06/03/2018

Post-doctoral position on second-harmonic imaging of biotissue with optical-fiber-based light collection

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    PhysicsOptics
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    15/08/2018 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Belgium › Brussels
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    38
  • OFFER STARTING DATE
    02/09/2018

This job is offered by the Brussels Photonics (B-PHOT) group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium. B-PHOT, chaired by prof. Hugo Thienpont, is a renowned photonics research group which has been active in the field for more than 25 years. With 45 international experts in fundamental and applied photonics research, B-PHOT covers the entire research cycle from modelling and fabrication to characterization and proof-of-concept demonstration (http://www.b-phot.org/). In recent years, B-PHOT also acquired both theoretical and experimental expertise on nonlinear photonics in fibers and in on-chip waveguides (see e.g. ERC Starting Grant project NEXCENTRIC of prof. Nathalie Vermeulen). Particularly, the group achieved important breakthroughs in the modelling of nonlinear optical phenomena in graphene (see e.g. [Cheng et al., New Journal of Physics 16, 053014 (2014)]), in the fabrication and patterning of graphene-covered photonic chips [Van Erps et al., Optics Express Express 23, 26639 (2015)], and in the demonstration of groundbreaking nonlinear optical effects with these chips [Vermeulen et al., Physical Review Applied 6, 044006 (2016)], [Vermeulen et al., Nature Communications, in press (2018)].

The offered job post will be supervised by prof. Nathalie Vermeulen and will be focused on nonlinear second-harmonic imaging of biotissue with optical-fiber-based light collection in the frame of the multidisciplinary research project CHARMING. The CHARMING project, funded by the Belgian EOS (Excellence of Science) programme and involving 7 partners with B-PHOT member prof. Francis Berghmans as project coordinator, targets at paradigm-shifting research in fiber-based biomedical imaging and sensing. It has kicked-off in May 2018 and will have a total duration of 4 years. A brief project description can be found below:

CHARMING

(Carbon nanomaterial enHanced opticAl fibRes for bioMedical Imaging and seNsinG)

Optical fibres are very well-known for their application in telecommunications. In the last decades, they have also become increasingly popular in biomedical applications, where they are used as very sensitive sensors to detect minute amounts of biological cells or as flexible light sources enabling in-vivo microscopy of biological tissue, and as such allow for early diagnosis of medical conditions. At the same time, new so-called ‘nanocarbon' materials with very particular characteristics have emerged, i.e. graphene and carbon nanotubes. The former is made of a sheet-like single layer of carbon atoms, whilst the latter consists of nanoscale hollow tubes rolled-up from the same carbon sheet. They both feature unique mechanical, electrical and optical properties. CHARMING's objective is to exploit these exceptional properties and to supplement them with the proven cutting-edge potential of optical fibre-based sensors and imaging systems to produce a novel class of devices for detecting and visualizing cancer cells with unprecedented sensitivity. More specifically, CHARMING will research into nanocarbon equipped optical fibres enabling the detection of down to 10 cancer cells as well as imaging of proteins in a tumorous environment with a 10-fold better sensitivity compared to current systems. By delivering this technology, CHARMING aims to contribute to the advent of advanced fibre-based tools empowering early in-vivo cancer diagnosis.

Job description

The objective for this Post-Doc position is to develop a setup for second-harmonic imaging of biotissue with optical-fiber-based light collection. The laser source providing the pump light will be a state-of-the-art pulsed optical parametric oscillator with tuneable wavelength, and the fiber to be employed in the setup will be a special microstructured fiber containing carbon nanotubes, bringing additional functionalities to the fiber allowing a higher imaging sensitivity. In a first stage, the Post-Doc researcher will prepare a free-space imaging setup with overhead excitation/detection using microscope objectives and state-of-the-art detectors and cameras already available at B-PHOT. Later on he/she will turn this free-space setup into a fiber-based configuration. The Post-Doc researcher will collaborate with other B-PHOT members who will design and fabricate the fiber, as well as with the University of Antwerp (Antwerp, Belgium) and the Université Libre De Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium) which are in charge of, respectively, the carbon-based material preparation and the biotissue preparation. In view of the groundbreaking nature of the targeted research, there will be plenty of opportunity for the Post-Doc researcher to strengthen his/her research track record with high-impact publications.

Research profile

  • Candidates should have a PhD degree in Photonics or Physics.
  • Both experimental experience and theoretical insights on second-harmonic microscopy are required. Candidates who also have practical experience with optical fibers will be favored.
  • Candidates should be able to carry out their research activities in an independent manner, whilst having excellent communication skills and a positive attitude towards collaboration. Regular interaction in a professional and constructive manner with the B-PHOT team members and with the project partners will be crucial.
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English (CEFR level C1 or equivalent) is required.
  • Candidates should be prepared to travel to the CHARMING project partners for joint experiments and meetings.

