Ph.D. Position in Advanced Light Microscopy for Life Sciences at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Posted by , on 9 June 2020

The processes of Life are naturally dynamic in space and time from the molecular to the organismal level. Among the different imaging techniques, light microscopy is the only one that potentially can work across this full scale of biological organisation. Ideally, light microscopy is able to visualise the inner workings of proteins, protein complexes, organelles, cells, tissues, organs and whole organisms. However, in practice each specific microscopy techniques poses some fundamental limitations in terms of spatiotemporal resolutions/ranges, labelling, invasiveness, and information contents.
The core research of our group is the design, development, and validation of novel optical, biological and computational tools that allow the modern biologists to peer inside living cells with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolutions/ranges, minimal invasiveness, and augmented information content. This goal can be achieved only by working across many disciplines, from physics to engineering, from computer science to biology.
The PhD student will be fully integrated in this general mission and his/her specific project will be design according to his/her background and skills. Current projects consist in (i) the implementation of a novel super resolution laser scanning microscopy technique which leverage a unique single-photon detector array recently introduce by our group; (ii) the optimisation of stimulated-emission-depletion (STED) super-resolution microscopy for live-cell investigation by using the ultimate technologies introduced from different research fields, from labelling protocol to lasers, from detectors to electronic; (iii) the realisation of a new single-molecule spectroscopy/imaging/tracking architecture which combines nanometre 3D spatial resolution, microsecond temporal resolution, ability to quantitatively study the function and structure of different multi-protein machineries/bio-molecules, and high-throughput (iv) design of new computational tools for improving the imaging quality and to decodes from a single experiment the maximum number of information, such as protein copy numbers, and the biomolecule functional changes due to environmental factors.
The PhD student will work in the realisation of these novel methods and/or in their applications to real experimental investigations in order to investigate the most exciting unresolved question from Life sciences. A particular attention will be dedicated to question concerning the role of non-coding RNA in gene expression control.
The PhD student will benefit significantly from the active collaborations of the Molecular Microscopy and Spectroscopy group with the several groups of the LifeTech domain within the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

The project is extremely multi-disciplinary, and it involves many different aspects. Hence, the position is open to candidate having a Master’s degree in one of the following areas: Physical Science, Computer Science, Engineering, and Biological Science. Ability and motivation to work independently as well as collaboratively in an interdisciplinary team is very important. Good English language speaking and writing skills are required.

• M. Castello, G. Tortarolo, M. Buttafava, T. Deguchi, F. Villa, S. Koho, L. Pesce, M. Oneto, S. Pelicci, L. Lanzanò, P. Bianchini, C. J. Sheppard, A. Diaspro, A. Tosi, and G. Vicidomini. A robust and versatile platform for image scanning microscopy enabling super-resolution FLIM. Nat. Methods, 16(2):175–178, 2019.
• G. Vicidomini, P. Bianchini, and A. Diaspro. STED super-resolved microscopy. Nat. Methods, 15(3):173–182, 2018.
• S. V. Koho, G. Tortarolo, M. Castello, T. Deguchi, A. Diaspro., G. Vicidomini. Fourier ring correlation simplifies image restoration in fluorescence microscopy. Nat. Comm., 10:3103, 2019.I

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