University of Pittsburgh

Biomedical Optical Imaging Laboratory

Open Positions for Postdoctoral Associate and Graduate Students

We will be relocating to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, joining Department of Bioengineering next January. We are excited to announce several openings for graduate students and postdocs to join Biomedical Optical Imaging Laboratory. We are advancing precision medicine through cutting-edge multiscale optical microscopy, automation and robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and large-scale bioimage informatics. Our imaging techniques span seven orders of magnitude—from the nanoscale to the mesoscale—enabling transformative advancements in precision medicine. Our fusion of cross-scale imaging systems, imaging probes and AI-driven bioimage informatics and systems biology is setting the stage for unprecedented scientific discoveries and transformative personalized medicine.

Position 1 for Postdoctoral Associate: We are excited to announce a postdoctoral opportunity to work on the area of large-scale bioimage informatics and cancer research. We are looking for a highly motivated individual to join our multidisciplinary team to leverage the power of content-rich multi-scale multi-modal images to revolutionize the future of precision medicine. In this role, you will be engaged with challenging yet immensely rewarding projects that push the boundaries of spatial biology, genomics, and morphodynamics. Your contribution will drive forward our understanding of clinical challenges and shape the next generation of precision medicine solutions. Among the transformative projects are our efforts to (1) improve early cancer detection, where we will work on predictive analysis of cancer progression in precancerous lesions aiming to offer early interventions and improved patient outcomes; (2) inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), where we will utilize immune and epigenomic profiling to predict the risk of relapse in IBD, aiding in tailored patient care and management; and (3) overcoming drug resistance, where we will identify factors contributing to drug resistance in cancer treatments, aiming for more effective, adaptive therapeutic approaches.

Candidates should possess a Ph.D. in Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, or a closely related field. It is essential to have demonstrated experience in large-scale image informatics and bioinformatics. Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, R, and MATLAB is required. Working knowledge of spatial biology methodologies and genomic data analysis like RNA-seq would be a significant advantage. Knowledge of epigenetics, cancer biology and immunology would also be highly desirable. Additionally, candidates must have strong communication abilities and a history of effective collaboration. We have the best bioimage data from our unique state-of-the-art imaging systems. We offer a supportive and collaborative environment to carry out impactful research, with some of the leading experts in the imaging field. You will also have access to state-of-the-art equipment and computational resources and ample opportunities for continuous learning and professional growth. We also offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Candidates eager to contribute to this exciting intersection of biology and computation are encouraged to send a cover letter outlining their research experience and interests, a CV, and contact details of at least three references to Prof. Yang Liu by email ( Applications will be reviewed continuously until the position is filled. The expected start date is after February 2024, with flexibility for the ideal candidate.

Multiple Positions for Graduate Students in Bioengineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering: We have multiple openings for graudate students, who work on projects at the intersection of advanced optics, cancer, artificial intelligence, and medicine, contributing to groundbreaking research with significant potential to reshape healthcare paradigms. The students will be immersed in an environment that encourages the interplay between technological development and impactful biomedical applications. Our technology development initiatives span several key areas: (1) Optical instrumentation such as optical instrumentation development of high-throughput 3D label-free quantitative phase imaging system, super-resolution microscopy and multi-scale imaging system and imaging system automation; (2) Computational imaging and image processing such as phase retrieval and method development to enhance image resolution; (3) AI and bioimage informatics such as development of deep learning based approach to extract quantitative image features, single-cell analysis and disease classification; and (4) DNA nanotechnology and imaging probe development such as oligonucleotide-based conjugation technique for high-throughput, highly sensitive and specific detection of biomarkers.

Our laboratory is deeply engaged in a suite of projects aimed at pushing the boundaries of biomedical applications to advance precision medicine. These initiatives include: (1) Early Cancer Detection, aiming to capture subtle changes in precursors or early-stage cancer to identify high-risk patients in colon, lung and prostate; (2) Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), aiming to predict the risk of relapse in IBD for tailored patient care and management; (3) Addressing Drug Resistance, aiming to identify factors contributing to resistance in cancer treatments and develop more effective therapeutic approaches; and (4) Biomarkers Detection via Liquid Biopsies, aiming for early cancer detection and monitoring treatment response. We will work with various model systems (e.g., cell lines, spheroids, organoids and animal models) and human-derived clinical samples (e.g., blood, sputum, tissue).

We are enthusiastic about students with diverse academic backgrounds, especially those holding a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Optics, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Cell Biology, Cancer Biology, or a related field. Interested candidates are advised to apply to the graduate programs in the Department of Bioengineering or the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Please forward a cover letter detailing your research experience and interests, along with your CV, to Prof. Yang Liu at


Hillman Cancer Center 2.32e
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
USA 15232

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