the Storrs campus. As a part of Bioscience Connecticut, UConn has partnered with the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine which will foster closer research collaborations with BME faculty at Storrs and the UConn Health at Farmington campus.  In addition, the BME benefits the most among all engineering departments from the Next Generation Connecticut and Bioscience Connecticut initiatives and currently inhabits 12,000 sq. ft. of research space in the Engineering & Science Building (ESB) on the Storrs campus newly completed in July 2017, including the Neuroengineering & Pain Research Lab.