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Scientific
Mission

Artist´s view of CMF (© Dennis Luck)

The molecular composition of systemic biofluids of living organisms is a sensitive indicator of their physiological states, useful for disease detection. The capability of observing signatures of miniscule changes in concentration of a wide variety of molecules of liquid biopsies (blood plasma and serum) is thus crucial for advancing systems biology and medical diagnostics.

Molecules of naïve organic samples are illuminated by ultrashort laser pulses. The abruptly excited molecules emit light at characteristic frequencies in the wake of the excitation. The electric field of this molecular signal is detected with femtosecond-attosecond resolution by using world-leading ultrafast laser technology. The new approach – field-resolved laser molecular fingerprinting – suits for detecting simultaneous, correlated changes in concentration of a wide variety of molecules across all types relevant to biological systems: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids. The resultant molecular fingerprint holds promise, possibly in combination with other biomarking approaches, for improving the specificity and sensitivity of molecular disease detection.

CMF pursues the development, testing and validation of laser molecular fingerprinting for next-generation blood-based diagnostics with large-scale clinical samplings in cooperation with major health-care institutions in Hungary and abroad. This mission is driven by the vision of a reliable, cost-effective, high-throughput approach for:

  • populational health monitoring,
  • disease detection.

The initial focus is on detection of cancer and cardio-vascular disease conditions. To this end, an international collaborative network of clinical and research centers is being established. Long-term preservation of the invaluable blood samples collected for the above goals will be performed at cryogenic conditions in a dedicated CMF biobank. Standardized workflows are used for sample collection as well as for secure collection and management of harmonized clinical information in a database system designed for handling big data, among a highly professional quality control system with an overall thorough adherence to the GDPR provisions. Machine learning algorithms will be applied for sample classification based on their laser molecular fingerprints and established biomarkers.


The aim

Development of laser molecular fingerprinting for next-generation molecular diagnostics of blood, aiming at health monitoring and disease detection.

How?

A drop of blood plasma is exposed to ultrashort laser light and the light waves emitted by the excited molecules of the sample are directly detected with femtosecond-attosecond laser techniques.

Funded by

Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

News

(© Thorsten Naeser)
December 7, 2021
Welcome Dionysios

The cmf research team welcomes Dionysios Potamianos. He just finished his Phd work in Prof. Reinhard Kienberger´s group at the Technical University Munich...

Credit: Naeser / Ziegelmaier
December 7, 2021
Welcome Dionysios

The cmf research team welcomes Dionysios Potamianos. He just finished his Phd work in Prof. Reinhard Kienberger´s group at the Technical University Munich on femtosecond and attosecond electron dynamics of semiconductor systems. He joined our team as a laser engineer with the focus on infrared fingerprinting technology. He will help us develop the next-generation instruments for human blood measurements based on a new ultra-stable diode-pumped Cr:ZnS laser platform.

November 30, 2021
Are you looking for unique opportunities in Szeged?

CMF's goal is to develop new laser-based tools for monitoring human health in a new way, not possible before...

November 30, 2021
Are you looking for unique opportunities in Szeged?

CMF's goal is to develop new laser-based tools for monitoring human health in a new way, not possible before.

How? By analyzing blood samples in an innovative process using ultrashort laser flashes.

By joining CMF’s group and supporting our research program you can make an important and far-sighted contribution to our population and hopefully you can help to detect severe diseases at an early stage in the future, so that optimal therapy may become possible before the disease can fully develop!

Have a look at our positions and contact Eszter Márton Szűcs on MUK HR Department if you have any other questions!

  1. Laboratory Manager
  2. Laboratory Associate
  3. Head of Laser Laboratory/Senior Laser Scientist
  4. Laser Technician

Join us in shaping the future of healthcare!

(© Dr. Veit Ziegelmaier)
November 4, 2021
CMF’s promising molecular fingerprint methodology gets a separate chapter in MPQ’s image film

CMF’s promising molecular fingerprint methodology gets separate chapter in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ)’s Attoworld image movie...

Ferenc Krausz (Scientific Director of CMF) on the interview for the MPQ’s image film on 19th October 2021. (© Dr. Veit Ziegelmaier)
November 4, 2021
CMF’s promising molecular fingerprint methodology gets a separate chapter in MPQ’s image film

CMF’s promising molecular fingerprint methodology gets separate chapter in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ)’s Attoworld image movie, filmed on 19th October 2021.

