Open position: Industry-employed doctoral student in quantum sensing for medical applications

About the position

SpectraCure seeks an industry-employed doctoral student (to be affiliated with the Department of Physics, Lund University), to work in a high-profile research project in quantum sensing for medical applications.

SpectraCure AB is a start-up company from Lund University that specialises in cancer treatment using the combination of medical laser devices and photo-reactive drugs, so called photodynamic therapy (PDT).

The position is funded by the WACQT programme (Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology).

The role

As a successful candidate, you will be employed by SpectraCure, but the bulk of the PhD work will be carried out in the Lund Quantum Information Group (QIG) at the Division of Atomic Physics, Lund University. The position is expected to run over a period of 4 years. The work location is in Lund, and the candidate will be part of the Lund QIG for daily work. The main part of the work will consist of scientific research within the main project (see below for details).

In addition to the academic research, there will be regular meetings with the company supervisor. You will have the opportunity to get insight in the entrepreneurial and business aspects of running a hi-tech start-up company, including industry R&D, medical device regulations, patent applications, and business development.

International travel to partners, collaborators and conferences is part of the job with an estimated 5-15 travelling days per year. It is a requirement that you can travel freely to all EU countries, USA and Canada.

Preference will be given to those with experience or skills in at least some of the following areas:

  • Photonics (optics, lasers, spectroscopy)
  • Theoretical proficiency in quantum physics
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Good software coding skills
  • Electronics design (basic knowledge)

You hold a minimum of a Master’s degree in a physics-related field.

This is a full-time position.

Scientific background and research tasks

Light-tissue interaction can provide molecular information difficult to achieve using, e.g. X-rays, computed tomography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, optical imaging in strongly scattering environments, like human tissue, has poor spatial resolution due to the strong scattering. For example, an incoming laser beam will be scattered in all directions in tissue. In this way light will reach everywhere in the tissue, but at the same time spatial selectivity is lost. However, by combining ultrasound and light, excellent spatial resolution can in principle be obtained deep inside the body. This is achieved by sending in a laser pulse (with frequency νL) while a focused ultrasound pulse (with frequency νUS) is at some selected location in the tissue. The laser light that passes through the ultrasound pulse focus can interact with the sound wave and then obtain a frequency shift. It will get the new frequency νL+νUS. If this frequency shifted light is detected outside the body it provides information about the tissue properties at the ultrasound focus. However, the light at frequency νL+νUS is orders of magnitude weaker than the scattered light at the original laser frequency (νL).

Structuring matter at the micro- and nanoscale has created new types of materials for several years. In the Lund QIG at the Department of Physics, Lund University, materials structured not in physical space but in frequency-space are created using atoms programmable by light. This gives materials and devices with unique properties. For example, materials which can lower the speed of light at a specific frequency by several orders of magnitude. Such materials can be used to delay a signal at a specific frequency, νL+νUS, such that it can be discriminated in time against the orders of magnitude stronger signal at frequency νL. The ability to distinguish the signal at frequency νL+νUS makes it possible to obtain spatially resolved molecular information inside the body.

The objective of the project is to develop a completely new type of medical equipment for clinical use, that can record high contrast images from deep inside tissue. Such devices would for example be able to non-invasively detect oxygenation levels and discriminate between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue deep inside the body.


To ensure that only seriously interested and sufficiently qualified candidates apply for this position, it is a requirement that you answer this basic spectroscopy question in your application:

– What colour is the G-line in the spectrum from a Hg-vapour lamp?

We are happy to receive your application and CV as soon as possible and will evaluate them continuously, but not later than March 16, 2018. Please send your application to or to SpectraCure AB (publ), Magistratsvägen 10, 226 43 Lund. Responsible for the recruitment is CTO Johannes Swartling +46 (0)708 23 36 80. Questions about the research project can also be addressed to Stefan Kröll, head of the Lund QIG, +46 46 222 96 26.

Please respect that SpectraCure is not interested in contact with any form of recruitment company, consultant, or temp hiring for this or other positions in the company. Only serious applications from individuals will be considered. Due to high workload, please note that SpectraCure reserves the right not to reply to applications that do not fulfil the minimum requirements.

About SpectraCure

SpectraCure was founded in 2003 as a start-up from the Department of Atomic Physics and the Lund Medical Laser Centre at Lund University, Sweden. SpectraCure’s technology is based on more than 25 years of scientific research in photodynamic therapy (PDT), combined with clinical experience from more than 3,000 PDT treatments of superficial cancer lesions at Lund University Hospital.

SpectraCure focuses on cancer treatment using medical laser devices, in combination with photo-reactive drugs – photosensitisers. The method is called interstitial PDT. Interstitial PDT can be used for solid tumours in internal organs, such as cancer in the prostate, pancreas, and the head and neck area. The proprietary dose control software IDOSE® provides safe, precise and efficient PDT treatment of tumours in internal organs.

SpectraCure is currently running a clinical phase 1 trial in USA, Canada and UK for treatment of patients with recurrent prostate cancer. The company is based in Lund, Sweden, and is a public company listed on Aktietorget since 2015.