The available Post-Doc position has a duration of 3 years (and extension possible) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. After a first period of six months, the Post-Doc will be evaluated, and the contract will be extended only if the evaluation is positive.

Interested? Please send your detailed CV (including a copy of the PhD diploma), at least 2 letters of recommendation, your publication list and a concise motivation letter to Ms. Majorie Jammaers (majorie.jammaers@vub.be) by e-mail before the 15th of August 2018. Besides the criteria enlisted above, applications will be evaluated based on their overall quality.

More information on this position can be requested via e-mail from Prof. Nathalie Vermeulen (nvermeul@vub.ac.be). If your application is selected based on your CV and the accompanying documents, you will be invited for a teleconference interview and online tests.

Benefits

Most of the work will be conducted at the VUB Photonics Innovation Centre, Vollezelestraat 46, 1755 Gooik, Belgium. This centre is located at VUB’s Photonics Campus in Gooik outside of Brussels, and is a totally new research facility with world-unique large-scale equipment for the fabrication, characterization and demonstration of photonic components. Part of its equipment is placed in clean room conditions, and the facility is currently being expanded with dedicated labs for advanced material and fiber processing. The brand-new offices at the Photonics Innovation Centre host about 20 B-PHOT researchers. More information about the centre can be found at: http://www.b-phot.org/www/Industrial-photonics/Photonics-Innovation-Center

As an employee of VUB you will receive a salary on one of the pay scales laid down by the government, depending on your experience and academic merits. Hospitalisation cover and free use of public transport for travel to and from work are standard conditions of employment. If you would rather cycle to work, compensation is also available for that.

More information is available at www.vub.ac.be under the heading ‘future employees’.

Eligibility criteria

Please send your detailed CV (including a copy of the PhD diploma), at least 2 letters of recommendation, your publication list and a concise motivation letter to Ms. Majorie Jammaers (majorie.jammaers@vub.be) by e-mail before 15th of August 2018.

Additional comments

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a dynamic university with 4 campuses in and around Brussels, one of which is dedicated to photonics research. The university has 8 faculties that accomplish the three central missions of the university: education, research, and service to the community. The faculties cover a broad range of fields of knowledge including natural sciences, classics, life sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering. The university provides bachelor, master, and doctoral education to over 15,000 students, 21% of which are international. It also is a strongly research-oriented institute, which has led to its #182 ranking among universities worldwide. With more than 150 internationally recognised research teams, VUB performs high-level fundamental and applied research. Thanks to the creation of more than 20 spin-offs in various domains, VUB plays a prominent role in attracting and instigating new economic activity in and around the Brussels-Capital Region.

Teaching and research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are founded on the principle of unfettered inquiry to benefit the progress of mankind. This means rejecting dogmatic positions and guaranteeing the freedom to form opinions without interference; in this way the University aims to ensure the dispersal of the principle of unfettered inquiry throughout society.

The University is autonomous and democratically run. This means guaranteeing the exercise of the fundamental freedoms within the University, as well as the right of the University Community to participate in the decision making process and scrutiny of University policy.

The following form part of the University’s mission:

  • the development, the communication and the application of a high level of academic education and scientific research, free from all preconceived ideas;
  • the translation of these ideals and knowledge into society in the spirit of social engagement;
  • the creation of a society in which everyone is capable of engaging in critical thinking.

Required Research Experiences

  • RESEARCH FIELD
    PhysicsOptics
  • YEARS OF RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
    4 - 10
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Engineering
  • YEARS OF RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
    4 - 10

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
    Physics: PhD or equivalent
    Engineering: PhD or equivalent
  • REQUIRED LANGUAGES
    ENGLISH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications

  • Candidates should have a PhD degree in Photonics or Physics.
  • Both experimental experience and theoretical insights on second-harmonic microscopy are required. Candidates who also have practical experience with optical fibers will be favored.
  • Candidates should be able to carry out their research activities in an independent manner, whilst having excellent communication skills and a positive attitude towards collaboration. Regular interaction in a professional and constructive manner with the B-PHOT team members and with the project partners will be crucial.
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English (CEFR level C1 or equivalent) is required.
  • Candidates should be prepared to travel to the CHARMING project partners for joint experiments and meetings.

Besides the criteria enlisted above, applications will be evaluated based on their overall quality.

Specific Requirements

Since most of the research will be conducted at the VUB Photonics Innovation Centre, which is situated outside Brussels, candidates preferably have a driving license recognized as valid in the EU. They should also be prepared to travel to the CHARMING project partners for joint experiments and meetings.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Belgium
Brussels
1050
Pleinlaan 2

EURAXESS offer ID: 285757

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