Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship: Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering microscopy for label-free imaging: From technology development to cell biology applications (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R620
Key Studentship Information
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship, part of a new £4M investment to coincide with the inauguration of Professor Sir Martin Evans (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007) as Cardiff’s new President. All of the University Schools and Research Centres offering opportunities under the programme have demonstrated the real potential of the Scholarships to contribute to research excellence through significant, challenging and original PhD research projects and excellent PhD supervision and support. Other attractive features of the Scholarships include the presence of multiple President’s Scholars in each of the research areas and the guaranteed exposure of President’s Scholars to innovative technologies, theories, methodological approaches, and debates. More information on the President's Research Scholarships scheme is available here: www.cardiff.ac.uk/presidents
Project Title: Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering microscopy for label-free imaging: From technology development to cell biology applications
Optical microscopy is an indispensable tool that is driving progress in cell biology, and is still the only practical means of obtaining spatial and temporal resolution within living cells and tissues. Much effort is being devoted recently to achieve intrinsic three-dimensional (3D) spatial resolution by exploiting optical nonlinear effects which can only take place in the small focal volume where high photon densities are reached. One of the most utilised multiphoton (ie nonlinear) microscopy techniques is two-photon fluorescence where the biomolecules of interest are labelled with fluorophores, which are optically excited via simultaneous absorption of two photons. However, these modified biomolecules raise questions if their behaviour is real or artefactual. Furthermore, all organic fluorophores are prone to photo-bleaching which severely limits time-course observations and is accompanied by toxicity effects and consequent cell damage.
Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering (CARS) microscopy has recently emerged as a new multiphoton microscopy technique which overcomes the need of fluorescent labelling and yet retains biomolecular specificity and intrinsic 3D resolution . We have developed in our laboratory a fully home-built CARS microscope featuring innovative CARS excitation/detection schemes. In particular, we have demonstrated differential-CARS (D-CARS)  and single-laser CARS  utilising femtosecond laser pulses linearly chirped by glass dispersion. This project will develop the CARS technology further to enable simultaneous excitation and detection of several vibrational frequencies (multiplex CARS). Furthermore, In collaboration with the School of Biosciences, the project will address important biological questions in the areas of stem cell development and neuroscience.
 Michiel Müller and Andreas Zumbusch, ChemPhysChem 8, 2156 – 2170 (2007). Review Article
 Israel Rocha-Mendoza, Wolfgang Langbein, Peter Watson and Paola Borri “Differential Coherent antistokes Raman scattering Microscopy using linearly-chirped ultrafast laser pulses” Optics Letters 34, 2258 (2009)
 Wolfgang Langbein, Israel Rocha-Mendoza and Paola Borri “Single source coherent antistokes Raman microspectroscopy using spectral focusing” Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 081109 (2009)
The project is suitable for graduates in Physics, Engineering or Biology and offers a unique cross-disciplinary training opportunity at the physics-life sciences interface. The student will be trained by Prof. Wolfgang Langbein (PHYSX) who is an internationally recognised leader in the development of CARS microscopy techniques, in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Biosciences within the Biophotonics research group.
Supervisors: The student will be trained by Guy Major (BIOSI) who has many years’ experience in neuronal imaging, electrophysiology and computational neuroscience techniques, and by Prof. Wolfgang Langbein (PHYSX) who is internationally recognised for developing CARS microscopy techniques.
Start Date: 1st January, April or July 2012
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship. The award includes full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 p.a. for 2010/11, updated each year).
Number of Awards Available: 1
Academic Criteria: Applicants must have a First Class Honours degree or a 2.1 plus a postgraduate Masters degree (or their equivalents) in a relevant subject
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to all UK/EU nationals.
How to Apply
Applicants should submit a University application for a PhD in using the Online Application Service: www.cardiff.ac.uk/apply
1. Select your school (Physics and Astronomy), Programme Name (PhD) and start date.
2. In the Research Proposal section, applicants should state the subject as 'Bioimaging,' indicating the title of the project.
3. In the 'Funding' section, at the item: ‘I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ applicants should state that they are applying for the President's Research Scholarship in Bioimaging.
Application Deadline: This project is open to applications - to be considered on a rolling basis
For more information contact Professor Wolfgang Langbein:
Telephone: 029 208 70172
Read more about the Bioimaging President's Scholarships: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/presidents/bioimaging/index.html