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Postdoctoral Scholar–Research Associate

Otolaryngology Head Neck & Surgery Los Angeles, California

A postdoctoral researcher position is available immediately in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Southern California. The principal project will be to develop a new type of laser system and spectrometer for highly phase stable Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) systems. The postdoctoral researcher will work within the lab of Brian Applegate, PhD., Professor of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery and Biomedical Engineering.

Applicants should have a PhD in engineering or related field. A strong candidate will have expertise in one or more of the following areas: optical system design, laser design, spectrometer design, or programming for science/engineering (python, C++, Cuda C, VHDL/Verilog for FPGA). Interested applicants may contact Dr. Applegate directly at brianapp@usc.edu for more details or apply online.

Detailed project description:

There is a growing interest in the development of functional imaging with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Many of these approaches to functional imaging rely on the exquisite phase sensitivity of the OCT interferometer. These include well established techniques like Doppler OCT for measuring blood flow as well as emerging applications like OCT elastography for measuring mechanical properties, and Magnetomotive OCT and Photothermal OCT for molecular imaging. Our own interest lies in the area of vibrometry.

Swept laser systems are advantageous because they enable the use of Mach-Zehnder type interferometers with balanced detectors. This provides for cancelation of common mode noise, the DC component, and autocorrelation artifacts. The most advanced commercially available swept lasers also have a very long coherence length (>1 m), hence signal roll-off as a function of depth is negligible. Taken together these qualities result in images that have fewer artifacts and increased signal-to-noise with concomitant high phase stability and vibrational sensitivity. Most commercially available swept lasers suffer from instabilities in the laser sweep such that every sweep needs to be calibrated in order to maintain high phase-stability. On the other hand, spectrometer based systems offer high-phase stability, but typically with relatively short coherence lengths (1-3 mm) and without the advantages of balanced detection. However, they can provide wide spectral bandwidth with concomitant higher resolution while maintaining high phase-stability.

In this project we will develop a novel comb light source spectrometer based system that has all of the advantages of a swept laser system, but with the inherent phase-stability of a spectrometer based system.


Minimum Education: Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate within previous five years Minimum Experience: 0-1 year Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related education in research specialization with advanced knowledge of equipment, procedures and analysis methods. Preferred Field of Expertise: Publications in peer-reviewed journals in the same or related field.


REQ20093695 Posted Date: 10/05/2020

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