Morgridge Careers

Student Research Assistant

Job ID
# of Openings

The Organization

The Morgridge Institute for Research is a private, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving human health through interdisciplinary biomedical research, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Morgridge Institute serves as a collaborative hub for investigators across UW-Madison to work together on fundamental biomedical questions, and engages more than 30,000 community members annually in scientific programming. The organization offers an extraordinary work environment built around a multi-disciplinary fusion of ideas, state-of-the-art facilities, and mentorship by groundbreaking science leaders. Research focus areas include regenerative biology and bioinformatics, virology, medical engineering, metabolism, core computational technology and bioethics. For additional information please visit:

The Opportunity

The Morgridge Institute for Research seeks an undergraduate research assistant for the Skala Lab within the Medical Engineering research focus area. The Skala lab is a new research lab within the Morgridge Institute. The lab collaborates with UW-Madison Biomedical Engineering to develop new methods to understand and combat cancer using photonics-based technologies and is particularly interested in developing personalized cancer treatment strategies, and in developing more effective cancer therapies. The Undergraduate Research Assistant will take on projects focused in two areas:


Control Application for Optical Imaging System

Build a standalone application for an existing custom laser-scanning optical imaging system. Currently, this control application is implemented in LabView and has significant performance issues. Building fast, low overhead, reliable code is key. This application can be broken down into three real-time processes:

Laser-scanning: Generating analog control signals with an NI DAQ that deflect two mirrors to steer the laser beam in a two-dimensional raster pattern.

High-speed data acquisition: Interfacing with a high-speed digitizer (Alazar Technologies) to acquire data at 1Gb/s and stream this directly to the preview image display or the hard drive.

Preview image display: Reconstruct images with ability to change display settings like contrast, brightness, etc.

Languages possible based on available SDKs for hardware components: C/C++, Python



GPU-Accelerated Image Analysis

Program a graphics processing unit (GPU) to perform real-time image analysis for a novel optical imaging technology. Currently, the data processing is performed in MATLAB on a CPU and requires a considerable amount of computing time for each image. This process could be accelerated by parallelizing the computation and executing it on a GPU. This project could be broken down into the following steps: identify processing steps that could be parallelized from the current CPU code, write sub-routines that would execute on the GPU, test and time the GPU processing to quantify the decrease in processing time.

Languages possible: CUDA C, MATLAB


Candidates should be working towards a Computer Science undergraduate degree and have an interest in working on real world applications. Candidates should have good communication skills, ability to work well with others, be responsible and organized, work both independently and within a dynamic research team. Candidates should be able to dedicate 10-15 hours a week in the laboratory. Prior experience with GPU-accelerated computing, building real-time applications, standalone application development, image processing, electronics, or optics highly desired.


To Apply:


Qualified individuals interested in this opportunity are required to submit a cover letter and resume as one document via the online career portal. To ensure consideration applicants should apply by November 15, 2017.


The Morgridge Institute for Research promotes and supports an inclusive and diverse environment and offers competitive salary and benefits.


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