One of the CMF’s main research partner institution: MPQ’s Attoworld group – led by Prof. Dr. Ferenc Krausz – gives home to explore and exploit electron-light interactions as they occur in real-time. Our vision together is creating a breakthrough in the current health monitoring system and shaping the future of healthcare.

The MPQ image film shooting started with an interview with Prof. Dr. Ferenc Krausz (Scientific Director of CMF), in which he answered questions about the scientific content and application areas of attosecond research and talked about motivations and visions. They captured MPQ lab scientists’ daily work, and in the afternoon, they visited the Biolabs and the Lex laboratories, where the science teams develop the new approach of Infrared Molecular Fingerprinting in cooperation with CMF.

(© Dennis Luck / attoworld )
November 2, 2021
Tracking cancer in your blood

Cancers can grow in numerous places within our bodies and present tremendous threat to our health.

graphics: made by Dennis Luck (author) © attoworld
November 2, 2021
Tracking cancer in your blood

Cancers can grow in numerous places within our bodies and present tremendous threat to our health. But if one could spot cancerous growth early on, the chances to win over it would be higher. Are there ways of achieving this? The team closely collaborating with the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting Research (CMF) from the Laser Physics departments of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich revealed that infrared spectroscopic profiling can be used to pick up molecular traces that solid tumors leave in our bloodstream.

Detecting early and less aggressive cancerous lesions is paramount for having valid medical-treatment options. Besides radiographic tools to visualize tumor tissues within our body, and beyond cutting out tissue biopsies from inner organs for inspection under the microscope, modern diagnostic approaches often focus on non-invasive cancer detection: They analyze bodily fluids and try to capture macroscopically “invisible” molecular changes caused by cancer. In fact, tumors disseminate many aberrant metabolic products and signaling molecules into their surroundings. Likewise, tumors also characteristically interact with adjacent normal cells of a tissue, and later on with our immune cells and blood vessels. These interactions substantially affect the type and amount of many molecules that end up circulating in our bloodstream, even at a time when a tumor is still confined to an organ and not yet metastasizing. However, unambiguously identifying molecules that signify cancer – the holy grail for medical diagnostics and pharma – remains a challenge!

Substantial efforts have been made by the Attoworld research team at the LMU Munich in paving new technological avenues for the most reliable and sensitive detection of molecules in complex liquid matrices. In this context, the BIRD research team (https://www.attoworld.de/bird.html) just published a paper in eLife ( DOI: 10.7554/eLife.68758 ) where they flowed a tiny volume of a blood sample through a cuvette, shined infrared light through it, and quantified the complex changes in the light-wave patterns coming from the blood sample as a function of the identity and number of the hundreds of thousands of different molecules dissolved therein. Extracting information by using machine learning algorithms allows determining a signature that is so highly characteristic of an individual’s blood sample that the signature can be referred to as a “molecular fingerprint”. The BIRD team’s earlier work already showed that such infrared molecular fingerprints were highly reproducible over repeated blood draws from an individual (Huber et al., Nat. Communications 2021, PMCID: PMC7940620).

The size of the problem in tracing disease like cancer by infrared molecular fingerprinting now becomes immediately obvious: One has to move to the population level and explore hundreds of individuals to be in the position to extract the difference between the average healthy fingerprint and the average disease fingerprint. How does it work in real life? In collaboration with medical doctors from LMU clinics, the BIRD team set up a matched case-control clinical study and performed comparative infrared molecular fingerprinting on samples from patients with independently diagnosed lung, prostate, breast, or bladder carcinomas. And indeed, infrared fingerprinting of blood was surprisingly robust and correctly detected the cancer state. Excitingly, infrared fingerprints could be utilized, not only for detecting cancer but also for distinguishing between different cancer types, indicating that each had triggered specific molecular alterations.

Could the approach move into the clinics one day? While still far from being a method that patients can benefit from in medical clinics, the published study substantiates the expectation that, in the future, infrared fingerprinting may become useful for aiding cancer diagnosis or even for cancer screening of low-grade cancers that would go unnoticed using current cancer tests. In particular, infrared fingerprinting may be propelled to yet another level soon. Especially when ultrafast light sources and high-precision electric-field-based metrologies from the Attoworld’s research will come into play.

The path can be seen, and the quest continues.

