Mount Sinai Careers
We are seeking a full-time Postdoctoral Research Fellow to join the Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The Lautenberg Lab is focused on discovering new biomarkers of environmental exposures, particularly in childhood, and is involved in multi-national studies targeting health outcomes such as neurodevelopment and autism. As part of a new national environmental health center, the Lautenberg Lab is seeking to improve the efficiency of newly developed methods and to discover novel methods of analysis of biological samples through the application of robotics. The samples we receive are precious with over 10 years of effort invested in their collection from countries such as the US, Mexico, Italy, Sweden and Bangladesh. Importantly, these samples are unique in providing a chemical time-machine to study environmental exposures and nutrition from before birth through childhood and even into adulthood. There is a wealth of information entombed in these samples and we are looking for a highly motivated individual to help us extract that information that will contribute to our understanding of how early life exposures can affect development and adult health.
This is a 1 year position that may be extended to 3 years contingent upon performance and availability of resources. No teaching is required during the appointment.
Details of the project to be undertaken are as follows:
1. Construct automated platforms for fine-scale sectioning/micro-spatial sampling of hard tissues (bones, teeth)
2. In the short-term (1 year) the robotic platform will achieve:
a. Improved efficiency by automating sample handling steps by modification of existing software and mechanics,
b. Improved accuracy in moving between operator set sampling points by modification of existing software and mechanics, and
c. Improved resolution in micro-sampling from the 100 to <30 micrometer scale.
3. In the long-term (3 years) the robotic platform will incorporate elements of image recognition to automate selection of sampling areas in biological samples for a high-throughput, fully automated system that will be the center piece of our national environmental health center
a. The platform will recognize sample features and then define sampling areas based on those features,
b. Different defined sampling areas will trigger set procedures for collection, and
c. Incorporation of sensors to control sampling procedures and maintain quality control.
We envisage that new project ideas will emerge as the postdoc becomes more familiar with the innovative projects underway in the Lautenberg Lab and how robotics/computer science could improve current methods or lead to new discoveries.
Successful candidates are expected to have comprehensive knowledge in electrical/computer/mechanical engineering and computer science, good time management and writing skills, and the ability to work effectively with other researchers. Prior experience with controlling and/or building physical robots is preferred.