Postdoctoral Associate

School of Medicine / Ophthalmology

Start Date: Immediate

Funding sources: NIH and private foundation support


A postdoctoral associate position is available in the Advanced Ophthalmic Imaging Laboratory (Rossi Lab) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine for a highly motivated researcher with an interest in applying advanced adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy techniques to study the living human retina at the level of single cells. The candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to multiple ongoing investigations into normal aging, age-related macular degeneration, retinal dystrophies, and other retinal diseases.

Candidates from a broad set of backgrounds will be considered for this position that will utilize advanced ophthalmic imaging tools to study normal aging and age-related macular degeneration and other retinal dystrophies through imaging of human study participants. Much of this work will be carried out using an adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) and will center around two funded projects that are focused on aging and retinal dystrophies, respectively. The first is an NIH funded R01 study of aging and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that aims to define AMD onset by determining when normal aging diverges to become AMD. The second is a study funded by a private foundation that seeks to develop strategies for imaging the remaining cells in retinal dystrophies when the photoreceptors are lost or damaged. These investigations will utilize the autofluorescence and off-axis imaging capabilities of the Rossi Lab AOSLO. The candidate will spend approximately half of their time on each of these projects and will have the opportunity to pursue some independent lines of investigation.

The lab uses a range of techniques to study the normal and diseased retina in addition to AOSLO, including flood illumination adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy, optical coherence tomography, confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, genotyping, microperimetery and psychophysics. We also have plans to add some exciting new advanced instrumentation to the lab in the coming year. The candidate will have the opportunity to deploy any or all of these tools in their research. They will be expected to work closely with students, laboratory staff and our clinical collaborators towards the successful completion of our project aims.

The Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Research Center (OVSRC) hosts a number of outstanding researchers in the vision sciences and is supported by an NIH core grant and NEI training grant. The University of Pittsburgh has exceptional resources and opportunities for career development. A customized training program will be tailored to the candidate that will be designed to evolve highly talented candidates into independent investigators. The candidate will have opportunities for training and collaboration with a number of leading laboratories in the United States and abroad, including the Institut de la Vision in Paris and ONERA, the French defense aerospace lab. Pittsburgh is an affordable and vibrant city with excellent cultural institutions and is often voted as among the most livable cities in the US. This is a focused postdoctoral opportunity for a fixed term of two years with the possibility of one-year renewal and maximum term of three years (contingent on performance and funding).


An ambitious, motivated, and independent scientist with a Ph.D. in optics, bioengineering or a related discipline is sought. An ideal candidate will have experience with adaptive optics, optical imaging or ophthalmoscopy. Some programming experience with MATLAB, Python and/or C/C++ is required. Experience with image analysis software, such as ImageJ is desired. Previous experience with adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy and/or scanning laser microscopy would be optimal but is not required. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, technical expertise, attention to detail, and scientific and engineering creativity are essential. Interested candidates should send curriculum vitae (CV), cover letter stating research interests and contact information for three references to Dr. Ethan A. Rossi via Email:

Ethan A. Rossi
Assistant Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
203 Lothrop Street
Eye & Ear Institute, 8th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Office: 412-647-0325
Cell: 585-748-3516