Aug 10, 2021
A snapshot of blood serum composition on the cover

With their Research Article published in “Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed.”, Liudmila Voronina, Mihaela Žigman et al. made it on the cover...

august 10, 2021 // broadband infrared diagnostics
Aug 10, 2021
A snapshot of blood serum composition on the cover

With their Research Article published in “Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed.”, Liudmila Voronina, Mihaela Žigman et al. made it on the cover of the 2021-60/31 June 2021 issue. The picture shows a snapshot of blood serum composition that reflects the health state of an individual. It can be obtained using infrared spectroscopy in a simple and inexpensive manner, but the molecular nature of the disease-related changes therein remains poorly understood. In their article the researchers report using proteomics to reveal a set of proteins that contribute the most to infrared absorption of blood serum and show that they create a distinct signature of lung cancer. The cover image was designed by the corresponding authors and created by Dennis Luck.

Original publication:
Molecular Origin of Blood-Based Infrared Spectroscopic Fingerprints
L. Voronina, C. Leonardo, J. Mueller-Reif, P. Geyer, M. Huber, M. Trubetskov, K. Kepesidis, J. Behr, M. Mann, F. Krausz, M. Žigman
Angewandte Chemie 60, 17060 (2021)

© CMF/ H4H
Aug 04, 2021
The doors of future health monitoring study at CMF just opened!

The “Center for Molecular Fingerprinting” (CMF) in Hungary has achieved another milestone and collected its first blood samples for ...

Aug 04, 2021
The doors of future health monitoring study at CMF just opened!

The “Center for Molecular Fingerprinting” (CMF) in Hungary has achieved another milestone and collected its first blood samples for its future research in health monitoring in the course of the medical study “Health for Hungary” (H4H).

The future of healthcare is at a turning point - modern diagnostic techniques are moving towards a preventive and personalized diagnostic approach, rather than a treatment-after-detection used this far. The overriding aim at CMF is thus to detect severe health conditions and diseases well before symptoms develop - to be able to treat them better. Analysis of the composition of blood samples with ultrashort laser pulses could provide the opportunity for personalised health monitoring by repeated sampling of the same person over time. And this is where “Center for Molecular Fingerprinting“ (CMF) steps in:

July 27th, 2021, marked an important milestone for the research activities of the CMF in Hungary. As part of the "Health4Hungary" (H4H) study, that is aimed to establish infrared fingerprinting for health monitoring, the first blood samples for innovative early detection of diseases were successfully collected for CMF in a first kick-off: The doors for this nation-wide research program just opened at the end of July at the medical cooperation partner “Vita Verum Medical Bt.” (at Székesfehérvár near Budapest), being the initial site in a series of further ones to be joining soon.

After intensive training of the medical staff and coaching regarding the data protection guidelines by the CMF team, the first volunteers were welcomed for blood collection. The H4H took off is the tipping point for the large study to happen across Hungary!

What is this research and study good for? CMF's goal is to develop new laser-based tools for monitoring human health in a new way, not possible before. How? By analyzing blood samples in an innovative process using ultrashort laser flashes. This unique and complex technique has its origin in the attoworld research group of Prof. Ferenc Krausz in Munich. The application of how to use these laser pulses to probe human health was established within the team around Dr. Mihaela Zigman and will be further developed in collaboration with CMF. The goal of the H4H program is to recruit individuals as volunteers from broad segments of the Hungarian population - to facilitate the development of this research and to finally develop a new possibility to track and monitor development of diseases.

The project is planned for several years and aimed at involving 10,000+ individuals at numerous sites across Hungary. The multiple medical centers over the country will not only provide convenient access for anyone wishing to participate. They also ensure that samples are taken from different geographical areas of Hungary to ideally cover a broad spectrum of the Hungarian population.

After data collection and blood sampling, the tubes are pseudonymously transmitted to the research group. In this way, it is not possible for the researchers to personally identify the test person due to data protection regulations. In the next step, the blood samples are stored under special cooling conditions for laser-based data analysis and subsequently evaluated. During the blood donation for research purposes an additional tube is obtained, providing the volunteer with regular lab results, not only blood count but also blood chemistry results.

Furthermore, contributing to this research program will be making an immensely important and far-sighted contribution for our population and our relatives, our children, and our grandchildren, which will hopefully all help to detect severe diseases at an early stage in the future, so that optimal therapy may become possible before the disease can fully develop!

July 05, 2021
The joint patent application of the CMF with the LMU

The core technology at CMF for detecting diseases by their molecular fingerprints in a blood sample is field-resolved infrared spectroscopy.

The inventors of the joint patent (from left to right): Ferenc Krausz, Alexander Weigel, Kafai Mak, Shizhen Qu.
July 05, 2021
The joint patent application of the CMF with the LMU Munich and the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics on Tailored Infrared Amplification with Quantum Cascade Lasers.

