Join?

Postdoctoral researchers

Well-qualified postdoctoral candidates interested in joining the group should e-mail me at vanderwel@pitt.edu. I will be glad to discuss opportunities and provide any further information.

Graduate & Medical students

Students interested in (future) graduate training and research in the Van der Wel lab are encouraged to email me at vanderwel@pitt.edu. Several current and prior graduate students came via the interdisciplinary graduate program in Molecular Biophysics & Structural Biology of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. We are also affiliated with the Pitt/CMU MD-PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP). Other training, research or collaborative arrangements may be possible – please get in touch!

Undergraduate research opportunities

Undergraduate students who are interested in our research are also encouraged to contact us with inquiries. Among other opportunities, we frequently participate in a 10-week summer research program – the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). For more information contact us, or visit this Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology graduate program webpage or the SURP page directly. We also participate in the First Experiences in Research program of the University of Pittsburgh.

Research topics & information

Our research group uses solid state NMR to study various biological topics, predominantly through the use of magic angle spinning (MAS) solid state NMR, with a particular focus on the structural and biophysical characterization of proteins. (1) Membrane protein studies focused on the functional interplay between the lipid membrane and membrane-bound proteins.  (2) Investigations into (disease-related) protein misfolding and aggregation. This includes for instance our ongoing studies of Huntington’s Disease and related disorders.. See  the links to the right, for further  information.

Location / Environment

The Department of Structural Biology features collaborative research groups that address structural biology through a variety of techniques, with expertise in amyloid studies, solution state NMR, (cryo) EM, and X-ray crystallography. It is housed in a modern research building and includes state-of-the-art equipment and wet lab resources. The solid state NMR group has specific access to Bruker wide-bore 750 and 600 MHz magnets, which are well-equipped with multiple MAS as well as static solid state NMR probes. The lab is located near the campuses of the University of Pittsburgh, the UPMC medical center, and Carnegie Mellon University, in a scientifically stimulating environment. We are also affiliated with the university’s Protein Conformational Disease Center and the Brain Institute. The city of Pittsburgh itself is a top-rated yet affordable place to live.