Postdoctoral Researcher (PREP0001734)

This position is part of the National Institute of Standards (NIST) Professional Research Experience (PREP) program. NIST recognizes that its research staff may wish to collaborate with researchers at academic institutions on specific projects of mutual interest, thus requires that such institutions must be the recipient of a PREP award. The PREP program requires staff from a wide range of backgrounds to work on scientific research in many areas. Employees in this position will perform technical work that underpins the scientific research of the collaboration.

The project will require developing novel electronic measurements to identify and quantify biologically relevant markers using sensors assembled with DNA. The development of chip scale assays for the accurate and sensitive measurements of biomarkers are critical to advance point of care applications in personalized health care. The project will utilize CMOS device structures specifically designed and fabricated to be interfaced with DNA sensors. The project will require developing robust interfaces to semiconductor devices that utilize DNA nanotechnology as well as other approaches to enable the measurements of nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules in a modular platform. The project will meet critical milestones in the bioelectronic sensing project and NIST and advance priority areas in biomedicine and biomanufacturing.

The work will entail...

Key responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Utilize surface functionalization techniques such as thiol chemistry to develop robust biotic-abiotic interfaces.
  • The design, assembly and characterization of the structure and function DNA nanostructures that will be utilized as biosensors.
  • Perform nanofabrication tasks including photolithography, metal deposition and characterization to prepare CMOS devices for functionalization.
  • Plan and perform measurements that integrate DNA nanostructures with CMOS readout to measure their dynamic interactions with biomarkers.
  • Data analysis with MATLAB, Mathematica, or similar software of the raw sensor data to extract features and information indicative of biomarker detection and characterization.
  • Present results at internal meetings, and occasional meetings with external stakeholders.
  • Ensuring that results, protocols, software, and documentation have been properly archived.


  • A PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials Science, or a related discipline.
  • At least 2 years of relevant experience with DNA nanotechnology.
  • Experience with nanofabrication techniques and processes in a clean room.
  • Familiarity with electrochemical or electronic measurements and instrumentation
  • Ability to prototype analysis tools for data reduction and time-series analysis.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
Please include an up to date CV and cover letter

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PREP is a 5-year cooperative agreement between NIST laboratories and participating PREP Universities to establish a collaborative research relationship between NIST and U.S. institutions of higher education in the following disciplines including (but may not be limited to) biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering, electronics, materials science, mathematics, nanoscale science, neutron science, physical science, physics, and statistics. This collection of information is needed to facilitate administrative functions of the PREP Program.

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