Postdoctoral Fellowship in Retinal Cell Therapy Development

Please refer to reference number PDFO-54825 when applying for this position.


The School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) position co-supervised by Dr. Christopher Laver (Maxwell Therapeutics Inc. & UBC SBME) and Professor Stephanie Willerth (PI, Willerth Lab at UVic & cross-appointed at UBC SBME).

This PDF position will be located at UBC’s Vancouver Point Grey Campus, primarily within the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) & ICICS buildings. Secondary Vancouver sites include the Eye Care Centre and Jack Bell Research Centre (at Vancouver General Hospital).

We are seeking a PDF to lead the “Retinal Organoid & Graft Development” sub-team of our Retinal Cell-therapy Research program – a joint R&D initiative between: UBC, UVic, Maxwell Inc., SBME Innovation Hub, e@UBC, and CCRM-West, over the next 4 years.

Qualifications of applicant:


  • Have completed a relevant PhD (e.g., in CNS tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, or stem cell biology) within the last 5 years.
  • Be highly motivated, organized, a good communicator (written and verbal), and passionate about tissue engineering.
  • Thrive in a team environment and mentoring/team-building role.
  • Have a strong desire to conduct translational research in close collaboration with industry (i.e., this project’s UBC-startup, Maxwell Therapeutics Inc. incubated at SBME Innovation Hub & e@UBC).

Ideally, expertise in:

  • Stem cells & regenerative medicine, and neural directed-differentiation of PSCs.
  • Advanced cell-culture and tissue engineering techniques (e.g., organoids, bioprinting, etc.).
  • Immuno-histo/-cyto chemistry, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry/FACS, and RNAseq, single-cell sequencing (e.g., 10X).

Responsibilities & training:

  • Lead retinal organoid & graft development and publication, with guidance and oversight from Dr. Laver & the rest of the Vancouver/UBC team, and in close collaboration with the Willerth Lab (UVic).
  • Mentor MSc, Co-op, and Honours students.
  • Work closely with Maxwell Inc. to advance this R&D initiative and assist in developing joint academia-industry funding opportunities.
  • Your training will also incorporate technology-transfer and university-startup mechanics; including, the option to join e@UBC and CDL-West incubator sessions.
  • The candidate will be directly supervised by Dr. Laver (daily/weekly) and co-supervised virtually (bi-weekly) by Professor Willerth (UVic).

Duration & Salary:

This full-time PDF position has an initial 1-year appointment (as per UBC policy for PDFs), with the potential for annual renewal/promotion (a key objective of this position) over the 4-year project. This is intended to be a growth position.

This position is geared towards PDFs interested in an industry path & University spin-off company building. A potential path example over the next 4 years: first 1-2 years as a PDF, years 3-4 as a Research Associate/Scientist, followed by full-time Senior Scientist/Division Head/or C-level within Maxwell Therapeutics Inc.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

Candidate-held Fellowships/Awards covering full-salary would be additive to a full base-salary (e.g., typically resulting a 40-60% top-up; this is negotiable).

The anticipated start date is Winter/Spring 2021 (this is negotiable). Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information of 3 references, addressed to Dr. Christopher Laver at, who is leading this R&D initiative and recruiting. Please make sure to Cc Prof. Stephanie Willerth at

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

How to apply?

Applicants should send enquiries by email and refer to reference number PDFO-54825.

Duration: Fixed term / Temporary
Contract Type: Full Time


Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence.  An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.  We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.