Sunday, November 24, 2013

[NMR] NMR Post-doc position at CEA Saclay, France

From the Ampere Magnetic Resonance List



Post-doc in hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI

A project untitled: « Polarized Xenon-MRI for diagnosis and follow up of Chest Tumors » is granted by the French programme « Projets de recherche dans le domaine de la physique, des mathématiques ou des sciences de l'ingénieur appliqués au cancer ». We are looking for a post-doctoral fellow for one year starting January 2014. The place is CEA-Saclay (25 km in the S-W of Paris).

Abstract
Diagnosis and treatment of early stages of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) could drastically modify the outcome in terms of disease-free and overall survival.
MRI offers several advantages owing to its low invasiveness, its harmlessness and its spatial in-depth resolution but suffers from poor sensitivity. Very few MRI methods are able to detect events at the air-liquid interface (i.e. lung epithelium), due to the low number of detectable atoms present and the strong local magnetic field inhomogeneity. Different strategies can be used to improve MRI detection threshold in lungs including the use of hyperpolarized gases such as 3He and 129Xe. These species can be detected at very low concentration thanks to the gain by several orders of magnitude in nuclear polarization. Hyperpolarized xenon presents interesting properties for medical applications:

  • it is a non-toxic, freely diffusive tracer that crosses the cell membrane in some tens of milliseconds without polarization loss,
  • its spectral signature is strongly dependent on its environment,
  • it can be encapsulated in host molecules functionalized to target specific receptors (hereafter denoted biosensors).

In the project with Institut Gustave Roussy (IGR) and CEA/DSV, we propose a new approach based on 129Xe MRI biosensors for the early diagnosis of NSCLC and follow up of treatment efficacy.
The candidate will belong to the team having in charge the NMR/MRI part. He/she must have a strong background in MRI, an experience of in vivo experiments, and some notions of spin hyperpolarization. The laboratory owns several high-field spectrometers and two home-built setups for optical pumping of noble gases, and has access to the high-field small animal MR imagers at NeuroSpin (40 meters apart).
Interested candidate must send a detailed curriculum vitae and a letter of motivation to : 
Patrick Berthault 
CEA Saclay
IRAMIS/SIS2M/UMR3299
PC #9
91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
 Tel: (+33) 169 08 42 45


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