The core technology at CMF for detecting diseases by their molecular fingerprints in a blood sample is field-resolved infrared spectroscopy. It relies on the generation of extremely short infrared pulses by nonlinear laser technology to excite the molecules in the sample, followed by recording the ringing of the molecular response. The sensitivity for disease detection depends on the brightness of the infrared laser pulses and their spectral information content, i.e., on how many different molecular vibrations the infrared pulses can excite simultaneously. Scaling the brightness and spectral content currently requires an ever increasing in complexity and size of the laser systems. In addition, conventional scaling approaches ultimately reach the fundamental limits of the involved conversion processes.

In a collaboration between the CMF, the LMU Munich, and the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics Dr. Shizhen Qu, Dr. Kafai Mak, Dr. Alexander Weigel, and Prof. Ferenc Krausz have now proposed the elegant solution to amplify the infrared pulses with quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). QCLs are compact on-the-chip laser devices, which can reach Watt-scale infrared optical output with direct electrical power supply – much more than typically achievable with nonlinear techniques. The core of the invention is to send the ultrashort infrared pulses into a combination of QCLs to boost them to previously unachievable power levels. Conveniently, the emission characteristics of QCLs can be tailored by their semiconductor layer structure to specifically amplify spectral components that excite characteristic fingerprint signatures in the blood samples. By selectively enhancing only those parts of the pulse that contribute to the disease-specific fingerprint signatures with a combination of QCLs we expect to reach new levels of sensitivity. With appropriate timing, also amplification of the pure molecular fingerprint signal itself is conceivable.

This first joint patent application witnesses the successful collaboration of the three institutions on the way towards highly sensitive blood-based disease detection and health monitoring.

June 21, 2021
A drop in the ocean

Thousands of researchers are seeking ways to capture human health within a simple probe.

June 21, 2021
A drop in the ocean

Thousands of researchers are seeking ways to capture human health within a simple probe. Why? Every person is unique – in the personality as well as in terms of health. And the task of defining the healthy state at a populational level is just colossal. In the face of this, it is crucial to detect aberrations in health as soon as only possible, raising the alarm that a disease is sneaking into one’s body. Many diseases could be better coped with if we were alarmed earlier, as they only start developing. Especially cancer. This is where less invasive ways of disease detection come into play.

In a very inter-disciplinary team at the laser physics department of the LMU Munich, we believe to have made a step in this direction: We analyzed a fluid that connects all the organs – blood. The idea is familiar to anyone from medical check-ups, and it has recently been used for profiling with modern omics techniques. In our case, however, we exposed tiny amounts of blood to infrared light and captured the vibrations originating from the soluble biomolecules. In collaborative work with medical doctors from the LMU Comprehensive Pneumology Center, we set up a proof-of-principle clinical study to collect blood of individuals that were definitely known to have lung cancer, and in parallel from generally healthy, comparable individuals. We measured their blood samples with infrared spectroscopy. And finally - with quite high certainty - we succeeded to tell apart whether a person had lung cancer or not. From a mere drop of blood.

Eureka? Well, we want to go even further. While infrared fingerprints may distinguish lung cancer, they do not yet inform us about the individual blood components that make up the difference. Nevertheless, it would be good to know their identity to be able to further improve the method. This is what we demonstrated in a new study just published in Angewandte Chemie (DOI: 10.1002/anie.202103272). It is all about a combination of two techniques that are usually applied separately: mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy. The aim was to decode the actual chemical changes behind the previously “black box” infrared fingerprints of lung cancer. Now, with mass spectrometry of blood samples performed at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich, we identified a set of 12 proteins that account for the spectral signature of lung cancer, where early diagnostic markers are currently missing. All of these proteins were known since a long time. Now - like old dogs playing new tricks - the combinatorial protein signature that we defined turns a new page in diagnostic efforts. And this signature can be measured in a matter of minutes using infrared light!

So are we now one step closer to capturing disease and defining health? Certainly so. Especially as laser scientists at our department are engineering new ways of delivering ever shorter and more precise pulses of light for spectroscopic investigations. Metaphorically, this is like a magnifying lens that allows us to inspect the molecular zoo in our blood at once – in a snapshot. Finally, the results are of broader relevance for many disciplines, as one may generalize our findings to detection of other diseases that leave their traces in blood.

Yet, while we are working on new advances in capturing human health by shining light through drops of blood, we are bearing in mind the notion of Isaak Newton: “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”.

