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Optofluidic Methods for In-process Virus Purification Analytics

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, is inviting applications for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes+PhD studentship, commencing in October 2021. The studentship will be hosted in Dr Tijmen Euser's Optofluidics group within the Cambridge NanoPhotonics Centre ( in the Department of Physics.

Virus and virus-like particle medicine development and manufacturing require improved analytical tools for reduced time to market of novel drugs and improved life cycle management of current viral products such as vaccines. The Euser lab in the Cambridge Nanophotonics Centre develops optofluidic microreactors, based on hollow-core photonic crystal fibres (HC-PCF) to monitor chemical reactions with in-situ absorption, fluorescence, and automated online Raman spectroscopy. In addition, the group has strong expertise in fibre-based optical trapping- and tracking experiments with micro and nanoparticles. Recent publications from the group can be found here:

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the suitability of HC-PCF based optical techniques, including fluorescence, Raman, and scattering, to analyse and monitor FluMist/Fluenz live attenuated influenza virus production. The overall goal is to obtain increased manufacturing process understanding through additional particle characterization of in process and drug substance samples.

The studentship is fully-funded for 4-years, and the student will be enrolled in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future ( The first year involves a highly interdisciplinary programme consisting of lectures, research and team projects covering a wide range of technologies sensing and imaging. Successful completion of the first year will lead to a Master of Research qualification (MRes) and optimal preparation for the PhD project in years 2-4. We are seeking a highly motivated individual with a strong academic background, as demonstrated with a 1st class degree, or equivalent, in physics, biophysics, bioengineering, or a related relevant discipline.

The ideal candidate will have hands-on experience in microscopy, experience with biochemical sample preparation, and a good understanding of optical characterization techniques (fluorescence, Raman, dynamic light scattering). The candidate should have a strong motivation for interdisciplinary research and, ideally, have experience in building automated experimental rigs. These skills will be strengthened during the MRes year of the CDT programme. The candidate will work with the AstraZeneca team involved in this project to identify and prioritise analytical development in the Euser lab for the analysis of in-process material. The candidate will also work with the AstraZeneca team to gain understanding of all currently available in-process and drug substance analytical methods with a view to identifying where analysis by methods available in the Euser lab could provide complementary analytical data. The AstraZeneca team will provide guidance on assay development and qualification as required.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Tijmen Euser ( To apply for this position please visit

The deadline for applications is 21 May 2021. Note that only candidates who qualify for the Home fees rate are eligible for this studentship. You can check whether you qualify for the Home fee rate here:

Please quote reference NQ26427 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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