Graduate Student: Single-Particle Imaging of Lipid Nanoparticles

Dr. Sabrina Leslie at UBC Michael Smith Laboratories is recruiting a Ph.D. student with interest in biophysics and nanomedicines. Our group develops and utilizes single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques to study lipid nanoparticle loading and delivery of biomolecules in cell-like environments. We’ve developed the Convex Lens-induced Confinement (CLiC) imaging platform, which makes it possible to watch individual, freely diffusing biomolecules/ nanoparticles as they search for and bind to each other, allowing us to make measurements that are not possible with other methods. This technique is applied both to basic biophysical research and development of drugs and therapeutics. 

Project: Nanoparticle analytics

This project will study the structure and structural transitions of nanoparticles in controlled environments, to help develop nanoparticle-based drug delivery platforms. Nanoparticles are an emerging technology used to encapsulate drugs for delivery into the body. Upon an environmental shift, the structure of the nanoparticle changes, releasing the drug. The goal of this research will be to characterize these dynamics and understand drug delivery mechanisms.

Training: Graduate students in the Leslie Lab receive training in single-molecule microscopy, specializing in the CLiC imaging technique pioneered in our lab; bulk characterization techniques such as Dynamic Light Scattering, fluorimetry, and gel electrophoresis; and computational modelling and analysis. The candidates will work with sophisticated DNA/RNA constructs as well as complex lipid nanoparticle formulations, with exposure to molecular design of oligotherapeutic compounds and biomimetic delivery vehicles. The training environment will include interactions with a start-up company, ScopeSys Inc., which is commercializing CLiC technology; as well as collaborators in pharmaceutical science, biochemistry and medicine.

We are looking for a well-organized, enthusiastic team player who enjoys lab work and troubleshooting scientific instrumentation. Background/training in biochemistry, quantitative biology, pharmaceutical sciences or surface chemistry is an asset. Proficiency with a musical instrument and/or dungeons and dragons are also assets. The successful candidates must have a passion for innovation and pushing scientific and engineering capabilities to the forefront of what is possible today. 

To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to

Dr. Sabrina Leslie would consider supervising a MSc or PhD in any of the following programs as allowed by the program guidelines and admission committees.

MSc/PhD in Physics and Astronomy

MSc/PhD in Genome Science and Applied Technology

MSc/PhD in Bioinformatics

MSc/PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Reference Number

Please mention reference number GPS-57306 in all your correspondence about this Master student position.

This position will be supervised by

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