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NMR Postdoctoral Fellow: Micro-coil, In-vivo and Microfluidics NMR

Posted by: University of Toronto

Posted date: Oct-07-2016

Location: Toronto, Canada

University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, ON (Oct/2016)


NMR Postdoctoral Fellow: Micro-coil, In-vivo and Microfluidics NMR

Environmental NMR Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Project Description:

The project will, in collaboration with Bruker BioSpin Corporation and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change aim to develop automated platforms to asses and understand metabolic change as a result of environmental stress (contaminants, temperature, salts, etc.) based on digital microfluidics interfaced with NMR.

The candidate will be involved in a range of aspects including

1)In collaboration with Bruker assist in the development of new micro-coils.

2)Developing NMR methods to narrow line shape in static environmental and biological samples on micro-coils.

3)In collaboration help interface the micro-coils to micro-fluidics devices.

4)Test and develop protocols for exposing in-vivo organisms and eggs (including fully labelled 13C and 15N organisms/eggs) to stressors and interpreting the metabolic response.

The candidate will be based in the Environmental NMR Center at the University of Toronto. The candidate will have access to a range of state of-the-art equipment at the Environmental NMR center including prototype Comprehensive Multiphase NMR probes (CMP-NMR) (J. Magn. Reson. 2012; 217:61-76), a range of unique micro coil hardware, as well as solid-state, HR-MAS, liquid-state, cryoprobes, micro-imaging, and hyphenated (2D-HPLC-SPE-NMR-MS(Q-q-TOF) NMR spectrometers.


The candidate will be expected to spend time at Bruker (U.S.) and Bruker (Switzerland) and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (Burlington, Canada). The project aims to bring together industry, academia and government and the postdoc will be expected play a central role in extending this collaboration.


Often, numerous environmental contaminants are found at low levels which in isolation are non-lethal but combined exhibit toxicities that are difficult to evaluate. In the long term they may be very hazardous to animal, plant and human populations, as their affects are often detected too late, and after physical symptoms become widespread. This project will develop in-vivo NMR that will permit “molecular fingerprinting” approaches that directly measure the changes in a living organism as a direct response to its surroundings. This research aims to develop tools that can answer the key question “Is a particular contaminated environment safe for life?” and understand how and why certain chemicals are toxic. Preliminary results demonstrate the approaches can efficiently and quantitatively asses stress in natural populations months/years before conventional reproduction tests, as-well as explaining the source of the stress and its biochemical implications. Furthermore, such “early warning systems” could potentially being used to predict and permit treatment of disease at its very early stages before symptoms are apparent.

The Candidate


The project is funded for a 3 year period. Preference will be given to candidates that can commit to at least 2 years (ideally 3 years). Candidates must be available to start Jan 1st 2017 (at the latest).


The candidate must have a strong background in NMR spectroscopy, experience with pulse sequence development, micro-coil NMR, isotopically enriched NMR, and experience with heterogeneous samples is an asset. The candidate must be open minded and willing to work with very complex in-vivo systems. The candidate should be willing to learn to design novel pulse programs that combine aspects from solution-state and solid-state NMR. Candidates will need to draw upon and integrate a range of concepts including saturation transfer, diffusion editing, cross-polarization dynamics, relaxation filters, isotope filtering with 1-3D NMR spectroscopy to access specific key molecular interactions from within complex matrices.


The candidate should have an interest in environmental chemistry and/or willingness to learn key issues in this field. Due to the very technical nature of the project the position is specifically suited to a gifted and open-minded NMR spectroscopist rather than an environmental scientist with NMR experience. In addition, the candidate, along with the center manager and directors, will be expected to act as a general NMR resource for graduate students, and collaborators in the Environmental NMR Centre, and assist with training, data acquisition, processing and interpretation on projects as required. The Environmental NMR Centre is highly collaborative and such involvement will nearly always result in the post-doctoral fellow becoming a co-author in any research in which they assisted. We expect the candidate lead at least two first author publications per year.




Candidates should send a complete C.V. including a publication list, a statement outlining their suitability and their interest in the position. Candidates should arrange to have 3 references sent directly. Applications without the appropriate references have to be considered incomplete and cannot be considered.



Applications and references should be sent to 


Professor André Simpson, FRSC

Director of the Environmental NMR Center

Department of Chemistry

Division of Physical and Environmental Sciences

University of Toronto at Scarborough

1265 Military Trail

Toronto, MIC 1A4



or e-mailed as a PDF attachment to andre.simpson(at)utoronto.ca


All complete applications and references will be reviewed upon submission. The position is available immediately and will remain open until filled.


Job Title NMR Postdoctoral Fellow: Micro-coil, In-vivo and Microfluidics NMR
Post Details
Email andre.simpson(at)utoronto.ca
Employer's Website www.utsc.utoronto.ca
Job Discipline Job Discipline -> Chemistry
Job Classification Job Classification -> Postdoctoral Researcher
Job Type Job Type -> Full-time
Location Toronto, Canada
Key Words NMR, in-vivo, micro-coil
Start Date Jan 1st 2016 (or sooner)