Mentor: Crawford Downs, PhD, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Email:

A post-doctoral fellow position is immediately available under the direction of Dr. Crawford Downs in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences to construct, analyze, and interpret finite element models of the posterior hemisphere of the eye to characterize the mechanical behavior of the optic nerve head in normal and glaucomatous eyes. The optic nerve head is the site of nerve damage in glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the world, and we hypothesize that intraocular pressure-driven optic nerve head biomechanics is the mechanism of damage. We have several large NIH grants focused on ocular biomechanics in glaucoma and intraocular pressure telemetry, and the successful candidate will join a dynamic team of accomplished biomedical engineers, scientists, and clinicians studying the optic nerve head using 3D experimental, imaging, and computational approaches.

The duties of this position include the further development of finite element models of the posterior pole and optic nerve head at both the continuum and microarchitectural levels, integration of inhomogeneous hyperelastic, anisotropic material properties into the models, analysis of models, interpretation of the results, and manuscript preparation as first author.
Qualified and highly-motivated candidates should submit a CV, a cover letter detailing research experience, and contact Information for three references to Dr. Crawford Downs, @

Minimum Requirements:

Ph.D. in Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering or a related field is required. Experience with finite element modeling of complex biologic tissues is required. Experience with modeling of trabeculated structures such as bone, as well as a working knowledge of Altair HyperMesh/HyperWorks, and CalculiX is desired.


None required.

About our Postdoc Office:

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists. Here at UAB, nearly 300 postdoctoral fellows are training currently in a variety of disciplines. Competitive postdoc awards are available including internships, grant incentives, funds to enhance education and collaboration outside UAB, and teaching opportunities at local universities. There is also a Postdoc Research Day with monetary awards. The Office of Postdoctoral Education strongly encourages UAB research mentors to follow the National Research Service Award stipend level guidelines, and postdoctoral scholars qualify for health, life, and other insurances. They also have the right to participate in the university’s 403(b) program and enjoy vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other benefits.

About the University:

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches, and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state, and beyond. UAB is internationally renowned for its intensely collaborative culture that has — for more than five decades — produced breakthroughs in education, health care, research, and service. UAB was ranked #1 in the United States, and in the top 10 worldwide, in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2018 Young University Rankings.

Spanning more than 100 city blocks, UAB is the state of Alabama’s largest single employer with some 25,000 employees and has an annual, state-wide economic impact exceeding $7.15 billion. U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” ranks 14 UAB graduate programs among the nation’s top 25 and 10 UAB specialties were ranked among the nation’s top 50 in the magazine’s 2018-2019 Best Hospitals report. UAB research grants and awards are at a record high, exceeding $527 million in FY18, including $320 million in NIH funding for FY18. UAB ranks 31st among all universities in federal research funding and 15th among public universities. UAB's NIH funding continues to grow among peer institutions in the Southeast and beyond, with the university ranking 20th among all universities in NIH funding and eighth among public universities. The UAB School of Medicine is ranked 21st among medical schools in NIH funding and eighth among public medical schools.

UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity, and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

For more information on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at UAB, visit the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or call (205) 934-8762. Or contact the office at 701 20th Street South, AB 336, Birmingham, AL 35294-0103.