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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Investigation of Biological Response to Electromagnetic Exposure


711 Human Performance Wing, RHD/Bioeffects Division

RO# Location
13.15.10.B8076 Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234


Name E-mail Phone
Beier, Hope T 210.539.8199


Understanding the mechanism(s) underlying the interaction of electromagnetic (laser, thermal, short-pulse electric) energies with biological systems is integral for development of novel technologies provided by interfacing these energies with biology. We aim to understand the electromagnetic exposure biophysics effects at the cellular and sub-cellular component levels, and how this interaction can drive changes in cellular physiology. We are particularly interested in the mechanism(s) underlying infrared (IR) stimulation of neuronal action potentials and the possibility that thermodynamic effects (thermal, pressure, electrical) can increase the probability for spontaneous formation of aqueous channels in the lipid plasma membrane. These channels may allow the influx of ions into the cytosol to initiate the observed cellular effects.

This project focuses on understanding the subtle impacts of electromagnetic energy on cells, with a particular focus on the plasma membrane. Depending on the interests of the researcher, advanced optical imaging techniques such as coherent Raman scattering, high-speed imaging, STED, or confocal or multi-photon microscopy may be used to observe the effects on cells from neuron stimulation by electromagnetic sources. Additionally, wave propagation in neurons may be explored with laser trapping and fluorescence correlation. Applicatns with expertise in neuroscience seeking to expand their techniques repertoire by combining optical approaches with single cell events, such as patch clamp for investigation of their observed cell response phenomenon, are particularly desired, as well as those individuals with demonstrated experience with novel optical sensing and imaging applications.



Moen E, Ibey BL, Beier HT: Biophysical Journal 106: L37-L40, 2014

Beier HT, et al: Biophysical Research Communications 423(4): 863, 2012


Electromagnetic interaction with biology; Plasma membrane; Neuron; Microscopy; Electrophysiology; Action potential; Nanoporation; Neuronal ion channels; STED;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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