Mihaela Zigman

Original article:
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
Molecular Origin of Blood-based Infrared Spctroscopic Fingerprints
Liudmila Voronina, Cristina Leonardo, Johannes B Mueller-Reif, Philipp E Geyer, Marinus Huber, Michael Trubetskov, Kosmas V Kepesidis, Jürgen Behr, Matthias Mann, Krausz Ferenc, Mihaela Žigman
PMID: 33881784

DOI: 10.1002 / anie.202103272
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.202103272
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ange.202107126

(© OeAW)
May 28, 2021
“Electrons for life” went live in Vienna

After a very long pause due to the pandemic, the chance to listen to a lecture and talk to Ferenc Krausz in person took place just on May 28th in Vienna.

(© OeAW)
May 28, 2021
“Electrons for life” went live in Vienna

After a very long pause due to the pandemic, the chance to listen to a lecture and talk to Ferenc Krausz in person took place just on May 28th in Vienna. It was a special occasion. Not only in a city significant for attoscience but also special to the Hungarian-Austrian scientist Ferenc Krausz who worked there over many years. The Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) held its Ceremonial Congress of 2021 with renowned scientists lead by Anton Zeilinger, president of the OeAW, as well as Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen, welcoming Ferenc Krausz as the keynote speaker.

Anyone that would like to watch the ceremonial presentation, seeing the results of Ferenc Krausz and his team from the CMF, LMU and MPQ, here you get the chance to see the video: https://youtu.be/4dQn4fe33hc

In a wake of this impulsive lecture, the main Austrian broadcasting house (ORF) held an interview with Ferenc Krausz. And right here you have the chance to listen and read on the interview with journalist Robert Czepel and learn about what happened in the cellar laboratory of the TU Vienna about two decades ago: https://science.orf.at/stories/3206849/

March 15, 2021
Take it personally: A new blood-based test for monitoring health

A new study carried out by a team of laser physicists, molecular biologists and physicians has confirmed the temporal stability of the molecular ...

March 15, 2021
Taking it personally: A new blood-based test for monitoring health

A new study carried out by a team of laser physicists, molecular biologists and physicians based at LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics has confirmed the temporal stability of the molecular composition of blood in a population of healthy individuals. The data provide a basis for a new method of monitoring the constituents of blood and detecting alterations that reveal changes in a person’s state of health.

The molecular composition of the blood provides information regarding one’s state of health, and may be compared to an individual fingerprint. In principle, changes in the constituents of blood can serve as early signs of disease. However, before chemical fingerprints can be utilized for diagnostic purposes, the stability of the molecular patterns in healthy persons over time must be firmly established. Researchers under the direction of Dr. Mihaela Žigman, Head of the Broadband Infrared Diagnostics (BIRD) group in the Department of Laser Physics led by Prof. Ferenc Krausz at LMU Munich, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Nadia Harbeck at the LMU Medical Centre, have now successfully accomplished this task. With the aid of a method known as Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), the team has shown that the molecular composition of blood samples obtained from a cohort of healthy donors remains stable over a period of several months, and confirmed that each of the resulting spectra could be clearly assigned to an individual person.

