PhD Studentship: Super-Resolution Imaging

University of Cambridge - Department of Chemistry

Applications are invited for a 4-year PhD studentship from October 2018 in the group led by Dr Steven Lee, developing next-generation novel flourophores for multi-dimensional super-resolution imaging.

In fluorescence localisation microcopy, the ultimate limitation is the signal detected above background.  Future improvements therefore require either reducing background sources of (auto)fluorescence or increasing the wanted fluorescence photons.  Despite virtually all review articles in the field concluding with a 'plea' for new probes with improved photo-physical properties, the community as a whole has been slow to adapt.  Therefore the next key challenge in the field, is not only the synthesis of new chemical derivatives, but also alternative strategies, including a better understanding of how they actually work.  This fundamental understanding of how light interacts with matter will not only lead to new structure-function relationships, but will be completely essential for new biological insights.  Recent examples of the application our work where novel labeling modalities have enabled new biological insight include the first example of single-cell HiC and 3D super-localisation of a chromatin remodelling complex (see Nature, 544, 59-64, (2017)), and attempting to understand the role of human immunity by confirming the kinetic segregation model of T cell triggering (see Nature Immunology, 17, 574, (2016)).

Applicants must have (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK first class or upper second-class honours degree (and preferably a Masters) in chemistry or related area, and should have experience in biophysics, chemical synthesis, physical chemistry, optics, or photonics. Experience with single-molecule fluorescence techniques, hardware automation, and programming would be highly advantageous. Candidates should have a keen interest in applying physical methods to complex biological systems, although no prior knowledge of biology is required, and enjoy working in a highly multidisciplinary collaborative environment.

The studentship will provide a maintenance grant and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.  Non-EU nationals will be considered only if they can cover the differential for overseas tuition fees.

Applications should include a cover letter, a CV, detailed academic transcripts and the contact details for at least two academic referees, and should be emailed to Dr Steven Lee (email: Applicants should contact Dr Lee in the first instance before submitting their application.

Please quote reference MA13938 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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