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Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Project Single-Molecule in Vivo Biosensor based on Microlasers

University of Exeter - Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

Location: Exeter
Salary: The starting salary will be from £41,732 to £44,263 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 21st February 2024
Closes: 6th March 2024
Job Ref: P91339

This new full time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis until 31 October 2024.

Summary of the role

The Faculty wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in developing a single molecule in vivo biosensor.

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented Postdoctoral Researcher to join our interdisciplinary team at the University of Exeter, Laboratory of Prof Vollmer, see vollmerlab.com.

The successful candidate will lead a pioneering research project focused on the development of single molecule in vivo biosensors based on whispering gallery modes (WGMs). This project presents an exciting opportunity to advance the frontier of biosensing technology and make significant contributions to the fields of biophotonics, molecular biology, and biomedical engineering.

Background: Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are a class of optical microresonators renowned for their ability to confine light waves within whispering gallery-like trajectories along the circumference of a circular or spherical cavity. These resonators exhibit exceptionally high quality (Q) factors, enabling prolonged photon lifetime and ultra-sensitive detection of minute changes in the surrounding environment. Over the years, WGM resonators have found diverse applications in optical sensing, spectroscopy, and telecommunications.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in leveraging the unique properties of WGM resonators for the development of single molecule biosensors. By functionalizing the resonator surface with specific biomolecular receptors, such as antibodies or aptamers, WGM biosensors can detect and quantify individual biomolecules with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity. This capability holds immense potential for elucidating fundamental biological processes, studying molecular interactions, and diagnosing diseases at the single molecule level.

Despite significant progress in the field of WGM biosensing, several challenges remain, particularly in extending these techniques to in vivo applications.

The job: In this context, the postdoctoral position aims to address the critical need for developing single molecule in vivo biosensors based on whispering gallery modes of microlasers. The successful candidate will play a pivotal role in advancing the frontier of WGM biosensing technology and overcoming the barriers to in vivo molecular detection. By integrating expertise in photonics, molecular biology, and biomedical engineering, the postdoctoral researcher will lead groundbreaking research efforts aimed at designing, fabricating, and characterizing WGM microlaser biosensors tailored for in vivo applications.

Please see the job advert for details of the responsilities of the role. 

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in photonics with applications to molecule sensing and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to fabricate whispering gallery mode microlasers, built experimental platform for excitation of microlasers, imaging and spectroscopy. Postdoc will have the skills to collaborate with biologists and develop in vivo sensing applications.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role.

Further information

Please contact Frank Vollmer, f.vollmer@exeter.ac.uk or telephone (01392) 72411.

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