Rapid diagnosis of human diseases is a long standing problem in medicine. As diseases often alter the molecular make-up of circulating body fluids, obtaining a snapshot of their molecular composition would be invaluable in detecting a multitude of diseased states, and the types and concentrations of the many molecules found in the bloodstream can provide vital information on a person’s health. The real challenge, however, comes when one tries to determine the exact composition of body fluids, given that the concentrations of informative molecules are often extremely low. The interdisciplinary BIRD team led by Dr. Mihaela Žigman in Prof. Dr. Ferenc Krausz’s department at LMU, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Nadia Harbeck at the LMU Medical Centre, has now investigated the stability of the chemical make-up of blood samples over days, weeks and even months.
Based on Fourier-transform infrared measurements (FTIR), the researchers analysed the molecular fingerprints of serum and plasma samples obtained from 31 healthy individuals over the clinically relevant period of 6 months. The study demonstrated that the infrared molecular fingerprint of each individual donor in fact remained stable over periods ranging from a few days to weeks and months, and each temporal profile could be readily attributed to the participant concerned.
“This newly revealed temporal stability of blood-based infrared fingerprints provides a basis for future applications of minimally invasive infrared spectroscopy as a reliable method for the future of health monitoring,” says Mihaela Žigman, leader of the research group.
Standard Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, which uses conventional light sources, could soon be replaced by chemical analyses based on infrared lasers. Given the much higher intensity of laser light, the latter method should be more sensitive and precise, and should therefore yield more detailed and informative characterizations of the molecular constituents of blood. The physicists in the attoworld team, led by Prof. Ferenc Krausz, are now working on the laser technologies necessary to achieve this aim. Exposure to intense infrared light causes molecules to vibrate and emit light at specific frequencies, which depend on the chemical structures of the molecules within the sample. Analysis of the components of the resulting spectrum of electromagnetic oscillations enables researchers to assign them to the many types of molecules present in body fluids. As Prof. Krausz and colleagues reported last year, the new method allows minuscule amounts of different classes of molecules to be spectroscopically detected (Nature, 2. January 2020; doi 10.1038/s41586-019-1850-7).
“With our lasers, we can already detect electrical signals emitted by excited molecules with very high sensitivity,” Ferenc Krausz explains. “Such precise measurements of alterations in the molecular composition of body fluids, together with knowledge of the stable molecular fingerprint of healthy controls, opens up new analytical opportunities in biology and medicine,” says Marinus Huber, leading author of the study. “Our results reveal that it is possible to obtain informative, blood-based infrared fingerprints efficiently, repeatedly and in a minimally invasive manner. The key, in this case, is that the analysis ought to be sensitive enough and sufficiently broad to cover a wide range of possible molecules (or types of molecules) - to be in position to monitor personal health and detect disorders at an early stage. Practically speaking, following-up a person’s health status regularly might become paramount for timely-detecting relevant deviations. In addition to its uses in the fields of health monitoring and preventive medicine, systems biology shall also benefit from the availability of the approach,” Mihaela Žigman adds.
-Thorsten Naeser

Original Publication:
Huber, M., Kepesidis, K.V., Voronina, L. et al. Stability of person-specific blood-based infrared molecular fingerprints opens up prospects for health monitoring. Nat Commun 12, 1511 (2021).

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21668-5
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-21668-5
Further information is available from:
Dr. Mihaela Žigman
Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Am Coulombwall 1
85748 Garching, Germany.
E-Mail: zigman@mukkozpont.hu.

November 4, 2020
Let there be light: Laser Development and Technology Team forms at CMF

When it comes to disease detection and health monitoring with field-resolved molecular fingerprinting, turning our vision into reality requires dedicated...

November 4, 2020
Let there be light: Laser Development and Technology Team forms at CMF

When it comes to disease detection and health monitoring with field-resolved molecular fingerprinting, turning our vision into reality requires dedicated technological development at the forefront of our scientific research. It starts from the development of new mid-infrared laser sources via advancing sample handling and detection technologies and goes toward finding optimal data acquisition and processing strategies. Over the last couple of months, a new team has formed at CMF with the particular goal to tackle these technical and scientific challenges. In close collaboration, the CMF laser development and technology team in Garching (Germany) is joining forces with LMU laser scientists to combine all technological advances in a one of a kind prototype device for molecular fingerprinting. Once the laser laboratory of CMF will open its gates in Budapest, this instrument will be fundamental to be used in blood sample analysis. Currently, the CMF team headed by Dr. Alexander Weigel is moving frontiers in laser development and solving experimental challenges towards that end.

October 28, 2020
Strengthening the team: Viola Zoka

We would like to wish a warm welcome to a new colleague: Since October 2020, the research group around Dr. Mihaela Žigman has been supported...

October 28, 2020
Strengthening the team: Viola Zoka

We would like to wish a warm welcome to a new colleague: Since October 2020, the research group around Dr. Mihaela Žigman has been supported by Viola Zóka, a new medical-technical assistant!

The young Hungarian completed Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She had developed her passion for chemistry early on and intensified it by her professional experience in a laboratory in Nagykanizsa, Hidrofilt Ltd. Hungary, where she performed analytical chemistry of water samples. When Viola heard about newly developing infrared molecular fingerprinting to analyze way more complex human blood samples that she was used to, she applied for a job at the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF). CMF is strongly collaborating with the Laser Physics department of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) Munich and prior to having its own laboratories built and established in Hungary, the samples from the clinical studies lead by CMF will be analyzed at the LMU. And Viola made a move from Hungary to Germany to start her new professional life at the Garching Research Center and directly fuel the CMF research goals from there. Together with laser scientist and molecular biologists, Viola will analyze blood samples for their molecular composition using infrared spectroscopy - something that everyone is very much excited about!

