We are hiring

Research Assistant/Ph.D. Position in Polymeric Biomaterials

The Smart Polymers for Biomedical Applications Lab (aka the Ecker Lab) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Texas has an open Ph.D. position for Fall 2023.

Project Background

The Ecker Lab is conducting research at the intersection of polymer science and biomedical engineering. Our Team is quite diverse and has expertise in Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, and Biology. We combine all those fields to develop next-generation biomedical devices based on smart polymeric materials. These materials consist of shape memory polymers that are responsive to bodily conditions and are mechanically adaptive to comply with a tissue. Some of our custom polymers are also biodegradable. Additionally, we make sure that our novel materials are biocompatible.

Job Description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to investigate the structure-property relationship of shape memory polymers for biomedical applications. The goal of this NSF-funded project is to elucidate the underlying mechanism of the plasticization-induced shape memory effect of thiol-ene-based polymers. The model application for this material will be a heat shrink tubing that can shrink at bodily conditions (37° C and simulated body fluids) and can be used to seal colonic anastomosis.

This project will be based in Melanie Eckers Smart Polymers for Biomedical Applications Lab at UNT.

Your Profile

  • You hold a Master’s degree in materials science, polymer science, chemistry, or a related field.
  • Experience in polymer material processing (required)
  • Experience with shape memory polymers (beneficial)
  • Experience with mechanical and thermomechanical characterization (beneficial)
  • Proficiency in oral and written English (required)
  • Enthusiastic, creative, and self-motivated (required)

We Offer

We offer a research assistant position for up to five years (contingent on yearly positive evaluations). You will be working in a dynamic and interdisciplinary work environment in the Ecker lab, which is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Our lab is highly diverse, and we value members from all personal backgrounds.

Our department is committed to educating and creating well-rounded, knowledgeable biomedical engineers passionate about improving the quality of life for people in Texas, the United States, and the world. Our Ph.D. program offers two tracks: a traditional research track that will help you progress toward your academic career goal and a one-of-a-kind healthcare start-up management track in collaboration with the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

What is the University like?

The University of North Texas is a student-centered public research university with over 40,000 students. A Carnegie-ranked Tier One public research university, UNT is one of the nation’s most diverse universities. UNT has been designated as both a Minority Serving Institution and Hispanic Serving Institution and stands committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in its pursuit of academic excellence.

With 7.5 million people and two international airports, DFW is the fourth-largest metro area in the United States. DFW is racially, ethnically, religiously, and culturally rich and maintains a long-standing commitment to the arts exemplified by local attractions such as the Dallas Arts District and the Fort Worth Cultural District. UNT’s proximity to these major metropolitan centers ensures that our new colleague will be able to access a wide range of activities and cultural experiences.

UNT is located in Denton, Texas, a growing city with a small-town feel and a thriving arts and music scene centered on its downtown Square and is connected by highways and light rail to the major transportation hubs and big-city attractions of Dallas and Fort Worth, about 40 miles away. Want to know more about why you should consider coming to Denton? Check out Discover Denton.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your email application, including:

  • a letter of motivation,
  • a brief statement of research interests,
  • copies of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree transcripts,
  • a CV,
  • the names and contact information of at least two academic referees.

To apply for this position, please contact Dr. Melanie Ecker at melanie.ecker@unt.edu