Department of Chemistry



Research Associate opening in the Biomaterials - Pfeifer lab at OHSU, Portland OR

The Biomaterials and Biomechanics Department is seeking an enthusiastic research associate to begin immediately. The successful candidate will be joining a dynamic multi-disciplinary group, including material scientists, polymer chemists, mechanical engineers and microbiologists. This position requires research performance consistent with the goals of the principal investigator, Carmem Pfeifer PhD. The lab is very active, with opportunities to publish papers, submit grant proposals, present at technical meetings, and work with partners in industry and university / government. Many of our lab members have been listed as co-authors in patents, and have later found senior positions in industry and academia.


There are currently several areas of work within my lab which span within the broad field of biomaterials and include the following specific topic areas:

1.           Design and synthesis of novel polymeric materials for dental and biomedical applications: the major project funded in the lab aims at harnessing ecological interactions within the oral biofilm and host enzyme derived degradation of the tooth substrate to develop novel restorative materials capable of withstanding the challenges posed by the use in the oral environment. These challenges include mechanical loading, bacteria-derived acid demineralization of the tooth, degradation of the material by salivary and bacteria-derived enzymes, as well as substrate degradation by water percolation and host metalloproteinases.

2.           Test materials under physiological conditions in vitro: material resistance to degradation under physiologically-relevant conditions is the main focus of the development in the lab. Testing includes microbiology assays, mechanical testing and combinations thereof. Polymerization behavior is assessed with spectroscopic techniques, isolated or in tandem with mechanical testing.


The successful candidate will have experience in synthetic organic chemistry, material characterization techniques and manuscript preparation. Ability to work independently and contribute ideas is essential. We are looking for a motivated individual, with the mindset of contributing to the group in a meaningful way. Career development training opportunities are plentiful at OHSU, and participation is highly encouraged by the PI. The lab is currently funded through FY 2027 (NIH-NIDCR 1R35-DE029083), and therefore, it is expected that the candidate will be able to be part of the group for at least 2-3 years.



  • Synthetic organic chemistry, and molecular characterization (NMR, including advanced techniques such as DOSI, gel permeation chromatography, mass spectroscopy).
  • Mechanical testing: universal testing machine (flexural strength, fracture toughness), dynamic mechanical analysis, rheology
  • Spectroscopic techniques: IR and UV-Vis
  • Manuscript writing experience
  • Strong English language skills (writing and speaking) are required 


  • PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or related field
  • Polymer chemistry, photochemistry
  • Grant writing experience
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Workshop experience
  • Methods to study protein mechanisms and interactions (including gel electrophoresis, western blotting, zymography, enzymes activity and kinetics, immunoassays, fluorescent assays)
  • General microbiology techniques (growth and manipulation of bacterial strains, plating, isolation of single colonies, biofilm analysis) and methods to study bacterial physiology (antimicrobial tests, assessment of growth rate and viability, imaging analysis)


The Research Associate is a full time position that comes with competitive medical, dental, vision and retirement benefits.  This position is located in the RLSB just south of downtown Portland.  More information at

Polymeric materials provide a versatile platform for innovation in many different applications. Our laboratory focuses on developing novel monomers and oligomeric additives, with a strong emphasis on...


*Please apply online at, then search using 2021-7925.


Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or


Carmem S. Pfeifer, DDS, PhD
Associate Professor
Biomaterials and Biomechanics, OHSU