NRC Research Associate Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies

  sign inOpen Printer View

Opportunity at U.S. Army CCDC Chemical Biological Center   CCDC CBC

Bio-inspired Optical and Spectral Materials


U.S. Army CCDC - Chemical Biological Center, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, & Behavioral Sciences

opportunity location
11.01.04.B0034 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210105423


name email phone
Peter A. Emanuel 410.436.5562


Synthetic biology has made significant strides in developing defined gene pathways and logic circuits that can direct structural components within bacterial and mammalian cells. Genetic parts that are ordered and controlled allow for the creation of scalable and tunable nano-particles which can be contained within a cell, displayed on the cellular surface, or exuded into the media for harvest and purification. Work at several labs has demonstrated the creation of particles that incorporate silica, iron, copper, and melanin and these particles have demonstrated different optical and spectral properties, as well as the capability to be scaled up in a cost effective manner. As our ability to assemble genetically driven particles expands, our scientists can begin to drive the creation of tailor made materials that have varying dimensions allowing aspect ratios that can contribute to obscuration across a wide range of spectra. Working in collaboration with obscuration scientists the goal of this effort would be to use biotechnology to create biologically based obscurant materials. These materials would selectively block discrete spectra used by weapons targeting systems in such a way as to create a one way window in which allied forces can see out and lock weapons but that enemy forces are blocked in sensing and tracking friendly forces. Selective obscuration requires exquisite control of the aspect ratios of materials, as well as infusing the nano-materials with conductive and absorptive properties. Current manufacturing techniques are challenged to exert the level of control at the molecular level that living systems can do if directed at the genetic level. The Associate would work with of a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists that work collaboratively to develop materials with unique spectral and optical properties, or to use synthetic biology to create raw feed stock materials for difficult to synthesize compounds or those requiring ordered assembly and consistent structural dimensions/properties.


Synthetic biology; Bio-inspired materials; Additive manufacturing; Obscuration; Biotechnology; Microbiology; Spectroscopy;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$83,592.00 $3,000.00

$5,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

$4,050 Supplement for each year of experience in the DTRA CBD-funded NRC tenure at CCDC.

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

Copyright © 2022. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Terms of Use and Privacy Policy