Environmental Engineering, Cell Biology, Environmental Toxicology

Job Type
Job Rank
Job Institution
University of Houston
Job Description

About the project:

We have engineered an in vitro 3-Dimensional (3D) cell culture integrated into a flow-cell bioreactor to conduct the toxicological assessment of environmental poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) mixtures that can be found in food. The proposed bioreactor system will mimic the intestinal tract, where nutrients and potential contaminants are absorbed by cells.

The experimental approach for this investigation will involve using human, mice, and pig intestinal cells (since both have high genomic similarity to humans) to be cultured inside the 3-dimensionally bioreactor to analyze toxicological markers and pathways of PAH mixtures. Additionally, we will evaluate human, pig, and mice gut microbiome ability to biodegrade PAHs compounds and whether the biodegradation byproducts can cause toxic effects to the intestinal tract.


We seek a postdoctoral researcher within the field of environmental sciences, toxicology, cell biology or bioengineering to work in a multidisciplinary project involving the investigation of the toxicity of PAHs in intestinal cells. In this investigation, we are using OMICS tools but also human/mammalian cell cultures.

Duties and responsibilities

The postdoctoral researcher will be primarily in charge of the bioreactor cell culture growth and transcriptomics investigation. Also, the postdoctoral fellow will be responsible to assist in the analysis of PAHs via GC/MS. So good GC/MS instrumentation knowledge, as well as having skills working with microorganisms, such as bacteria would be valuable as well. If the student has also molecular biology skills, such as transcriptomics, it will be beneficial. Some bioinformatics knowledge would be beneficial as well.Opportunities to learn how to write proposals will also be available for students seeking to become faculty members in the future.


The position is a position for a fixed term of one year, with potential to extend for three years. The salary depends on the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience.

For more information, please contact Prof. Debora F. Rodrigues, dfrigirodrigues@uh.edu. University of Houston actively pursues an equal work environment and values the qualities that diversity adds to our operations.


Initial screening of applications will be made via email to Dr. Rodrigues.

For the application to be complete, the following electronic documents must be included:

  • A cover letter, outlining your overall experience in the field of the project
  • CV with a relevant description of your overall qualifications and experience
  • Name of 2 to 3 Professors that can serve as references for your application