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Washington University of St. Louis Postdoctoral Research Associate - Otolaryngology - 49910 in St. Louis, Missouri

Post Doc Instructions

Please do not submit an application to this posting. To apply for this postdoctoral research opportunity, follow the directions below in “Applicant Special Instructions”.

Department Name/Job Location

This position is in the Department of Otolaryngology. This position is for the Medical School Campus.

Essential Functions


We are seeking a full-time postdoctoral researcher to contribute to new and ongoing experiments in our hearing science laboratory.

Our research addresses questions related to the origins of physiologic measurements from the ear. Physiologic measurements of hearing and vestibular function are routinely used in clinics and basic science laboratories. Despite progress, there are gaps in knowledge about the cellular and spatial location in the inner ear where many physiologic measurements originate. For example, elevated hearing thresholds are measured daily in clinics worldwide, but we do not know exactly which cochlear cell types contribute to the threshold measurements or where along the cochlear length the cells are located. The present goal of our work is to identify the origins of objective measurements of hearing to improve their use in understanding the causes of hearing loss, for differential diagnosis, for treatment monitoring, and for studying the mechanics of hearing.

We use a variety of challenging approaches in a guinea pig model. We can provide training for surgical techniques even if you do not have any prior surgical experience. One approach we use involves ablation of the endolymphatic sac to induce endolymphatic hydrops. Another approach we use sequentially delivers drug solutions to finely spaced cochlear regions using gentle perfusions into the cochlear apex. This technique overcomes the losses of drug concentrations associated with the classical use of passive, uncontrolled round window drug delivery. We currently use postmortem histological and immunohistochemistry techniques to image the inner ear, and anticipate using newer approaches to visualize structures of the intact and live ear. These approaches are used to addresses long-standing questions of high scientific and clinical interest that still do not have answers: 1) What is the origin of the hearing loss and other symptoms that patients with Meniere’s disease experience? 2) Where along the cochlea does cochlear amplification and otoacoustic emissions originate?

Your primary role will be to make measurements using our customized data acquisition rigs, complete preliminarily analyses, and to participate in writing manuscripts. Studies initiated by you would be highly encouraged. Over the past seven years we have successfully trained four postdocs (one PhD, two AuDs, and one MD) that have contributed to a total of 10 publications, five manuscripts that have been submitted or are in preparation, and five trainee-initiated grants or awards.

Required Qualifications

PhDs, AuDs, or MDs are encouraged to apply.

Salary Range

Base pay commensurate with experience.

Pre-Employment Screening

All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.

Department Summary

The Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University in St. Louis has a strong history of making major contributions to the field of hearing and vestibular science. At present, we have over 20 active scientists and an exciting atmosphere with a sense of community that mediates productive research. This advertised position is for the Lichtenhan Laboratory. Collaborating investigators for our ongoing projects, who you would have the opportunity to learn from, are John J. Guinan Jr. PhD (cochlear mechanics), Alec N. Salt Ph.D. (pharmacokinetics of inner ear drug delivery), Shawn S. Goodman Ph.D. (acoustics and signal processing), and Craig A. Buchman M.D. FACS (electrocochleography during human ear surgeries).

Additional information on being a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis can be found at postdoc.wustl.edu/prospective-postdocs.


This position is eligible for full-time benefits. Please click the following link to view a summary of benefits: https://hr.wustl.edu/benefits/.

Applicant Special Instructions

Please send inquires and CVs to Jeffery T. Lichtenhan, Ph.D.: jlichtenhan@wustl.edu.

The starting date for this position can be flexible, but the ideal candidate would be available March 1, 2021.

EOE Statement

Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate - Otolaryngology - 49910

Job ID: 49910

Location: Medical School

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular