Mentor: Dr. J. Crawford Downs, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, VH390A, 1670 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35294-0019.  Telephone: (205) 996-8676;  

There is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher Position in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Research will be conducted in the laboratory of Dr. J. Crawford Downs, Vice Chair of Basic Science Research and Director of the Ocular Biomechanics and Biotransport Program at UAB. The position involves the development and application of finite element models and multi-scale modeling in ocular biomechanics in an NIH-funded research project.

The successful applicant will construct, analyze, and interpret finite element models of the posterior hemisphere of the eye to characterize the mechanical behavior of the sclera and optic nerve head in normal and glaucomatous eyes. The duties of this position include the development of finite element models of the posterior pole and optic nerve head at the continuum and micro architectural levels, integration of inhomogeneous hyper elastic, anisotropic material properties into the models, analysis of models, interpretation of the results, and manuscript preparation as first author. Highly motivated candidates with strong research background in theoretical and computational bioengineering/biomechanics or related fields and with interests in the structure and function of biological soft tissue are especially encouraged to apply.

Experience in scientific programming and computational modeling of hard and soft tissues at both the continuum and microstructural level are highly desirable, and experience in modeling trabeculated structures such as bone is preferred. A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering or a related field is required. Experience with finite element modeling of complex biologic tissues is required.

UAB is a major 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 the nation. The UAB faculty is renowned for its excellence in interdisciplinary research programs. The Ocular Biomechanics and Biotransport Program have developed a strong record of extramurally funded interdisciplinary research, and have extensive collaboration with colleagues internationally. The candidates have opportunities to accept education and training in multi- & interdisciplinary research environments, and have opportunities to interact with researchers in the School of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and the School of Medicine at UAB.

Interested applicants should send application materials by email to The application materials should include: a current CV with names and contact information of at least three references and a brief statement of career goal, research background and interests. UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Postdoc Awards and Benefits 

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 OPE 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‚Äôs 403(b) program and enjoy vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other benefits.