March 11, 2020
Sample storage at its best

CMF’s strategic partner, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, Germany, just installed an automated biobanking system for…

March 11, 2020
Sample storage at its best

CMF’s strategic partner, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, Germany, just installed an automated biobanking system for sample storage at temperatures below minus 150°C. What is this good for? Under these very low temperatures - so called “cryogenic” conditions in the atmosphere above liquid nitrogen - human samples, such as blood plasma or actually any biological tissues, can be kept for several years, decades without sample deterioration. It assures that valuable human materials collected in frame of clinical studies can be used in long term and thus enables researchers to analyze these with molecular fingerprinting techniques most efficiently. Such an automated cryogenic system is made of large tightly sealed tank that is capable to store up to 60,000 samples. The system is further equipped with a robotic arm that can pick individual tubes automatically, such that the samples are kept and handled well below minus 100 °C at all times.

This installation has a direct impact for the future of the joint CMF-LMU research aims. On the one hand the two institutions will be conducting joint clinical studies. On the other, LMU biobanking system also serves as a test case for the CMF’s envisioned own biorepository, to be established in Budapest.

Thus, CMF is getting familiar with the best way to store most valuable biological materials for the years of research to come!

January 07, 2020
Field-resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological systems

In cooperation between the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics…

January 07, 2020
Field-resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological systems

In cooperation between the Laboratory of Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the King Saud University Riad and the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (Budapest, Hungary), we have developed a molecular spectroscopy technique that overcomes long-standing limitations of traditional techniques, like Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, as described in our recent publication. A powerful femtosecond laser delivers 28 million pulses per second, with highly repeatable waveforms, comprising merely a few infrared-electric-field oscillations. Transmitting these pulses through a complex, molecular sample synchronously excites infrared-active vibrations of molecular bonds, each at its own eigenfrequency. The signals emitted by the vibrationally-excited molecules in the wake of the impulsive excitation coherently add up to a ‘molecular fingerprint’ characteristic of the sample’s molecular composition.

In contrast to traditional spectroscopies, where the entire response of the sample to an infrared excitation hits the detector(s), in field-resolved spectroscopy sub-optical-cycle portions of the time-domain fingerprint field are sequentially carved out by means of nonlinear optics. This dramatically reduces any infrared background on the measured signals, including the noise originating from the excitation and thermal background. This conceptional advance results in an unprecedented detection sensitivity and dynamic range.

We have also demonstrated first biological applications that have so far been beyond the reach of infrared vibrational spectroscopies. These applications include first high-signal-to-noise ratio infrared transmission measurements of living biological tissue and fingerprinting of liquid biopsies with sub-µg/ml sensitivity. Thus, field-resolved spectroscopy promises improved molecular sensitivity and molecular coverage for probing complex, real-world biological and medical settings.

December 16th, 2019
Prof. Ferenc Krausz has recieved the honorary membership of the Roland Eötvös Physical Society

Prof. Ferenc Krausz has recieved the honorary membership of the Roland Eötvös Physical Society, Budapest. After…

December 16th, 2019
Prof. Ferenc Krausz has recieved the honorary membership of the Roland Eötvös Physical Society

Prof. Ferenc Krausz has recieved the honorary membership of the Roland Eötvös Physical Society, Budapest. After receiving the membership the laser physicist of the Ludwig-Maximilians University München and the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics held an lecture about how attosecond science technologies can in the future contribute to a new way of finding molecules in human biofluids like blood. This may path the way for medical applications to detect diseases by analyzing so called molecular fingerprints with the help of strong laser light pulses.

            Team

Prof. Dr. Ferenc Krausz

Scientific Director, CEO

krausz@mukkozpont.hu

László Vastag, MD

Managing Director

vastag@mukkozpont.hu

Dr. Mihaela Žigman

Research Director

zigman@mukkozpont.hu

Dr. Frank Fleischmann

Advisor – Biological Laboratories

fleischmann@mukkozpont.hu

Márton Görög

Leader Data Scientist

gorog@mukkozpont.hu

Viola Zóka

Medical technical assistant

zoka@mukkozpont.hu

Zsuzsa Uti

L4L Project Coordinator

uti@mukkozpont.hu

Dr. Alexander Weigel

Chief Laser Scientist

weigel@mukkozpont.hu

Patrik Karandušovský

Computer Scientist

karandusovsky@mukkozpont.hu

Aleksandar Sebesta

Laser Engineer

sebesta@mukkozpont.hu

Maciej Kowalczyk

Laser Scientist

kowalczyk@mukkozpont.hu

Shizhen Qu

Laser Scientist

qu@mukkozpont.hu

Christina Hofer

Nonlinear Optics Scientist

hofer@mukkozpont.hu

Arun Paudel

Laser Engineer

paudel@mukkozpont.hu

Dionysios Potamianos

Laser Engineer

potamianos@mukkozpont.hu

Partners

(© Thorsten Naeser)

CMF seeks extending the above network of long-term strategic partners with clinical centers and other healthcare providers across Hungary and abroad for the pursuit of its mission.

