The COS Postdoctoral Research Program is personalized for each postdoctoral researcher’s needs and aspirations. Postdocs receive supportive mentoring and guidance in building scientific skills, setting and achieving goals, and project development. In addition to rich research experiences with our faculty members, our postdocs have comprehensive professional development support for a variety of career paths.
Postdocs interested in teaching are supported by the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research (CATLR) at Northeastern, which assists with developing skills in scientific teaching, and developing mentored teaching experiences. For those interesting in exploring a career in industry, the Northeastern LEADERS program provides a series of coursework and internship opportunities with trade, government, and non-profit partners.
Our Postdoctoral researchers are supported with competitive salaries and full benefits including vacation and wellness days, health, dental and retirement.
Postdoc Professional Development Resources
Center for Research Innovation (Innovation and entrepreneurship support for Northeastern researchers)
LEADERS (A comprehensive leadership and professional skills development program at Northeastern)
CATLR (Resources and support for teaching and learning for Northeastern educators)
PhD Network (Career development support for Northeastern PhD students and postdocs)
ADVANCE (Mentoring resources collated by the Northeastern Office of Faculty Development)
TOTAL (Professional development opportunities database for postdocs in the Boston area)
COS Intranet/Postdoc Resources (Resources for current COS postdocs)
The antibiotics currently used to treat Lyme disease are broad-spectrum, damage the microbiome, and select for resistance in non-target bacteria. A screen of soil micro-organisms revealed a compound (Hygromycin A) highly selective against spirochetes, including Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease). The mechanism of selectivity is puzzling because hygromycin A targets the ribosome. Hygromycin A is smuggled into spirochetes by the conserved transporter BmpDEFG, explaining its selectivity. Hygromycin A cleared the B. burgdorferi infection in mice, including animals that ingested the compound in a bait, and was less disruptive to the fecal microbiome than clinically relevant antibiotics.
Read more here.
Contrast sensitivity, the ability to distinguish the foreground from the background is the foundation of human pattern vision. For this reason, contrast sensitivity has been considered as a major barometer of human visual function. By capitalizing on deep learning techniques and retinal imaging data, we showed that human contrast sensitivity can be reliably predicted from the retinal structural data. Importantly, the activation maps from the deep network elucidate the exact retinal layers closely linked to the contrast sensitivity, i.e., the ganglion cell and its associated layers. Our findings help to improve our understanding of retinal mechanisms underlying human spatial vision.
Read more here.
The axolotl salamander regenerates its limbs and tail by mounting a massive proliferative response in cells adjacent to the injury. To study this proliferative response, we created a line of axolotls where cells fluoresce different colors depending on where the cell is in the cell cycle; cells that are diving or preparing to divide fluoresce green while cells that are resting fluoresce red. We then used this system to visualize the proliferative response that occurs following limb and tail amputation.
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The goal of this project was to explore how to control and manipulate the spontaneous polymerization of collagen, the primary material that makes up native tissue, in order to increase the accessibility of collagen in the design of biomaterials and regenerative medicine. In our previous work, we demonstrated that we could increase both the solubility and polymerization time of collagen with the addition of sugars. In this paper, we further examined the mechanism behind this inhibiting effect and determined that the delay caused by the sugars was not damaging to the collagen fibers. In addition, we performed a proof-of-concept experiment where the presence of the sugars allowed us to controllably transfer, extrude, and deposit collagen into organized patterns. Overall, our work illustrates how sugar-mediated collagen assembly can be beneficial in the development of new biomaterials.
Read more here.