Post Doctoral Associates (P.I.: Dr. John McDevitt)
New York University
Location: New York, NY
Internal Number: 109865
The McDevitt laboratory at New York University has a long tradition of developing new medical microdevice technologies that are suitable for early disease detection. In this R61 project funded by the NIH, powerful new diagnostic tools that allow individuals to self‐test for acute phase HIV infections will be developed, optimized, and tested. The diagnostic tools here developed will allow patients previously diagnosed as HIV positive to monitor their viral load following ART interruption or check for loss of viral control due to the emergence of drug resistance. Given these diagnostics are to be used in a patient's own home (or other non‐clinical, setting), they need to be cheap, robust, and suitable for use without prior training or specialist equipment. Further, they should use a biological sample that can be obtained in a minimally invasive manner (e.g. a finger‐stick blood drop) to encourage frequent retesting in target populations.
To address the above problems, the study team will integrate two existing technologies to generate a sensitive home‐test diagnostic for HIV. The first technology (Helen Dooley lab) is a structurally novel binding domain, so called VNARs, that we isolate from immunized sharks. Despite their diminutive size (12kDa), the VNAR domains raised thus far have binding affinities equal to classical antibodies, but are intrinsically much more chemo‐ and thermostable. VNARs interact with antigen in unique ways and can be raised against epitopes that are inaccessible to conventional antibodies; we will exploit this fact to target the HIV proteins p24 and Env, allowing us to capture and accurately quantify free proteins or whole virus in unmanipulated blood. We will integrate these VNARs with our second technology (McDevitt lab), the programmable Bio‐Nano‐Chip (p‐BNC), a micro-chip-based detection system which utilizes porous agarose microbeads as 3D diagnostic surfaces. Immunometric assays can be performed by loading the beads with biomolecules such as antibodies, or in this case VNARs, allowing the capture and quantitation of desired target(s) in biological samples. To enable use of this technology in a non‐clinical setting, we will develop credit card‐sized diagnostic cartridges that have a microbead‐based sensor array at their core, and microfluidic system for the delivery of sample, wash buffer, and detection reagent. This will be deployed and read by a battery powered handheld reader system that will be developed and fabricated during our project. This system will use an imaging system derived from smartphones and enable the safe and secure uploading of data to a cloud‐based repository. Together these technologies will allow us to deliver an inexpensive, robust, sensitive, and accurate diagnostic test that can be used by an individual to assess their HIV status or closely monitor their viral load, without a clinic visit.
Position Summary: The McDevitt laboratory at NYU now offers an exciting opportunity to join the study team as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. The ideal candidate will offer extensive experiences in the areas of microfluidics-based point-of-care devices, in vitro diagnostics, ELISA-based assays, and biosensors. The selected individual will work on an interdisciplinary team and contribute to the development of the above-described low-cost point-of-care diagnostic platform for management of HIV patients.
Develop bead-based point-of-care devices for singleplex and multiplex detection of the HIV proteins p24 and Env for use in newly fashioned in vitro diagnostic devices
Use principles of ELISA-based assays for biosensor development
Optimize conditions for singleplex and multiplex detection of biomarkers in the bead-based configuration of the programmable Bio‐Nano‐Chip sensor platform
Use established imaged based approaches to develop dose curves to quantitate the concentrations of the HIV proteins for p24 and Env quantitation of clinically relevant specimens
Handles safely a variety of clinical samples using safe laboratory practices and follows established safety protocols
Assists in implementing new procedures and protocols to support experiments; participates actively in developing, recommending, and implementing new approved procedures, or modifications to existing protocols and procedures; maintains and updates technical knowledge
Review appropriate literature pertaining to current or proposed research
Prepare materials for publications, reports, and grant applications
Present results in group meetings and project seminars
Help to supervise more junior research lab members
In compliance with NYC's Pay Transparency Act, the annual base salary range for this position is $64,000 - $68,000. New York University considers factors such as (but not limited to) the specific grant funding and the terms of the research grant when extending an offer.
Minimum Qualifications (Required):
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, or a related field
Industrial experience in point-of-care testing and in vitro diagnostics although not required can be a plus
Highly motivated candidates with strong oral and written communication skills, organizational skills, interpersonal and teamwork skills are encouraged to apply. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required
Desired Technical Skills:
ELISA-based or related immune assay experience
In vitro diagnostic experience
Multiplexed detection of biomarkers
Ability to work independently, with limited direction, as well as within a team environment
Ability to mentor and inspire other students with limited research experience
Experience in point-of-care devices, in vitro diagnostics, microfluidics, and biosensors
Qualified candidates must be able to effectively communicate with all levels of the organization.
Applicants must submit: 1) Cover letter; 2) Curriculum Vitae; and 3) Names and contact information of at least three professional references. To access the application, please click the "Apply Now" button located on the right.
Letters of recommendation should be addressed to:
John McDevitt, PhD Professor New York University College of Dentistry Department of Molecular Pathobiology, Division of Biomaterials
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