The attoworld research (www.attoworld.de) is a major joint initiative of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Germany. To achieve new level of molecular fingerprinting of probing biological systems, we leverage on combining cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies with novel molecular fingerprinting techniques and advance a new type of mid-infrared spectroscopy on the electric-field level. The consortium of a highly interdisciplinary team of laser physicists, data scientists, molecular biologists, and clinical personnel are focusing on demonstrating how state-of-the-art laser-based field-resolved infrared spectroscopy (FRS) can be utilized for probing complex organic matter such as living tissues and cells (Pupeza, Huber et al.; Nature 577(7788), 2020).
We are seeking for highly-motivated candidates interested in the development and implementation of femtosecond-laser-driven field-resolved infrared spectroscopy for the study of living systems, such as human cells. In particular, the goal is to combine infrared fingerprinting with fluidics to pave the way of label-free high-throughput classification of individual cells for a wide range of biomedical applications.
The workplace is at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), Attosecond Physics Division. The research is within the BIRD team (Broadband InfraRed Diagnostics group, lead by Mihaela Zigman), performed in close collaboration with the Faculty of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), located at the research campus Garching, north of Munich. The candidate will work in a highly international and interdisciplinary team in direct collaboration with laser scientists, engineers, developing the next generation laser-based infrared spectrometers, as well as the molecular and life scientists supporting the biological side.
The main subject will be upgrade of existing field-resolved spectrometer to enable high-throughput infrared spectroscopy of living cells and biofluids. This includes the construction of an optical modules that enables:
- dispersion-free focusing of the mid-infrared beam on the dimensions of the cells under investigation;
- simultaneous large-field high-speed imaging of the cells in flow in the microfluidic platform;
- automated spatial positioning of the microfluidic chip with respect to the laser focus and imaging plane.
Further tasks include:
- testing and optimization of microfluidic platforms that enable spatio-temporal control of cells and fluids and their integration with laser-based field-resolved spectroscopy;
- designing and conducting biological experiments in collaboration with biologists and medical partners;
- analyses and interpretation of obtained spectral data;
- writing and presenting the results of scientific work.
- PhD (or equivalent) in physics, biophysics, microengineering, biology, chemistry or related fields;
- proven experience in designing, setting up and adjusting complex optical systems (ideally with vacuum and fs-based optical systems);
- ability to work in an international environment;
- user-level computer management skills;
- strong motivation, ability to work independently but also well equipped for collaboration in this multidisciplinary project;
- ability to quickly adapt to a changing environment;
- team-spirited and motivated to share your scientific issues with a multicultural and diverse environment;
- quick learning and good communication skills, excellence in expressing in English, both orally and in written form;
- excellent planning skills, with a responsible mindset while keeping a high level of flexibility and accuracy
- a unique possibility to work within highly international environment, with state-of-the-art facilities, at cross-disciplinary research field - where the forefront of laser sciences are shaping the future of bio-medical applications;
- a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment;
- ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications – including professional training and workshops;
- the position is initially limited to two years with the possibility of an extension.
How to apply:
We are looking for outstanding candidates. If you have background in physics or similar, and your general interests spill over into the domain of life sciences and biomedicine, here is your chance to join true inter-disciplinary project!
Applications should consist of a single PDF (including a motivation letter, CV, publication list, and names of 3 references) to Dr. Mihaela Zigman. The screening of candidates will start in January 2023 and continue until the position is filled.
Dr. Mihaela Zigman