Bioengineering Solutions to Aortic Valve Disease

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Job Description

Job Description

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our interdisciplinary team of cell biologists, bioengineers, and clinicians to conduct NIH-supported research in bioengineered models of vascular cell and matrix biology with a focus on mechanobiology of smooth muscle cells and pericytes.  We are able to support international applicants who meet the requirements below.

Our multi-PI team within the Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bioengineering and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine established and maintains a large bank of human blood vessel specimens, cells, serum, and clinical imaging data to aid investigations of the cellular, molecular, and biomechanical processes underlying normal vascular biology and pathophysiology.  

The successful candidate will be expected to work on projects related to 3D cell culture models, vascular cell biology, extracellular matrix (ECM) biology, mechanobiology, hypoxic signaling, and ECM biomaterials.

Knowledge in the following techniques and approaches is desirable: bioreactor-based dynamic culture systems, polymer-based tissue culture scaffolds, tissue bioassays, biomechanical testing and conditioning, microscopy (epi-fluorescence/confocal/multiphoton), immunoassays, histology, clinical imaging (echography, computed tomography), and image post-processing.

The incumbent will be expected to publish in peer-reviewed journals, present results at scientific conferences, apply for external funding opportunities, and participate in the preparation of grant applications and progress reports from the team.

As a part of the postdoctoral training experience, the applicant can expect to receive career mentoring from faculty of various backgrounds (clinical and fundamental science) in developing a research program, writing research proposals, and to participate in career development activities.


– Lead projects focused on vascular cell mechanobiology and the influence of hypoxic signaling on ECM production and remodeling in human aortic disease

– Lead projects focused on the influence of matrix biophysical cues on pericyte behavior in (patho)physiological angiogenesis and vasculogenesis- Participate in grant proposals and progress report preparation

– Shared responsibility in human specimen procurement and processing- Mentor and supervise undergraduate student research projects- Publication of original research articles in peer-reviewed journals

– Present research findings at scientific and clinical conferences

– Submit independent proposals for externally-funded (e.g., NIH or AHA) postdoctoral research fellowships

– Participate in professional development activities (e.g., grant writing workshops, networking events) through Pitt’s Office of Academic Career Development

– Apply for funding support through institutional training grant(s) (eligible candidates)

Job Requirements

– PhD in bioengineering or related field of study, or an MD

– Self-motivated interest in pursuing an independent research trajectory in cardiovascular biology

– Excellent English written and oral communication skills

– Evidence of self-driven independent research productivity and strong work ethic

– Strong interpersonal skills with experience interfacing with clinicians, faculty, research associates, and students