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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Organ-on-a-Chip and Organoid Models of Cognition and Performance


711th Human Performance Wing, RH/Biodynamics & Protection/Human Performance

opportunity location
13.15.04.C0728 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 78235


name email phone
Mark Tyler Nelson 937.938.2771


Our research focuses on discovery at the organ, cellular and molecular levels, which provides quantifiable measurements of biological responses to optimize training at both the cognitive and physical performance levels. To accomplish this task, we are developing novel in vitro human tissue models and examining the genome, as well as expressed biomarkers for possible patterns indicative of the desired phenotype using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. In addition, we are also examining the microbiome (gut bacteria) and how it can enhance or degrade performance. To participate with this team, the applicant should have a strong background in developing in vitro models and applying common and state-of-the-art molecular tools to address the following application spaces: neuronal and blood brain barrier biology, gut host - microbiome interactions, and/or microfluidic organ-on-a-chip.

Advanced In Vitro Models. The In Vitro Models group develops multi-cellular, dynamic, and physiologically relevant human tissue platforms to gain insight into the functional and molecular mechanisms that govern biological response to operationally relevant stressors (ex: hypoxia, airborne/ingested toxicants, and fatigue). We utilize induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as well as primary cell sources to construct 'organ surrogates' within microfluidic devices and other 3D substrates. 'Omics' as well as other traditional molecular approaches are employed regularly to interogate the biological responses. In addition, real-time functional assays are utlized to monitor barrier integrity (TEER, dextran transport), neuronal activity (calcium imaging, microelectrode array), and metabolim (Seahorse assays). Collectively, data is gathered from imaging, sampling of effluents, isolation from the cells, and from functional end-points providing a rich picture of the biological responses to various stressors and applied to sustain or augment performance.


key words
Organ-on-a-Chip; iPSC; Neuronal; Microbiome; 'Omics'; Exosomes; Biomarker(s); Performance; Toxicology; Calcium Imaging


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


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

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

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