Join us!

Leal Lab: New positions for Postdocs and Graduate Research Assistants (RAs)!

Overarching Topics:
  • Lipid nanoparticle development for drug and gene delivery
  • Living membrane/vesicle biophysics
  • Fundamental studies of lipid and polymer self-assembly
  • Live cell culture assays
  • Scattering/imaging characterization tools for soft materials

RAs: We hire students that have been accepted to a variety of PhD programs at UIUC including Materials Science & Engineering, Bioengineering, Biophysics, Chemical Engineering, or related fields.

Postdoctoral fellows: Please send Cecilia an email ( with your CV and a brief motivation statement for the position.

Active research projects: See details at:

Training opportunities: : Members of the Leal laboratory will have excellent training opportunities in every aspect of quantitative biomolecular materials science including: (i) x-ray scattering in-house and at synchrotron national labs (e.g. Argonne National Lab), (ii) state-of-the-art Cryo-EM imaging including tomography and microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED), (iii) quantitative live cell imaging and assays, (iv) biomolecular materials synthesis, (v) cell biology techniques including organelle isolation and protein purification, (vi) scientific writing including manuscripts and proposals, (vii) technical presentations at both national meetings and small conferences, and (viii) professional networking at meetings and among collaborators.

Desired skills (postdocs): Strong motivation for independant research; solid doctoral publication record; doctoral training in experimental soft materials, biophysics, chemistry, or a combination thereof; strong interest in quantitative biomolecular materials science.

Desired skills (RAs): Strong motivation for basic science research combined with engineering; strong academic records in the fields of materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, biophysics, bioengineering, or related fields; strong interest in quantitative biomolecular materials science.

Project funding: The lab operates under existing/renewable NIH and NSF grants, among others. RAs and postdocs will also be encouraged to apply for fellowship support when possible. Through extensive one-on-one mentoring, the lab has helped several trainees win fellowships and awards.

Career opportunities: Postdocs and graduate students from our group have gone on to pursue exciting careers in academia and industry.