Research Fellow in Cell Mechanics and Biophotonics – AR1976AC

University of St Andrews - School of Physics and Astronomy

A post-doctoral fellowship is available immediately to work in the Soft Matter Photonics Lab of Professor Malte Gather.   

We are a dynamic and creative group that develops new and innovative photonic tools for the life sciences.  Since 2010, we published over 100 papers, including twelve in Nature or Science titled journals. Inspired by Prof Gather’s invention of the biological laser (one of IOP’s Top 10 Breakthroughs in Physics), we recently developed a novel interference-based method to image cellular forces [Nature Cell Biology 19, 864 (2017)]. This technique provides extreme mechanical sensitivity (in particular to vertical forces), long-term time-lapse capability, robust operation without need for zero-force reference images, and fully automated data acquisition and analysis. These unique features allow us to address important open questions in cell biology and to study a number of biological systems, both in cooperation with other groups and independently.   

Our group runs its own state-of-the-art cell culture facility, operates several high-end microscopes, an AFM for cell imaging and manipulation (first-of-its-kind in the UK), and has a range of equipment to quickly assemble prototype imaging and sensing systems (sensitive EMCCD and sCMOS cameras, tuneable lasers, high-end spectrometers).  We use the School’s brand new clean room and access shared confocal and super-resolution microscopes, cell sorters, electrophysiology, fast-spectroscopy, etc.  We have active collaborations with groups at Harvard Medical School, University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Universität Heidelberg and University of Iceland.  

Within this fellowship you will work with our new method for imaging of cellular forces, pushing its boundaries by further development and/or applying it to current questions in mechanobiology, related e.g. to cancer progression, neuron mechanics, immune cells, podocytes, bacteria biofilms, and microorganisms.Depending on your background and preference, the work can be steered towards either further method development or their application. Initiative to develop new projects will be supported.  

You should hold a PhD in physics, biology, chemistry or a related subject and have experience in cell mechanics, device fabrication or advanced microscopy. Eagerness to work at the interface between physics and biology and to explore new ideas is essential. The fellowship is available for up to five years although the appointment will normally be for one year in the first instance. There is a possibility to appoint two candidates with complementary expertise.  

Informal enquiries to Professor Gather - mcg6@st-andrews.ac.uk

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through our working on diversity awards (ECU Athena SWAN/Race Charters; Carer Positive; LGBT Charter; and Stonewall).  More details can be found at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/hr/edi/diversityawards/  

Please quote ref:  AR1976AC

Further Particulars:
AR1976AC FPs.pdf

We encourage applicants to apply online, however if you are unable to do this, please call +44 (0)1334 462571 for an application pack.    

The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland (No SC013532).

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