University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego)

Postdoctoral positions in nanomedicine and precision farming

University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), United States

La Jolla, CA, United States

The Steinmetz Lab:

The Steinmetz Lab at the University of California, San Diego focuses on the development of plant virus-based nanotechnologies for applications targeting human and plant health. Nanoscale engineering is revolutionizing the way we prevent, detect and treat diseases. Viruses are playing a special role in these developments because they can function as prefabricated nanoparticles naturally evolved to deliver cargos to cells and tissues. We have developed a library of plant virus-based nanoparticles and through structure-function studies we are beginning to understand how to tailor these materials appropriately for biomedical and agricultural applications. Through synthetic/chemical biology, we have developed virus-based delivery system carrying contrast agent and/or therapeutic cargo targeted to specific sites. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Drug delivery
  • Molecular imaging
  • Cancer immunotherapies
  • Vaccines
  • Pesticide delivery


Description of the Position:

We are seeking post-docs interested in precision farming (i.e. nanoscale delivery vehicles for targeted pesticide delivery) or nanomedicine applications (i.e. drug delivery targeting human health). We value team science, interdisciplinary research and collaboration within our lab, across the university, and with researchers across the world. More information about us can be found at www.steinmetzlab.com.


The successful candidates will have the opportunity to use molecular farming, molecular biology, and bioconjugate chemistry methods to produce plant virus-based nanomaterials. The approach will include protein and plant virus nanoparticle expression in plants, genetic engineering and chemical bioconjugation of plant virus nanoparticles to impart new functionalities, i.e. tissue-specificity, imaging and therapy. For the nanomedicine projects, plant virus-based nanoparticle formulations will be evaluated in tissue culture as well as in vivo and ex vivo models of human disease such as cancer. For the precision farming projects, plant virus-based pesticide carriers will be evaluated in tissue culture, e.g. nematode models, soil columns, and plant treatment experiments.


The candidates are expected to prepare peer-reviewed manuscripts and attend scientific conferences. The candidate is also encouraged to prepare fellowship applications. The candidate will receive mentoring to prepare him/her for future careers in academia or industry, including project management skills, proposal writing and effective scientific communication.

Qualifications Required and Preferred Academic Background:

The ideal candidate should demonstrate creativity, passion for scientific inquiry, and an ability to link fundamental science to real-world applications. The ideal candidate will also have:

  • a PhD degree in biomedical/chemical engineering, pharmacology, chemistry, biology, nanotechnology, or related disciplines. Prior post-doc experience is not required and not desired.
  • experience in molecular cloning, bioconjugate chemistry, protein engineering, nanotechnology, drug delivery, immunology, tissue culture, animal models, molecular farming, plant engineering, etc.


Application Procedure:

Interested applicants should send the following materials to nsteinmetz@ucsd.edu

  • A cover letter summarizing their research accomplishments and interests
  • Curriculum vitae including complete publication record



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Postdoctoral positions in nanomedicine and precision farming