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Postdoctoral Advanced Microscopy Specialist

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Quantitative correlative imaging of biological processes has now become mission critical in the biomedical sciences. In the recent years, state-of-the-art research has repeatedly demonstrated that the understanding of living systems demands technology with the capabilities to monitor dynamic processes scaling over multiple length- and time-scales, dissecting the functioning of living cells within their tissue micro-environment and context of human health and disease. Novel developments such as superresolution fluorescence Structural Illumination Microscopy (SIM) and the Lattice Light sheet Microscopy (LLSM) technologies are currently transforming how living single cells and tissue can be studied at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution, shaping the expectations to replace previous imaging technology such as confocal and widefield microscopy.

Central to this will be the creation of the UK’s first Biophotonic Correlative Optical Platform (BioCOP) for high-performance imaging over multiple length- and time-scales. The Biophysical Immunology (BPI; www.bpi-oxford.com) laboratory led by the Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) − Kennedy Trust Research Fellow Dr. Fritzsche aims to establish a new generation of fluorescence microscopy technology combining super-resolution and high-throughput LLSM imaging at one compact platform, which holds the potential to transform quantitative correlative imaging in the biological sciences. This MOSAIC combination of LLSM and SIM was initially developed in the group of Nobel Laureate Eric Betzig at HHMI Janelia Research Campus in the USA. Helping alleviate the problem of high-resolution spatiotemporal correlation of big fluorescence data acquisitions, which is currently predominantly limited by the existing microscopy design dedicated to specific tasks, the new BioCOP instrument will be opening new avenues of systematic correlations of early and long-term dynamics of living systems.

The BioCOP system will comprise three novel components: (1) state-of-the-art optical MOSAIC platform combining LLSM and SIM technologies; and (2) custom-engineered microfluidic chip hosting biology-tunable and mechanically-adjustable vascularised tissue microenvironment for the study of primary immune cell cultures in the context of human health and disease, and finally (3) a multi- beam Optical Tweezer allowing to move the single cells within the chip and outside.

We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher in a position of an Advanced Microscopy Specialist to participate in a research project led by Dr Marco Fritzsche between the Franklin and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford. The major focus of this collaboration is the establishment of the BioCOP technology. The post holder will work with Dr Fritzsche’s team to establish and maintain the BioCOP. It is expected that the position will provide opportunities for the post holder to innovate and publish on the development in microscopy technology and biological insights resulting from the experiments supported.

The post holder will be based in Harwell and Oxford and report to Dr Marco Fritzsche and overall to Prof Angus Kirkland, Science Director at the Franklin.

This is a full-time 3-year fixed-term appointment with an optional extension of additional 2-years. This job requires a satisfactory Disclosure Scotland check.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Establishment and management of the BioCOP

• To participate in the RFI and KIR funded research programme led by Dr Marco Fritzsche.

• To carry out troubleshooting of problems with equipment, provide maintenance and calibration of microscopes and other equipment. Contact engineers to arrange service if resolution is not easily reached.

• To administrate usage of BioCOP.

• Analyse and provide analysis support of the BioCOP data to users.

• To provide relevant advice and training/tutorials on theory and practical applications of each instrument to PhD students, postdocs and PIs, ensuring that all staff who work in the laboratory are properly trained.

• Visit collaborators’ laboratories for example of Prof Eric Betzig at Janelia.

• To work directly with Prof Betzig’s team on the design and construction of BioCOP.

• To actively participate in BPI meetings, institute, and departmental level.

• To be accountable for personal professional conduct within the project.

• To be responsible with others for the biological, microscope, and laser safety of the laboratory.

• To ensure that work in the RFI and KIR is conducted safely and legally in accordance with the highest standard of data protection.

• To adhere to the values of the Unit, Department and University policies and practices, acting at all times in the interest of the group to ensure good laboratory practice. To participate and support public engagement activities on behalf of the KIR as part of a co-ordinated programme.

Selection criteria


• PhD in Optics Engineering, Physics, or a relevant discipline.

• Experience in designing and constructing advanced microscopes.

• Advanced microscopy skills in optical design, microscope construction, alignment and testing.

• Experience of experimental design, execution and analysis.

• Experience of training and mentoring junior members of the team and students.

• Willingness to apply for external funding for the research projects.

• Commitment to high quality research.

• Ability to work collaboratively and as part of an interdisciplinary team.


• Proven track-record in collaborative research

• Good spoken and written English communication skills.

• Ability to work well alone or as part of a team.

• Ability to work effectively under pressure.

• Resident in or able to relocate to the Harwell and/or Oxford area.

In return we offer:

• 25 days holidays

• Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)

• Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels

• Bus pass discount scheme

• Access to employee discount platform

• Subsidised canteen

• Free on-site parking

• Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Closing date: 30th November 2020, 9:00am

Please note: A cover letter, CV, and completed application form are required for this position. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy

Area Scientific

Location Harwell and Oxford

Type of Post Full Time

Period of appointment 3 years’ fixed term contract (optional 2-year extension)

Salary £41,000 - £50,000 per annum

Closing Date 30/11/2020

Ref No 10094


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