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PhD in Physics and Astronomy - Light-sheet microscopy for structural and functional studies of cardiac conduction pathways

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Caroline Muellenbroich
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A PhD studentship is available in the Imaging Concepts Group at Glasgow University, researching advanced light-sheet microscopy. The aim of the project is to develop new biophotonic tools for the optical study of structure and function of cardiac conduction pathways in murine hearts.

Light-sheet microscopy has proven a versatile tool due to its unique optical sectioning approach which allows for fast wide-field acquisition over a large field of view. Recent advances such as axial tiling have further allowed to uncouple the lateral extend of the field of view from the axial resolution achieving isotropic resolution. In a first step, the student will build a custom light-sheet microscope specifically designed for the imaging of optically cleared specimen. Secondly, the student will design and construct a novel imaging platform based on oblique plane microscopy (OPM)/ single-objective light sheet microscopy for the functional imaging of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocyte tissue cultures.

Research challenges for this project could include:
• Obtaining true isotropic resolution over the whole heart at cellular resolution.
• Correlating structural information obtained with the light-sheet microscope to previously obtained functional information on cardiac conduction
• Feasibility studies of rapid measurements of cardiac electric activity in iPSC cardiomyocyte tissue cultures using fast volumetric imaging techniques such as OPM
• Integrating this microscope with a system for simultaneous closed loop optogenetic stimulation

Applications are invited for full time PhD scholarship open to UK/EU candidates. This scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis; applicants must therefore show high potential and demonstrate the following:

• Academic qualifications
Applicants must have an upper second- or first-class BSc degree, MSc degree or equivalent in an appropriate technical discipline, or the expectation of obtaining this by the start of the project. Suitable candidates may come from a diverse range of backgrounds including physics and engineering or a related physical science, but a commitment to cross-disciplinary collaborative working is essential.

• Skills/Attributes
o Proven problem-solving skills and research creativity, able to apply own strong academic knowledge to unfamiliar interdisciplinary scenarios
o Experience and aptitude in working on problems in optical setups, lasers or experimental imaging with very practical applications in the life sciences
o Self-motivation, initiative and independent thought/working
o Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach
o Excellent communication skills (oral and written) in an appropriate range of contexts

Prospective applicants should send a CV and covering letter to Dr Caroline Müllenbroich, [Email Address Removed] , describing briefly what interests them about this specific project, and detailing how they meet the above criteria. Informal inquiries are also welcomed at the same address. Applicants may submit applications up until the application deadline of 12 noon, Monday 2nd March 2020. Funding is available for an October start.

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK and EU applicants, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £15,245 for Session 2020-21).

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