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Development of an Adaptive Optic (AO) Wide-Field Microscope

University of California at Santa Cruz
Department of Electrical Engineering & MCD Biology

Posted January 6, 2009

A California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) funded post-doctoral position is available starting in March, 2009 in the laboratories of Profs. Joel Kubby (EE) and William Sullivan (MCD Bio) at the University of California Santa Cruz. The goal of this two-year project is to develop an adaptive optic wide-field microscope (AOWFM) for live imaging deep within tissues containing stem cells. Improved live imaging technology is critical to understanding fundamental stem cell mechanisms including self renewal, differentiation, establishment of polarity, asymmetric division, and the role of the niche in stem cell division. Currently, conventional live imaging techniques are ineffective at depths greater than 30 µm, principally due to changes in refractive index caused by imaging through organelles and other molecules in the cell. CIRM has approved funding for a new stem cell research center at UC Santa Cruz. The center will house an interdisciplinary program involving faculty from five departments at UCSC and collaborators at other institutions. The adaptive optic wide-field microscope developed in this program will be available in the stem cell research center.

In year 1 of the project (3/1/2009-2/28/2010), we will build a phase-stepping interferometer to measure the magnitude of image aberrations as a function of depth in tissue, and design an adaptive optic wide-field microscope with sufficient wave front correction to adjust for the measured aberrations. In year 2 of the project (3/1/2010-2/28/2011), we will build the adaptive optic wide-field microscope and characterize its performance. Once a prototype microscope has been developed and tested, we will use this technology to examine mechanisms of stem cell self-renewal.

Required Skills:

•   PhD or equivalent experience in Electrical Engineering, Physics or related field with 5+ years relevant research experience with the design, assembly and use of adaptive optics in astronomy, vision science or biological imaging (wavefront sensing, deformable mirror, feedback control).  
•   Extensive hands-on experience in the design (CODE V), construction, high-precision alignment and maintenance of optical workbenches with laser sources.  
•   Strong understanding of optical theory in order to confidently troubleshoot and refine optical designs.  
•   Experience in mechanical CAD, machine shop and opto-mechanical techniques.  
Strong skills in data acquisition and computer control of electromechanical systems and image processing (LabVIEW, IDL, MATLAB and ImageJ).  
•   In addition to impeccable technical skills, successful candidates possess strong organizational, communication and team skills.  
•   Prior experience with wavefront aberrations in thick tissue, fluorescent markers and preparation of biological samples (Drosophila) desirable.

Modeling MEMS and NEMS, Pelesko
Interested candidates should send a personal statement, CV and a list of relevant publications to jkubby@soe.ucsc.edu.

Joel Kubby, Room BE-249
Baskin School of Engineering
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street, MS: SOE2
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077
Phone: (831) 459-1073
FAX: (831) 459-4829
e-mail: jkubby@soe.ucsc.edu



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