The Nance Lab

Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Washington
Box 351750
3781 Okanogan Lane NE 
Seattle, WA, 98195-1750

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Current Available Positions

UPDATED: March 27, 2020


Graduate: To all those accepted into UW ChemE, congrats! WE ARE RECRUITING 2-3 PHD STUDENTS FOR FALL 2020! For ChemE students accepted at UW,  visit weekend is Feb 27-29th and a second weekend is in March. The Nance lab will have several students presenting posters and there will be Friday afternoon meetings with Prof. Nance. Students who accept at UW (deadline is April 15th) will have the opportunity to meet in more depth and discuss specific project details in September-November 2020. Placement into a lab is through a matching process in November of your first year.

If you are a student accepted into the MolES program, Prof. Nance will be meeting with interested students on March 13th during the MolES PhD visit weekend! MolES students get to rotate through labs in their first year - if, after this visit weekend, you are interested in rotating in the Nance lab in Winter 2021 or spring 2021, please contact Prof. Nance directly via email.


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

Undergraduate: We have recently filled 2 undergraduate research positions, and are currently looking for 1 undergraduate researcher to join our group for the following project:


            Python coding for immunofluorescent imaging analysis of brain cells and brain proteins (computational project with                        potential experimental option)


If you are interested in this position, please email Prof. Nance at Please see the expectations outlined below for undergraduates to work in the lab - this applies to undergraduates who are enrolled at UW or are enrolled at a local community college, not to summer REU students.  Applications will be reviewed by a team of current Nance lab grads, and interviews will be scheduled for January/February.

Postdoctoral: We are currently pending funding on several grants. We will post 1-2 postdoc positions upon confirmation of that funding. These positions will seek expertise in live cell or live tissue imaging, hands-on experience with animal models of non-cancer disease, and an interest in biological assessment techniques. 

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 the above medical fields. Individuals who join our lab must be dedicated to continual learning and to skill development in technical expertise and strong communication.

Postdoctoral Fellows and Technicians

We will be seeking applicants for postdoctoral positions pending funding.  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.

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 submitted an application 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.

 Also, please e-mail Dr. Nance to let her know you have applied, which department you applied to, and highlight your primary research interests.

Undergraduate Researchers

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. Research opportunities are available on a volunteer or credit basis.

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.

  • During the academic quarters, spending 5-­10 hours per week working on research (including weekly meetings). 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 weekly research 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!