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Postdoc in Multimodal Optical Imaging for Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)



Frist 1. november 2020

The Department of Health Technology at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is seeking a candidate for a 1.5-year Postdoc position on Multimodal Optical Imaging for Colon Cancer Diagnosis.

The Postdoc will join the Biophotonic Imaging group at the Department of Health Technology (DTU Health Tech) consisting of ca 10 employees, including several PhD students and postdocs. Within the group, we are working on the advancement of optical imaging technologies for clinical and biological applications. Currently we have research projects on multimodal imaging combining optical coherence tomography, two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy, lightsheet microscopy, fibre delivery of ultrashort pulses, as well as investigation of biomarkers relevant for cancer diagnosis using biophotonic imaging.

Background

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Europe, causing 225 000 deaths in 2012 (12% of the total).[1] Current standard practice for diagnosing colorectal cancer is white light endoscopy, during which the colonoscopist assesses the appearance of polyps and tissue to identify possible neoplastic changes and decides whether to resect for further analysis using histopathology. To avoid a high number of undetected early stages of colorectal cancer, this procedure results in many unnecessary resections, posing higher risk for colon perforation requiring emergency surgery. On top of this, colonoscopy is not as effective in prevention of colorectal cancer in the right colon as in the left and provides sensitivity and specificity levels starting at 60% and 40%.[2]

Therefore, a technology to assess the malignancy of suspect lesions in situ during colonoscopy would benefit both the patients and reduce healthcare costs. Optical imaging modalities can non-invasively probe tissue using non-ionizing radiation. This makes optical imaging an obvious choice for use as a diagnostic tool in many fields in healthcare, including oncology.

Responsibilities and tasks
Your aim will be to demonstrate that optical properties extracted from OCT images[3] can serve as a biomarker and improve diagnosis in a multimodal imaging setup.

Your work is part of the European project “PROSCOPE” (www.proscope-h2020.eu), funded by H2020, where we develop a classification tool for colon cancer diagnosis based on multimodal optical images in collaboration with European project partners. The project includes the following tasks, to which you will substantially contribute:

  • measuring OCT data on test samples and tissue models using our existing OCT setups at DTU;
  • adapting an existing model for the measured OCT signal, developed in our group, and using this model to extract the optical properties from the data;
  • upgrading our research grade OCT systems to implement offset OCT to enhance imaging depth, in close collaboration with the group of Prof. Kishan Dholakia at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (partner in PROSCOPE);
  • combining your findings in a multimodal approach with multiphoton fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy images gathered on our microscopes, to show further improved accuracy;
  • analysing the OCT data gathered from colon tissue samples, in close collaboration with the group of Dr. Angelika Unterhuber at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

You will also co-supervise a PhD student who is perfecting the tissue models and who will implement the Raman system in our lab and use it on those models.

Qualifications
Candidates must have a PhD degree in Physics or equivalent. You must be familiar with designing, constructing and aligning optical setups, and you must have a solid theoretical background in optics. You must have skills in programming, modelling and fitting of signals.

You are comfortable with supervising students on the master and PhD level, and take pride in graduating excellent students.

We expect you to be self-driven and to take a lead in the above tasks, and to actively contribute with your own ideas and research interests to the overall aim of the project. We expect you to be comfortable collaborating with other people and research groups and to take responsibility for your work.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 1.5 years.

The initial workplace is DTU Risø Campus in Roskilde, Denmark.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Dominik Marti, tel.: +45 4677 4568, domar@dtu.dk

, and Peter E. Andersen, tel.: +45 4677 4555, peta@dtu.dk.

You can read more about DTU Health Technology at www.healthtech.dtu.dk.

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than

1 November 2020 (local time).Applications must be submitted as

one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach

all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 175 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people

DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

[1] D. Ait Ouakrim et al.: Trends in colorectal cancer mortality in Europe: retrospective analysis of the WHO mortality database. BMJ 351, (2015);

[2] F. Radaelli: The Resect-and-Discard Strategy for Management of Small and Diminutive Colonic Polyps.

Gastroenterol Hepatol 9(5), (2013).

[3] Z. Turani, et al.: Optical Radiomic Signatures Derived from OCT Images to Improve Identification of Melanoma. Cancer Res 79(8), (2019).

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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