Fast-focusing 3D optical microscopy for imaging excitable tissues - PHY- PhD (Funded)
Health and Medical,Medical Technology,Biological Sciences,Molecular Biology and Biophysics,Physical and Environmental Sciences,Physics and Astronomy
Short info about job
Company: University of Exeter
Department: College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Hours: Full Time
Type / Role: PhD
Phone: +44-1431 1892364
Fax: +44-1327 3811401
Detail information about job Fast-focusing 3D optical microscopy for imaging excitable tissues - PHY- PhD (Funded). Terms and conditions vacancy
A PhD studentship is available within a new biophotonics laboratory within the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Exeter. This is a fully funded studentship with tuition fees paid for UK, EU and International students. The studentship also comes with a stipend of £14,553/year for 3.5 years and £500/year to attend conferences and events. The successful candidate will develop a new fast-scanning microscope to capture dynamic events in living heart tissue.
Advanced optical microscopy has provided a new window into biological processes. Temporal resolution is being extended further than ever before to capture fast biological events in excitable tissue. New methods that allow spatial and temporal resolution to be traded dynamically, together with improvements in commercial detector capabilities have heralded a new era in live tissue imaging. The overall goal of this project is to develop a new advanced optical microscope from the ground up for the imaging of cardiac dynamics. The system will incorporate a ‘fast focusing’ component which has the ability to rapidly acquire images from a user-defined plane within a 3D volume. This provides unprecedented flexibility to the way in which volumetric information can be acquired and is expected to shed new light on how changes in cellular physiology can generate timing irregularities across the whole heart.
You will join a team of around 40 researchers within the Biomedical Physics group. This group investigates all aspects of tissue biophysics using a diverse range of techniques from super-resolution microscopy and non-linear optics to vibrational spectroscopy and tissue biomechanics (see: http://emps.exeter.ac.uk/physics-astronomy/research/biomedical/). The group is physically located in both within the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Living Systems Institute (LSI). The LSI opened in 2017 and provides a multidisciplinary research centre combining the talents of physicists, biologists, engineers and mathematicians to progress our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning disease.
Specific technical skills required to complete the project include:
- - Experience of practical optics to aid the design and construction of the fast-focusing microscope.
- - Computational modelling of the optical microscope (MATLAB and ZEMAX) and experience with Fourier optics, image formation and image processing to interpret the three-dimensional image data.
- - Experience in electrical engineering to coordinate signal I/O between camera, beam scanners and fast focus actuator.
- - Desire to learn tissue handling and sample preparation techniques.
- - Ability to communicate outcomes of research through journal papers and conference presentations.
You will be supported in achieving these goals through a wide variety of training and postgraduate courses available across the university. The successful applicant will ideally have a background in physics/engineering, be strongly self-motivated with good problem-solving skills. Strong programming skills, with an understanding of lasers and optics would be a distinct advantage.
You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in a physics or engineering discipline. Experience in optics and programming is desirable.
For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisor, Dr Alex Corbett.
This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,553 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.