Immediate Opening: PhD Position in Molecular Computing

The research group of Prof. Christof Teuscher has an immediate opening for a paid PhD student in the area of molecular computing and novel computing paradigms.

Molecular computing is a promising computational paradigm, in which computational functions are evaluated at the nanoscale, with potential applications in smart molecular diagnostics
and therapeutics. However, despite recent advances in the field, prospects for direct application of these techniques to solve real-world problems are limited by the lack of robust interfaces between molecular computers and biological and chemical systems. This project will address these limitations by targeting two application domains, wide-spectrum chemical sensing and
cell surface analysis using molecular logic cascades. Drawing on a combination of experimental, theoretical, and computational tools, molecular computing systems will be developed for use in these application domains. Molecular circuit architectures that process sensor inputs from chemical sensors and cell-surface analysis reactions will be designed, modeled, and implemented in the laboratory, and computational modeling will be used to predict and optimize interactions between DNA circuit components and their binding targets. Furthermore, advanced molecular circuit architectures capable of adaptive, bio-inspired behavior, such as dynamic learning and adaptation, will be designed, with a view to future experimental implementations of these features.

 The position is funded by a new 5-year NSF award. The project is a collaboration with teams from the University of New Mexico and Columbia University.


  • The ideal candidate has experience in DNA and molecular computation, unconventional computation, computational intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, complex systems, and optimization techniques.
  • The candidate must have excellent programming skills, ideally in Java.
  • Other desired qualifications:
    • Masters degree in CS, ECE, or physics.
    • Eligible for PhD program in ECE.
    • Interested in far-reaching, cutting-edge, and interdisciplinary research.
    • Team player.
    • Experience in research environments.
    • Outstanding academic records.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
    • Highly motivated, responsible, independent, with outstanding work ethics. – Visionary, creative, outside-the-box thinker.

How to apply

Please complete the following application form.

The position remains open until filled. Portland State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Applications from women and minorities are strongly encouraged. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US and upon acceptance into the ECE PhD program.