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Hettiaratchi Lab Injectable Hydrogel Project- University of Oregon Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

Position Title: Undergraduate Research Assistant

About the Lab:
The Hettiaratchi Lab combine expertise in chemical and biomedical engineering to design biomaterials to control protein delivery to injured tissues.   This research focuses on developing injectable hydrogels for protein delivery to traumatic injury sites in the body. The major focus for this work includes repairing traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. This mentored position would include synthesis of new hydrogel platforms and studying their impact on cell response by tuning protein delivery and other viscoelastic properties. Key techniques that would be acquired in this position are chemical synthesis – wet lab techniques, quantitative assay protocols, hydrogel engineering, statistical modelling, and mammalian cell culture.

Roles and Responsibilities:
The undergraduate research assistant will work directly with a graduate mentor on a project that may include any of the tasks listed below. They will also receive proper safety and protocol training until the student is independent. Weekly meetings will be required for updates and research directions with both the graduate student and Primary Investigator (PI).
  • Polymer Synthesis - expectations will include performing wet chemistry techniques, NMR, UV Vis, and other characterization methods needed
  • Gel work - expectations include quantitative analysis of swelling, gelation time, and protein delivery (monitored with ELISA)
  • Cell Culture - expectations include sterile techniques, imaging
  • Design of Experiments - statistical modelling using MODDE software

Preferred Skills and Attributes:
Knowledge of Excel, General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry with lab experience. Major in Chemistry or related field.

Undergraduate Research Assistants are initially accepted on a voluntary basis during the first term. If this commitment is extended, the position will paid (starting at minimum wage and increasing based on performance) with additional support for research course credit, at the student's preference.

How to Apply & What to Include:
Applicants are invited to submit their applications through HandShake (Apply button).**
  • Please include your resume, and a cover letter that expresses your interest in the position
  • This is one of TWO projects within the Hettiaratchi Lab (Protein Binding Project and Injectable Hydrogel Project)- please indicate which you are applying to within the cover letter
  • Note any relevant skills and experience that you posses and how it will directly contribute to the position.

**PLEASE NOTE: The posted expiration date that is noted is for job viewing only. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. Please DO NOT wait until close to, or on the expiration date to apply.

For any additional resources on resume and cover letter development, visit the UO Career Center website at: You are also welcome to reach out to CURE ( for any assistance needed, in coordinating your application materials.