Ph.D. studentship: Low-cost ultra-thin endoscopes for improved cancer detection

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Nottingham, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 27 Jan 2023

We seek a Ph.D. student to develop next-generation, low-cost, ultra-thin endoscopes that can detect and image diseases such as cancer in hard-to-reach areas of the body such as the pancreas and ovaries.

Background: Cancers that occur deep within the body are difficult to detect and treat due to physical inaccessibility: ovarian cancer has a 50% 5-year survival rate while for pancreatic cancer this is just 1%. To address this, we are developing ultra-thin optical fibre endoscopes that implement advanced imaging modalities for minimally invasive cancer detection via needles.

Aim: You will design, build and test a prototype fibre endoscope that performs a type of imaging that can differentiate between properties of tissue relevant for disease detection (absorption, scattering, chemical composition), and can be fabricated and operated at minimal cost (e.g. 3D printed housing, polymer optics).  The project is highly interdisciplinary with a view to working with clinicians to develop a clinically useful device suitable for deployment.  You will design, simulate and fabricate one or more prototype endoscopes and then test these by imaging test targets, tissue phantoms and ex-vivo diseased tissue specimens. This may in turn lead to opportunities to develop the device further towards clinical use and commercialisation.

What we offer:

     • A world-class multidisciplinary research environment, spanning nano-technology to AI to clinical medicine

     • A supportive environment for researchers as signatories of the Researcher Development Concordat ( )

     • A chance to learn new skills: optics, coding, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, clinical applications

     • The opportunity to produce high-quality publications

     • Travel to visit international partners and attend conferences

     • 3-years funding including fees (UK applicants but EU/international applicants can apply for scholarship to top-up – please contact to discuss)

What you should have:

     • 1st or 2.1 honours undergraduate or master's degree in Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or similar

     • Enthusisam for hands-on experiments

     • Basic coding abilities in any language (e.g. Python or MATLAB or C/C++)

     • Excellent communication skills

     • The ability to work collaboratively in a team across disciplines

The project will be based in the lab of Dr. Gordon (OPTIMlab) in Engineering, which has 3 main research themes: novel optical materials, new hardware and algorithms for optical imaging, and clinical translation (more at ). You will be supported by colleagues with strong skills in building optical systems, coding and data analytics/processing. Start date: April-October 2023, but can be flexible. Please contact Dr. Gordon if you are interested in applying at . Note that the funding associated with this role is awarded via an internal competition and may not be certain until several weeks after the admission application is approved.

Our University is a supportive, inclusive and caring community and we encourage applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. The Faculty of Engineering was the first in the UK to be awarded an Athena SWAN Gold Award, in recognition of our commitment to supporting and advancing women’s careers in Engineering.

Please apply here  When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application.

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