top of page

Current Available Positions

UPDATED: March 27, 2023

High School Students and Undergraduates - Interested in our TEXTILE - Tutorials for EXperimentalisT Interactive LEarning program? TEXTILE is a summer series in data science, brain cell analysis, and professional development to introduce students to cutting edge research from real scientific methodologies taught by the scientists that designed or use them in their everyday lives and to encourage students to explore careers in science research. To learn more, check eliginility, and apply, head to our TEXTILE program page


Undergraduates: We have two positions available. The project descriptions are below. Please read the expectations for undergraduate participation in our lab prior to applying. 

Application link:

Application deadline: March 22, 2023

Project 1: Brain-derived extracellular vesicles as therapeutic vehicles for neonatal brain injury

Project Description: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates, characterized by a reduction of blood flow to the brain in the perinatal or neonatal period. Brain repair after an ischemic event requires highly coordinated communication cells via unique biological nanoparticles called extracellular vesicles (EVs). In this project, the student will have an opportunity to isolate and characterize EVs from whole brain tissue. The student will also run studies to investigate the therapeutic effects of EVs when applied to inflammatory brain models both on in vitro cell culture and on ex vivo brain slices. The therapeutic efficacy of EVs will be evaluated using microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and PCR techniques to measure cell death and inflammatory gene expression. The student will gain experience in molecular biology tools, microscopy, and learn engineering fundamentals. 

Project  Techniques: EV isolation, cell and brain slice culturing, bicinchoninic acid assay, ultraviolet spectroscopy, modeling inflammation in cell culture and tissue culture, confocal microscopy, qPCR, immunohistochemistry  


Project 2 Title: Sustainable, scalable bacterial cellulose nanoparticle for drug delivery to the brain

Project Description: Sustainable nanomedicine is an emerging interdisciplinary field where biodegradable and biocompatible materials are of interest for therapeutic outcomes, specifically drug delivery to the brain. Sustainable formulation practices and the use of eco-friendly materials can make these therapeutics easily scalable and reproducible for commercial manufacturing. Bacterial cellulose nanoparticles (BCNPs) address these issues and have the potential to be a therapeutic to deliver drugs to the brain. In this project, the student will have the opportunity to prepare bacterial cellulose nanoparticles, experiment with drug loading techniques and assays, and apply therapeutics to ex vivo brain slice models. The student will investigate therapeutic effects and foundational information on BCNPs using confocal microscopy, ultraviolet spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and high performance liquid chromatography characterization and analysis techniques.

Project Techniques: experimental design, bacterial cellulose nanoparticle preparation, drug loading and analysis, bicinchoninic acid assay, ex vivo brain slice culturing, confocal microscopy, ultraviolet spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, high performance liquid chromatography

Graduate: Application for Fall 2023 are closed. Students who are accepted at UW in ChemE, BioE, or MolES PhD programs will have the opportunity to meet with Prof. Nance and Nance lab members, and discuss specific project details in September-November 2023. 

If you are an MSTP (MD/PhD) student and interested in the lab, please email me ( directly.

Postdoctoral: We currently have no postdoc positions available. 

High School students: Our TEXTILE summer program call for applications is closed! 

Joining Our Team

We look for hard-working, independent, and creative individuals who are passionate about finding ways to better our understanding of, and our technology for, treating complex diseases, specifically those in the brain.

We work as a close-knit team to address the challenging needs of treating neurological diseases. Our work includes individuals from diverse backgrounds and expertise, including in chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, pediatrics, neurology, infectious disease, physiology and radiology. We collaborate extensively with the clinicians in these medical fields. Individuals who join our lab must be dedicated to continual learning, and to skill development in technical expertise and strong communication.

Get in Touch

Postdoctoral Fellows and Technicians

For postdoctoral applicants, we are looking for dedicated individuals who have an interest in model development and characterization, with backgrounds in non-cancer in vivo studies, and individuals who have a background in nanotechnology synthesis/formulation and applications.

It is of significant interest to hire postdocs who have their own funding. For potential funding applications, please check out our scholarship and funding opportunities page.

Get in Touch

Doctoral and Master's Candidates

If you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or thesis M.S. at the University of Washington, please review our website to become familiar with our mission, prior publications, and current research. We accept graduate students from those individuals who have been accepted to chemical engineering, MolES, or one of the health sciences programs at UW.

If you apply, please make sure you describe in your application how your past academic, industry and/or research experiences fit with our lab’s mission and your future career goals. Please e-mail Prof. Nance to let her know you have applied, which department you applied to, and highlight your primary research interests.

Get in Touch

Undergraduate Researchers

You do not need prior research experience or experience in our labs research areas of interest to join the Nance lab. Participating in research can give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you are learning in the classroom to important clinical challenges. Research is challenging ­by definition; most of what you will be doing has never been done before. As such, we are looking for students who are self-­starters, independent, and willing to explore uncharted territory, and who are willing to embrace failing (in a safe space!). Research opportunities are available on a volunteer or credit basis. Prof. Nance provides extensive support to students to secure research fellowships and scholarships. Please see our Personnel and Lab Alumni pages to get a sense of what scholarships and fellowships our undergraduate research members have received in past years.


Our general expectations for undergraduate researchers include:

  • Dedicating a minimum of three quarters to volunteer in the lab. During the academic year, classes are your top priority. These are challenging projects and three quarters will give you the time to dive in and make significant contributions to research. We prefer at least one summer of commitment.

  • No participation in full-time research in another lab

  • During the academic quarters, spending an average of 10 hours per week working on research (including weekly meetings) - some weeks will be more and some weeks will be less, based on your schedule and project status. We know that classes, work, and other extracurricular activities keep your schedule busy. Ask yourself if you have time to responsibly dedicate to pursuing research.

  • Participating in monthly working group meetings. You should come prepared to these meetings with slides or other handouts to share your progress, discuss challenges, and help your peers with their research.

  • Helping with outreach activities. We ask for volunteers from the lab to help with tours and share their experiences with events focused on engaging K-12 students.

  • Keeping clear documentation and a lab notebook. Others will likely be building upon and learning from your work in the future. Thus it is important that everyone keeps clear notes (including comments in any computer code) so that you can easily share what you have done.

  • Defining clear goals and outcomes. We aim for everyone to produce a final report, abstract, or other publication based upon their project. We will work with you to help define these goals for your specific project and career goals!

Get in Touch
bottom of page