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If you love sunshine, pristine beaches, a dazzling array of world-class attractions, and microbiology, this postdoctoral scholar position at San Diego State University might be for you.

There are TWO postdoctoral scholar openings as of June 2023 for talented postdocs to join the Roach Lab focused on studying infectious diseases and bacteriophages. The Roach Lab investigates several aspects of the tripartite interactions between bacteria, phages and human hosts using innovative models of disease, including those for the pre-clinical and clinical development of phage therapies. The lab has long-term academic, academic-medical and academic-industry collaborations to stimulate and strengthen research and development in phage therapy initiatives. The Roach lab is now using their ever-expanding phage library and manufacturing platform to provide phages for compassionate use phage therapy under the FDA's expanded access pathway.


In the first open role, you will have the opportunity to develop modern bioanalytics with biofilm-on-chip microfluidics research with an emphasis on influence of hydrodynamic flow and phage lytic forces on biofilms. While great advances have been made in the understanding of biofilms from the perspective of molecular biology, there is a growing need for quantitative characterization under well-defined and physiologically-relevant conditions. The in vitro evaluation of phage efficacy against biofilm infections has been mostly performed on polystyrene microtiter plates. However, the natural complexity of biofilms in human infections is not well mimicked in these ‘static’ based assays. Due to excellent control over a host of physiochemical, hydrodynamic and thermal parameters, microfluidic (MF) channels are becoming indispensable in microbiological studies. The clear planar surface and tiny dimensions of MF channels offers the opportunity to non-invasively image live biofilms, crucial for elucidating biofilm functions and expected to revolutionize the field of anti-biofilm development. One of our long-term goals will be to gain a comprehensive understanding of phage-natural-state biofilm interactions under physiologically-relevant conditions to reveal new anti-biofilm formations and structures.


In the second open role, you will have the opportunity to 1) investigate whether phage growth parameters are impacted by facultative aerobic hosts growing under physiological oxygen conditions of the human body, and 2) develop a commercially viable technology that enables high-throughput environmental isolation and pre-characterization of phages against diverse multidrug-resistant bacteria. Phage population growth simply cannot exist without a healthy host population. Indeed, most bacteria are highly sensitive their environment’s oxygen levels, with these levels being a major predictor of cell health. The first goal will be to use an in vitro system with physiologically ‘correct’ tissue oxygen tensions to predict physiological functions of bacteria in hypoxia and thus, define phage growth parameters inside the human body. The second goal will be to further develop a proof-of-concept modular microfluidic phage filtration system with academic-industry partners. The research will focus on building a miniaturized and ruggedized system for targeted phage filtration and propagation directly from environmental samples. This work will also involve collaborating on prototype manufacturing and technology validation.


You will have the opportunity to closely collaborate with wet-lab and dry-lab students and staff. You will develop expertise in bacterial and phage genetics, molecular biology, biochemical methods, and infectious disease models. You will organize results for presentation and viewing by lab members, the wider scientific community, and prepare data for publication in scientific journals.  You will assist with grant preparation and reporting.


The successful candidate will be an independent, highly motivated problem solver who communicates well and enjoys working in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment.

Required qualifications:

  • The ideal candidate will have a PhD (within the last 1-3 years) in microbiology, molecular biology, bioengineering, or a related field. 

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including the ability to organize/present technical reports and provide a proven track record of recent or pending scientific publications.

  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills including experience collaborating with a diverse interdisciplinary research team.


Preferred qualifications:

  • Expertise in microbiology and molecular biology

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

  • Experience with bacteriophages is desirable, but not required

  • Experience with biofilms is desirable, but not required (project specific)

  • Experience with bioinformatics is desirable, but not required

  • Experience in research and development, but not required

Applicant Special Instructions:

Please email your C.V. and cover letter detailing past related research experience and why you are interested in this position to Dr. Dwayne Roach at

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