Open positions

We are always looking for new group members with passion, work ethic, and grit!

       You will have the opportunity to work on the grand challenges of tissue fabrication, biomaterials engineering, immunomodulation, and immuno-engineering. Our lab collaborates with faculties in the college of engineering, medicine, and pharmacy in understanding various aspects of biomaterials development, tissue regeneration, and wound healing. You will be engaged in determining the essential and exciting questions, designing and executing experiments, performing assays, and making discoveries.

We are particularly looking for students with a background in the following areas: 1) Synthesis and characterization of synthetic biomaterials; 2) Elastic/viscoelastic properties of hydrogel matrices; 3) Cellular mechanotransduction; 4) Bone biology; 5) Macrophage biology

i) Prospective Graduate Students and Postdocs

       If you are interested in working with us as a PhD student or Postdoctoral fellow, please send me an email. Briefly mention why you are interested in this position and attach a CV, with your graduate and undergraduate transcripts. No need for a separate cover letter or certificates. Please add “Application PhD” or “Application Postdoc” in the subject line. If you are a master’s student at the University of Kentucky looking for a master’s thesis project, email me or stop by my office. Women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply.

Scientific Fit

My lab is broadly focused on musculoskeletal tissue regeneration and bone biology. To this end, we develop injectable biomaterial systems, immunomodulatory strategies, and fabrication methods to regenerate tissues and organs. We also study the roles of immune cells, mainly macrophages in physiological and pathological conditions to elucidate their regenerative potential. Our research span both basic and translational research areas. The lab employs an array of biomaterial, mammalian cell culture techniques, and animal models to develop translatable strategies. If your research interest falls in this general description, please familiarize yourself with ongoing projects in the lab as well as our recent publications.

Mentoring Philosophy

Choosing the right graduate advisor is critical for success in graduate school. I take the role of graduate advisor very seriously. As your mentor, I will train you to become an independent research scientist. At the beginning of your grad school, I will train you in our lab techniques and experimental design. As students develop their dissertation, my emphasis will shift towards training in scientific writing and grantsmanship as they gain research independence. I will do my best to fund your research, and help cover the expenses to one scientific meeting per year.

Graduate Stipend

For availability of graduate research assistantships, please contact me via email. The PhD students will have the opportunity to apply for Halcomb Fellowship that supports students working on projects integrating engineering and medicine cohesively to benefit the BME field and patients. More information about Halcomb Fellowship can be found in the link. If you are an underrepresented minority, you can apply to the Kentucky - West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KY-WV LSAMP) fellowships. More info can be found here link. For information on other graduate scholarship programs (for domestic students), please email me.

ii) Prospective Undergraduate / Exchange students

       Our lab welcomes passionate undergrads interested in gaining research experience while at the University of Kentucky. Preferences will be given to students with good grades, work ethic, ability to commit at least 10 hours/week to research, and 2+ semesters in the lab. If you are an international student interested in participating in the student exchange program at the University of Kentucky, please visit NSE website. We also take summer interns if we get exceptional applicants (this usually means excellent grades and a personal recommendation).