NRC Research Associate Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies - AFRL

  sign inOpen Printer View

Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Molecular Tools for Biosignatures Tracking


Airman Systems Directorate, RHB/Medical and Operational Biosciences Group

RO# Location
13.15.15.B8531 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433


name email phone
Jorge Luis Chavez Benavides 352.672.1132


The Molecular Tools for Biosignature Tracking group (711 HPW/RHXB) is focused on engineering molecular tools to create systems that sense and respond to different types of analytes with a focus on biomarkers of stress, fatigue, and cognitive performance. Our technical work integrates the selection and design of biorecognition elements (BREs) that can bind different types of analytes, from small molecules to proteins, and their integration in different sensor platforms. We are particularly interested in nucleic acid (NAs)-based BREs due to their high affinity and selectivity and the ability to engineer different types of reporter signals upon analyte binding. This versatility provides the potential to create technological solutions to improve the Airman’s performance, from biomarker changes tracking in biofluids during in-the-field activities to neurochemicals tracking in the brain and peripheral tissue. We combined experimental and modelling tools to understand and improve BRE performance in different environments, including the interface of nanomaterials, in cellular systems and within larger multifunctional NA structures.



Chávez JL, et al: “Plasmonic aptamer–gold nanoparticle sensors for small molecule fingerprint identification”. Analyst 139: 6214-6222, 2014

Sanghavi BJ, et al: “Aptamer-functionalized nanoparticles for surface immobilization-free electrochemical detection of cortisol in a microfluidic device”. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 78: 244-252, 2016

Smith JE, Chávez JL, et al: “Design and Development of Aptamer-Gold Nanoparticle Based Colorimetric Assays for In-the-field Applications”. Journal of Visualized Experiments 112: e54063, 2016


Human performance; Biomarkers; Nucleic acids; Biosignatures; Nanomaterials; Nucleic acids modelling;


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


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$76,542.00 $4,000.00

$3,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

Copyright © 2022. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Terms of Use and Privacy Policy