Non-Invasive Spectroscopic Quantification of Neural Biomarkers

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Position Description

Spring 2022/Winter 2024

The Infectious Disease and Endocrinology of Animals Lab at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine is now accepting applications for a 3-year PhD graduate research assistantship in Comparative and Experimental Medicine under the supervision of Brian Whitlock, Professor in Large Animal Clinical Sciences. This research assistantship is part of a collaborative project between the University of Tennessee Department of Chemistry and the College of Veterinary Medicine to develop a non-invasive spectroscopic way in which neural biomarkers may be quantified. The primary research objectives for this position include: (1) development of an in vitro spinal cord model (3D neurovascular unit); (2) in vivo assessment of the 3D neurovascular units/spinal cord model with Raman spectroscopy [use cadavers and live animals (rodents)]; (3) non-invasive neurochemical detection in cerebrospinal fluid of sheep. The incumbent will collaborate with the faculty and students included but not limited to individuals in the Infectious Disease and Endocrinology of Animals and Regenerative Medicine labs in Large Animal Clinical Sciences and The Sharma Raman Lab in the Department of Chemistry. The PhD student will be responsible for conducting research, analyzing and presenting research results (at professional meetings and publishing relevant work in peer-reviewed journals), and assisting with other research affiliated with the associated labs.


A M.S. degree in regenerative medicine, neurophysiology, comparative experimental medicine, biomedical engineering, or a related field is required. A strong knowledge and application of laboratory best practices, fundamental cell culture techniques, and statistical analysis or data management are essential. Strong written and oral communication skills in English and self-motivation, perseverance, and the ability to work independently and collaboratively are important.

How to apply

Interested candidates should email the following material to Dr. Brian Whitlock :
(1) A description of the candidate’s academic experience, research interests and career goals.
(2) A curriculum vitae (CV) with contact information for three professional references.
(3) A copy of unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
(4) A copy of an unofficial GRE transcript if the GRE has already been taken.
(5) One or two examples of key research publications.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.