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Job ID: 122135

Postdoctoral researcher: Physical mechanisms of brain waste removal
University of Rochester

Date Posted Apr. 14, 2019
Title Postdoctoral researcher: Physical mechanisms of brain waste removal
University University of Rochester
Rochester, NY, United States
Department Mechanical Engineering
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date June 2019
  • Post-Doc
  • Physics - General
    Biology - Neuroscience/Neurobiology
    Biology - Computational

Several postdoctoral research positions are immediately available for studying the physical mechanisms of the brain’s waste removal system—the glymphatic system. Discovered just seven years ago, the glymphatic system sweeps away metabolic waste by pumping cerebrospinal fluid through the brain during sleep, probably playing a key role both in improving cognitive ability after sleep and in preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s that result from waste buildup. Successful candidates will join a team led by Douglas H. Kelley and John H. Thomas in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester and will address a wide array of open questions: Along what paths does fluid flow in the brain? What mechanisms drive its motion? How does flow connect to neural activity like slow waves, and to cognitive ability after sleep? How does flow change during pathological cases like stroke and traumatic brain injury? How does flow change as waste builds up, and do changes accelerate buildup? The team has published recent results in Nature Communications, JCI Insight, and elsewhere; we expect to continue publishing high-impact discoveries.

Postdoctoral researchers will build numerical simulations and hydraulic models of the glymphatic system, as well as using particle tracking, front tracking, and other sophisticated tools to measure cerebrospinal fluid flow from in vivo mouse experiments. Experience in numerical simulation, programming, and fluid dynamics are helpful. We collaborate closely with Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Rochester Medical Center (whose team discovered the glymphatic system and does the in vivo experiments), Jessica Shang in Mechanical Engineering, and others, including postdocs and PhD students. More information is available at To apply, email a curriculum vitae and cover letter.

  • The University of Rochester is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals regardless of age, color, disability, domestic violence status, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.

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Contact Information

  • Douglas H Kelley
    Mechanical Engineering
    University of Rochester
    218 Hopeman Engineering Building
    Rochester, NY 14627
  • 585-275-7769


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