Postdoctoral Research Associate and Laboratory Technician:
The Growth Factor Mechanobiology Lab (PI: Michael Albro) in the Boston University College of Engineering has open positions for a postdoctoral research associate and a laboratory research technician to work on an exciting new project on Raman spectroscopy diagnostics of osteoarthritis. This is a collaborative research project between Drs. Michael Albro, Mads Bergholt, Brian Snyder, Mark Grinstaff, and Irving Bigio.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, debilitating condition, characterized by structural degeneration of articular cartilage—the load-bearing connective tissue lining the ends of long bones. OA is one of the most widespread causes of disability in adults and, currently, no effective therapy exists to halt its progression. There is a growing consensus that early stages of the disease, before substantial erosion of cartilage has occurred, represent the critical clinical window when intervention strategies may be most effective at treating cartilage degeneration. However, the ability to diagnose early stage OA remains a considerable clinical challenge; conventional imaging modalities are predominantly suited for diagnosing late stage OA. The current project aims to meet this challenge through the development of a novel platform that uses Raman spectroscopy to monitor the onset of cartilage degeneration to diagnose early stage OA in vivo. Raman arthroscopy can achieve the first ever comprehensive in vivo assessments of the characteristic biochemical and structural degenerative changes associated with early stage OA, notably surface depletion of glycosaminoglycans and disorganization of the collagen network (Fig. 1). The project consists of the implementation of a series of in vivo and ex vivo tissue models (e.g. bioreactor induced cartilage degeneration) to examine the sensitivity of Raman arthroscopy for OA diagnostics and perform comparisons to standard of care metrics (e.g. radiographs, MRI). The successful implementation of this platform can usher in a shift in OA treatment paradigms by serving as: 1) a valuable clinical/pre-clinical research tool to assess the efficacy of novel OA therapeutics and 2) an outpatient-based, real-time diagnostic platform to guide early OA treatment courses.
As this interdisciplinary project represents a unique and novel area of research, it is not expected that the applicants (for the postdoctoral research associate nor laboratory research technician) will possess experience in all areas required for its implementation. Successful applicants will possess expertise in some of the applicable topics/disciplines with a strong desire to learn the complementary skillsets to complete the project.
Ideal candidates should have experience and expertise in at least some of the following areas:
- Raman spectroscopy (or related optics discipline)
- Orthopaedic tissue analytics—mechanical/biochemical tissue characterizations
- Ex vivo live tissue culture models
- Engineering design work (e.g. probe design, bioreactor design)
- Programming background—development of graphical user interfaces
To apply, please send a statement of interest, a CV, and the names of three references to Prof. Michael Albro (email@example.com).