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Postdoctoral position in retinal cell imaging using oblique illumination

Website EPFL Laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices

Your mission: The laboratory of Applied Photonics Devices at EPFL has a postdoctoral opening in the field of retinal cell imaging.

Degenerative retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, begin with Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) dysfunctions, which is undetectable with current diagnostic instruments. The morphology of these vital cells for the retina is a key indicator of their health state. Early diagnosis of these dysfunctions is thus critical to slow vision loss.

A retinal camera invented at EPFL and developed by EarlySight offers a unique way of in vivo imaging the RPE cells by coupling oblique illumination of the back of the eye through the sclera with adaptive optics. The first-in-human study demonstrated that this new imaging modality, called “Transscleral Optical Phase Imaging” (TOPI), enables imaging the cell mosaic of healthy RPE cells with unprecedented contrast. Early clinical results showed promising results and new imaging features are planned to be developed to interpret RPE degradation accurately.

The goal of the current project is to understand the optical RPE cell contrast mechanism with age and disease and propose an optical system targeted for RPE imaging.

Main duties and responsibilities: 

You will implement a custom ex-vivo microscope to mimic the in-vivo conditions for TOPI and to detect RPE-related light signal based on different excitations. You will then investigate the parameters affecting contrast on whole retinal samples.

You will also develop a processing pipeline enabling quantitative assessment of cell contrast and analyze the RPE cell morphological features extracted with automated software already developed.

The goal is to discover a clinically compliant imaging modality for RPE and extend it to all relevant cell types for retinal disorders, in all age groups.

Your Profile: Ms or PhD degree in Photonics, Optoelectronics or related discipline; Experience in microscope design and assembly, and in image processing; A strong interest in eye imaging would be a plus.

Self-motivated, creative and enthusiastic about multidisciplinary projects

We offer: An opportunity to work on a cutting-edge imaging system within a community of world-class engineers, scientists and eye doctors.

The EPFL campus offers a highly international and interdisciplinary environment, with immediate access to the lake and mountains and a rich cultural life. French is the main language spoken in the city of Lausanne, while English is the main language on the campus and in labs.

We offer a competitive salary and benefit, defined by EPFL scales and regulations

Your full application should include: motivation letter, CV (2 pages max.), list of publications, talks, and 3 reference names (email & address).

Start date: 1st November 2021

Term of employment: Fixed-term (CDD)

Work rate: 100%

Duration: 1 year, renewable up to 2 years


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