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Michigan State University Research Associate-Fixed Term in East Lansing, Michigan

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Research Associate-Fixed Term

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Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff

Major Administrative Unit / College:College Of Engineering

Department:Institute for Quantitative Health 40001033

Sub Area:FAS- Fac./Acad Staff

Salary:Salary Commensurate with Experience

Location: East Lansing

Categories: Research/Scientific, Fixed Term Academic Staff, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Working/Functional Title

Research Associate (Post-Doc)

Position Summary

The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ) at Michigan State University invite applications for a Research Associate (post-doc) in neural engineering in the lab of Dr. Erin Purcell. Candidates must have earned a PhD in biomedical engineering, neuroscience, or a related discipline, preferably with expertise in neural engineering.

Dr. Purcell’s group focuses on the biocompatibility and tissue integration of electrode arrays implanted in the brain, with a specialized interest in understanding the biological mechanisms of suboptimal chronic recording performance. The lab is developing new approaches to understand the contribution of synaptic plasticity, subtypes of non-neuronal cells, and material properties on the ability to detect electrophysiological signals from neurons surrounding electrodes. We are using a combination of in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, quantitative immunohistochemistry, imaging, and genetic engineering to achieve our goals. The position will be supported by an NIH R01 award which investigates the role of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter release on the inflammatory response to implanted electrode arrays in the brain.

Specific Expectations

1-Substantially contribute to an ongoing project to assess the impacts of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter release on the performance of implanted electrode arrays in the brain. Experimental work will include rodent surgery, microscopy, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and genetic engineering techniques.

2-Present findings at national conferences and publish work in peer-reviewed journals.

3-Support and advise graduate and undergraduate students assigned to the project. We value innovation and collaboration in our group, and the Research Associate will work in an exceptionally interdisciplinary and collegial environment. BME is housed in the new Institute of Quantitative Health Sciences and Engineering (IQ) and has a strong core of scientists who work collaboratively across broad disciplines including: neural engineering, imaging, motion analytics, developmental biology, systems biology, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, chemical biology and biomedical devices with an aim for clinical translation.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

  • PhD or equivalent degree in Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, or a relevant discipline.

Desired Qualifications

  • Background in imaging, electrophysiology, synaptic physiology, and/or neural engineering is desired.

Required Application Materials

Please submit a cover letter, CV, and names and contact information of three references.

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:https://msu.edu/together-we-will/

Special Instructions

Interested individuals should submit an application for this position through:http://careers.msu.edu. Applicants must submit a detailed resume, a cover letter summarizing their qualifications, and the names and contact information for at least three references. This position is a 12-month fixed term appointment. Renewal of position is based on funding and performance. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2021, with an expected start date of December 1, 2021. Questions are welcome by contacting Dr. Erin Purcell (epurcell@egr.msu.edu).

Review of Applications Begins On


Summary of Health Risks

Exposure to human blood, serum, tissue and other body fluids; and materials covered under UniversalPrecautions.

Work with animals or unfixed animal tissue.



Department Statement

The Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering is dedicated to basic and applied research at the intersection of engineering, human medicine, and natural science. We have recruited faculty from some of the top academic centers around the world. They collaborate across disciplines to push the envelope of biomedical research, solving some of the most pressing problems in medicine with smart engineering solutions.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised: Sep 22, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time