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Development of a high resolution microscope using microfluidic technology

PGR-P-355

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Competition funded
Source of funding
Other
Supervisors
Dr Izzy Jayasinghe and Dr Jung-uk Shim
Schools
School of Physics and Astronomy
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The goal of this project is the creation of a novel microfluidic platform that will be applied to develop a high resolution microscope. Microfluidics is the science and technology of systems that control a small amount (nano- to atto- liters) of liquids in channels with dimensions of between 10 and 100m. It is emerging as an essential component of the new generation of nanoscale (super-resolution) microscopy methods which have transformed Cell and Molecular Biology over the last decade. Some of the latest super-resolution techniques include DNA-PAINT and Expansion Microscopy (ExM) which promise spatial resolution of mere nanometres for visualising proteins and molecules within biological samples. One limitation in the current state of the art is its inability to standardise the intrinsic chemistry of the samples and the excessive manual handling of the biological structures. Microfluidic devices promise a unique opportunity to control the precise chemistry and the dimensions of the sample and enable researchers to carry out the super-resolution imaging in non-specialised instruments.<br /> <br /> In this project, we will develop a new microfluidic device which can perform ExM (a concept that we call MicroExM) on different cell types (supplied by Dr Jayasinghe&rsquo;s group). The MicroExM device will then be trialled on various imaging platforms including commercially available fluorescence microscopes and custom-built super-resolution microscopy systems. Built-into the MicroExM device, will be a DNA-based calibration system which reports the internal chemical environment of the sample and the spatial resolution that is achieved in the optical images.<br /> <br /> A principal outcome of the project will be a versatile and novel platform which makes ExM a robust and versatile super-resolution microscopy technique that is available to a wider community of Cell and Molecular Biologists than at present.<br /> <br /> <br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Dr Jung-uk Shim<br /> <a href="https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/132/dr-jung-uk-shim">https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/132/dr-jung-uk-shim</a><br /> <a href="https://www.astbury.leeds.ac.uk/people/staff/staffpage.php?StaffID=JUS">http://www.astbury.leeds.ac.uk/people/staff/staffpage.php?StaffID=JUS</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr Izzy Jayasinghe</p> <p><a href="https://appliedbiophotonics.org/">https://appliedbiophotonics.org/</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/biosciences/people/mbb-staff/academic/izzy-jayasinghe">https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/biosciences/people/mbb-staff/academic/izzy-jayasinghe</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Physics &amp; Astronomy FT,</strong></em>&nbsp;in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Development of a high resolution microscope using microfluidic technology</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/physics/staff/4132/dr-jung-uk-shim">Dr Jung-uk Shim</a> as your proposed supervisor&nbsp;and in the finance section, please state clearly&nbsp;<em><strong>the funding that you are applying for, if you are self-funding or externally sponsored</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application&nbsp;or by the closing date of 8 April 2024 if applying for Leeds Doctoral Scholarship/Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/209-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2022">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/234-leeds-opportunity-research-scholarship-2022">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants (open from October 2023). The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a>&nbsp;is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP) (now closed for 2024/25 entry).&nbsp; <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> &ndash; &nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (now closed for 2024/25 entry). The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not </strong>covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to&nbsp;<a href="mailto:map.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk">maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Jung-uk Shim by telephone to + 44 (0) 113 343 3903 or by email to&nbsp;<a href="mailto:j.shim@leeds.ac.uk">j.shim@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>