The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light research covers a wide range of topics, including nonlinear optics, quantum optics, nanophotonics, photonic crystal fibres, optomechanics, quantum technologies, biophysics, and links between physics and medicine.
The Möckl Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light is looking for
Two PhD Students for the Development of Novel Light-Based Cancer Therapy Strategies (m/f/d)
We are an independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. In our research, we employ light to investigate and manipulate biological systems. We use state-of-the-art super-Resolution approaches such as localization- and iSCAT-microscopy to unravel spatiotemporal dynamics of biomolecules at the nanometer and microsecond scales. Furthermore, we employ high-throughput microscopical screening to study the molecular mode of action of photoactivatable therapeutic compounds. Finally, we characterize modern optical materials such as photonic crystal fibers to establish novel, versatile strategies for the precise delivery of light into tissue.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Despite decades of research, there are still various forms of cancer that are difficult or impossible to treat. Even for cancer types that can be addressed efficiently, the therapy usually comes with severe side effects, putting both a physical and psychological burden on the patient. A versatile approach to improve this situation are light-based treatment approaches. In this area, one of our key research interests is the development of photolatent therapy strategies. In a pilot study, we showed that bisacylphosphane oxides (BAPOs) are a highly promising substance class for photolatent therapy: BAPOs are completely non-toxic before activation. However, after light activation, homolytic bond cleavage produces radicals which induce oxidative stress, rapidly inducing apoptosis in various cancer-derived cells. With this research project, we push BAPOs and their tailored activation towards clinical application. For this, we will optimize BAPOs in terms of their molecular action as well as their biomedical properties such as circulation time, immunogenicity, and cellular uptake. We will furthermore develop novel approaches for the delivery of light into tissue, enabling highly precise activation of BAPOs, minimizing off-target induction of toxicity. The results of this research projects form the basis for future in vivo studies and potential clinical trials.
The project duration is 3 years, starting early 2021. The salary is based on E13 TVöD Bund (65% level 1 and 2, following the MPG PhD student support contract).
We are looking for creative and motivated PhD students who wish to work at the intersection of optics, biomedicine, and drug development. You have successfully completed a Master’s degree in biophysics, optics, cellular imaging, or a similar field. You are eager to work across disciplines, engaging with scientists from the MPL who have backgrounds ranging from quantum theory over fundamental optics to biophysics and medicine.
You address problems with a fresh mindset and like to work independently as part of a bigger team. You are looking forward to broadening your expertise and learn novel techniques.
The following qualifications will strengthen your application:
• State-of-the-art optics, especially fiber optics
• Optical microscopy of biological specimens (high-throughput screening, confocal imaging, superresolution microscopy, or similar)
• Cancer model systems
• Molecular biology techniques and cell culture
• Experience in nanotechnology, nanomedicine, or drug delivery
• Statistical data analysis
• Programming (Python, C, Matlab, or similar)
• Experience in quantitative image analysis
The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.
Could we spark your interest? If you want to become a part of our group, please send your application (letter of motivation, CV, transcript of records, and two letters of reference) to email@example.com. You can find further information about the institute under https://mpl.mpg.de/ and about the Möckl Research Group under https://mpl.mpg.de/research-at-mpl/independent-research-groups/moeckl/.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
Tagged as: Life Sciences, Physics
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