• Job title

    PhD candidate

  • Thesis title

    Advancing Cellular Imaging in vivo in situ in Humans

  • Location

    University of Dundee, with frequent travel to the University of Edinburgh

  • Supervisors

    Dr Nikola Krstajic; Professor Ghulam Nabi

  • Minimum qualification

    Masters Degree or Honours at 2:1 or above, in a related subject

  • Stipend

    £15,009 (National minimal rate from UKRI)

  • Application deadline

    Thursday 28th February 2019

Project description

Microscopy was invented more than 400 years ago and despite this we are still “stuck” in imaging ex vivo cultures isolated in Petri dish or slide. Biologists and clinicians currently do not have affordable and safe tools to image subcellular features (1 micron or better) with large field of views (1 mm x 1 mm) in vivo in humans. Therefore we are calling for talented individuals to rise to the challenge and help us bring a step change in endoscopy. Currently, we can image successfully over an area of 600 microns in diameter, but with only 4 micron resolution [1,2].

The PhD student will tackle these challenges and design new endomicroscopy probes (e.g. fibre-bundle or chip-on-tip based) to enhance the spatial resolution of existing ones while ensuring in vivo clinical option is maintained. Student will have at disposal a clinically approved and custom endomicroscopy instrument funded by EPSRC IRC Proteus ( with further consumables funding to build on this.

We are looking for a highly motivated individual with hands on skills in optics, electronics and programming. We will train where needed and applications from motivated and technologically astute biologists are welcome! We have new facilities at the University of Dundee and the University of Edinburgh to support training and innovation. Student will be based in Dundee with frequent visits to the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

The focus in Dundee will be on urinary bladder cancer (Professor Ghulam Nabi, email:, while adaptability of the designs for respiratory diseases will be considered for Edinburgh (Professor Kev Dhaliwal, email: Extensive training in product design, photonics and clinical aspects will be provided (main supervisor Dr Nikola Krstajic, email:

How to apply

Applicants wishing to apply should submit a one-page covering letter stating your background, academic qualifications (i.e. Masters Degree or Honours at 2:1 or above in a related subject), past research experience and interests, and future career aspirations. Please include a full CV, a copy of your academic transcript and the names and contact details of two referees to Nik Krstajic, You can also send any other informal inquiries or queries to the same email address.


1. N. Krstajic, A. R. Akram, T. R. Choudhary, N. McDonald, M. G. Tanner, E. Pedretti, P. A. Dalgarno, E. Scholefield, J. M. Girkin, A. Moore, M. Bradley, and K. Dhaliwal, “Two-color widefield fluorescence microendoscopy enables multiplexed molecular imaging in the alveolar space of human lung tissue,” Journal of Biomedical Optics 21, (2016).

2. N. Krstajic, B. Mills, I. Murray, A. Marshall, Norberg, Dominic, T. H. Craven, P. Emanuel, T. R. Choudhary, G. C. O. Williams, E. Scholefield, A. R. Akram, A. Davie, N. Hirani, A. Bruce, A. Moore, M. Bradley, and K. Dhaliwal, “Low-Cost High Sensitivity Pulsed Endomicroscopy to Visualize Tri-Color Optical Signatures,” Journal of Biomedical Optics, 23, (2018)

Funding Notes
To be eligible for a fully-funded PhD studentship, covering tuition fees and an annual stipend set at UKRI rates, the candidate must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education, further guidance can be found on the EPSRC website). Due to funding requirements the University of Dundee is limited to accepting only UK students.