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Position Detail

The Spraggins laboratory in the Mass Spectrometry Research Center at Vanderbilt University is looking for recent Ph.D. students interested in developing next-generation molecular imaging technologies, biocomputational tools, and applications that bring together imaging mass spectrometry, highly multiplexed immunofluorescence microscopy, and spatial transcriptomics. We have positions available focused on several biomedical research projects including (1) creating comprehensive molecular atlases of human organs, (2) kidney disease, and (3) infectious disease.

Cell and Developmental Biology

Our research group develops integrated molecular imaging technologies to elucidate the molecular basis of health and disease. Modern instrumentation and computing capabilities have enabled researchers to move beyond reductionist biology and, instead, probe how the components of biological entities (e.g. molecules, cells, and tissues) interact globally to reveal the underlying biology of disease. This systems biology approach has been accelerated by advancements in high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies, however, genetic and molecular information are only part of the story. The challenge lies in understanding how these parts interact and how perturbations to the system relate to disease. To address this challenge, we are advancing instrumental capabilities and developing the computational tools necessary to integrate and mine multimodal data sets that bring together imaging mass spectrometry, highly multiplexed immunofluorescence microscopy, and spatial transcriptomics.

The Spraggins laboratory is part of the Mass Spectrometry Research Center and Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University. We have multiple projects available including developing MALDI imaging instrumentation, integrated imaging mass spectrometry and spatial transcriptomics workflows, highly multiplexed immunofluorescence capabilities, spatial proteomics technologies, and computational data integration and mining tools. These projects involve exciting biomedical research applications including (1) constructing molecular atlases of human tissue as part of the Human Biomolecular Atlas Project (HuBMAP, and understanding the molecular drivers of (2) host-pathogen interactions and (3) kidney disease.

Post-doctoral candidates joining the Mass Spectrometry Research Center will have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, including 9T and 15T Bruker Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometers with MALDI and ESI sources, two Bruker timsTOF ion mobility/Q-TOF mass spectrometers with MALDI and ESI capabilities, a Bruker Rapiflex MALDI tissuetyper, and a Thermo Orbitrap Elite mass spectrometer with a Spectroglyph transmission geometry source capable of 1 micron imaging. We also have high-performance LC-MS/MS instrumentation including a Thermo Orbitrap Fusion Tribrid mass spectrometer, a Bruker Impact II Q-TOF with a nanoElute LC system, and an Agilent AssayMAP Bravo liquid handler. Multimodal and microscopy-based imaging instrumentation includes a GeoMX Digitial Spatial Profiler, a Zeiss Axio Observer Z1 inverted microscope integrated with an Akoya CODEX system, and a Zeiss Axio Scan Z1 brightfield and fluorescence slide scanner. The Mass Spectrometry Research Center also hosts a collection of commercial and state-of-the-art custom software for the analysis of imaging, multi-omics, and microscopy data.

Please contact Jeff Spraggins at if you are interested in learning more about postdoctoral training opportunities in our research group.

Vanderbilt University is committed to the acceptance of a diverse group of trainees that is populated with people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientation, disabilities, all places of geographic origin and the full spectrum of socio-economic status.

Jeff Spraggins
: (615) 343-7333
2022-04-11 13:56:42

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