Post Doctoral Fellow

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
22 Sep 2022
End of advertisement period
22 Oct 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About Khalifa University

Khalifa University is ranked 181st in the QS World University Rankings 2023, and the top University in the UAE, with a range of research and academic programs designed to address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challenges facing our rapidly evolving world.

Its world-class faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities provide an unparalleled learning experience to students from the UAE and around the world. Our research and academic activities cover a broad range of disciplines in engineering, science and medicine through our three colleges.

Khalifa University’s research relates to key focus sectors of relevance to the UAE’s strategic economic growth and the technology platforms that serve as foundations for these sectors. The University’s research priorities are addressed in two categories “verticals” and “horizontals” which jointly cover specific industry and sector needs, technical platforms and expertise.

KU’s focus sectors are Clean and Renewable Energy, Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production, Water and Environment, Healthcare, Aerospace, and Supply Chain and Logistics. Research in these sectors is enhanced by our research platforms of Robotics, AI and Data Science, Information and Communication Technologies, and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing as well as Fundamental Sciences.

Position Overview

Since the late 18th century, it has been known that electricity plays a fundamental role in normal human physiology.  The 19th century saw the identification of the roles of ions such as potassium, sodium and chloride; the mid-20th century developed models which explained some of these phenomena, using the tools of the time (such as wire electrodes).  Since then, despite development of new tools allowing precise measurement of cell electrical properties, the model of how the cell acts electrically has remained unchanged. 

Recent work in our group has challenged some of the core ideas of cell electrophysiology.  Using multiple measurement techniques to simultaneously measure the membrane potential; the passive electrical properties of conductance and capacitance; and the external surface (zeta) potential, we have discovered that cells are able to alter their immediate extracellular environment electrically – with implications for the control of cell-ion, cell-macromolecule and cell-cell interactions.  We now seek to develop both our undertanding of how this process occurs, and the degree to which it influences cellular processes including regulation of antibody binding, ion transport, and cell-cell interaction. 

To this end, KU is seeking a highly motivated Post-doctoral Fellow to develop a new analytical mathematical model of cellular electrical behavior, extending current electrophysiology models to include principles from electronics (such as capacitor and semiconductor theory) and surface chemistry (such as double-layer theory).  Using a broad range of cells in order to produce a general model, you will analyze cells using near-simultaneous measurement of membrane potential, exterior zeta potential and the impedance of membrane and cytoplasm to build this model with an unprecedented degree of accuracy.  Once we have a working model, you will use it to test the effects of cellular interactions and pharmacological interventions and measure the effect that these electrical effects play a role in these processes.    As part of the project, you will have access to state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities at the Department of Biomedical Engineering,  and will get an opportunity to work alongside researchers and graduate students from various backgrounds as part of a wider team.

Position Requirements

  • A thorough grounding in the concepts and methods of cell electrophysiology.  This could be acquired either through conventional methods such as patch-clamp, or more unusual methods such as dielectrophoresis.
  • A sound numerical/theoretical background in, and an understanding of, standard theories and models of electrophysiology (such as the Goldman equation), dielectrophoresis (e.g. the Clausius-Mossotti model) and double-layer theory.  Whilst it is unusual to have all three of these, knowledge of two and a demonstrable ability to acquire the third would be sufficient.
  • Experience in cell handling and cell culture.
  • Adhere to the University's information security and confidentiality policies and procedures, and report breaches or other security risks accordingly
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the Line Manager

Post Doctoral Fellow


Candidate Profile

Essential Criteria

  • PhD from a reputable university in bioelectronics, electrophysiology, biophysics or a related discipline.
  • Experience writing scientific or review papers;
  • A willingness to contribute to a collaborative and supportive team culture
  • Excellent English language communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • The proven ability to work on multiple tasks with competing demands and deadlines.
  • Ability to train and mentor students and support fellow researchers
  • Highly developed reasoning and problem-solving skills

Desired Criteria

  • PhD gained from a top 200 QS or THE ranked University
  • At least 2 years of relevant experience as a Post-doctoral researcher in academia or in industry.
  • High impact first-author publications in top 10% journals in the relevant field

Should you require further assistance or if you face any issue with the online application, please feel to contact the Recruitment Team (

Primary Location: KUK – Khalifa University
Job: Post Doctoral Fellow
Schedule: Regular
Shift: Standard
Job Type: Full-time

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