            Join us

Individuals interested in joining a highly-motivated team dedicated to the pursuit of the grand goals of CMF are invited to apply for the following open positions:

November 16th, 2021

Laboratory Manager

Location of workplace: Szeged, Hungary.

Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) we combine cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies with laser-based fingerprinting techniques to advance electric-field molecular spectroscopy. Our novel infrared molecular fingerprinting is developed and utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of laser physicists, life scientists, data scientists, molecular scientists and medical personnel to probe human health and to identify medical conditions in samples of human bodily liquids. The main aim is to demonstrate how a unique laser technology, that generates ultrashort light pulses, can be utilized for probing human health and disease.

We are searching for candidates with either molecular biological, chemistry, analytical, biotechnological or biomedical background that will work at the new CMF laboratory in Szeged.

In perspective, there is the unique possibility - after a positive evaluation of the work of the successful candidate - to take over a leading position at the CMF laboratories currently under construction in Budapest, Hungary. The CMF headquarters at Budapest will host a large-scale laser facility (with more than ten femtosecond lasers systems) and large-scale cryogenic biobank with a storage capacity of several millions human samples. The aim of the CMF operations is to apply next-generation field-resolved spectrometers based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-Infrared sources for the analysis of human blood samples to non-invasively detect disease and monitor health.

At the beginning of 2022, a new biological laboratory for handling and management of human samples will be set to fuel laser-based infrared molecular fingerprinting of human plasma. We are seeking a suitable professional for filling the position of Laboratory Manager to take over the responsibility to establish the biological laboratory and to facilitate the organization, management and running of the biological laboratory. In the CMF bio-laboratory, human sample preparation, processing, aliquoting, quality control and molecular assays will be performed in addition to conventional infrared spectroscopy. This will be done with the help of a technical assistant and in close collaboration with next-door CMF laser laboratories.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • coordination of the technical setup of the biological lab infrastructure;
  • responsible for human sample management, characterization, quality control, and analytical measurements;
  • contribution to the development and maintenance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), protocols, technical notes, guidelines, and flow charts;
  • responsibility for procurement of required devices, consumables and interaction withrelevant suppliers;
  • in charge of coordinating the shipment of human samples and data from and to collaborating partners, as well as in charge of maintaining sample safety;
  • investigating, reporting and documenting deviations in daily practical operations;
  • training and guiding the technical staff and ensuring the highest sample quality;
  • interacting with the collaborating partners in Munich.

Requirements and Qualifications:

  • Masters (or Ph.D.) in molecular biology, chemistry, molecular analytics, biotechnology or biomedical sciences;
  • track record of experience in managing a laboratory, leading a team or similar is of advantage;
  • familiar with regulatory and governance processes in biomedical research;
  • able to communicate effectively and interact in a professional manner with leadership, management, co-workers;
  • exceptional in analytical and problem-solving capabilities;
  • excellent planning skills, with a responsible mindset while keeping a high level of flexibility and accuracy.
  • ability to prioritize work efficiently;
  • familiar with working in GxP environment;
  • excellent in written and verbal communication skills in English and Hungarian is required;
  • high-level user knowledge of standard software and the ability to quickly learn and utilize computer programs as needed;
  • strong motivation, ability to work independently but also well equipped for collaboration in this multidisciplinary project;
  • ability to share your expertise with a multicultural and diverse environment;

Candidates with experience in managing a biological laboratory or facility are particularly encouraged to apply. Consideration will also be given to less experienced candidates who can demonstrate the necessary drive, required background and vision to develop the role.

We offer:

  • a unique possibility to work at the highly cross-disciplinary field, at the forefront of biobank sciences shaping the future of biomedical diagnostics;
  • a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavor and professional environment;
  • ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications – including professional training and workshops;
  • a place of employment is in Szeged;
  • a versatile range of work packages with good possibilities for further development.

Selection criteria
Candidates will be evaluated based on their qualifications and their ability to perform the tasks specified for the position.

Deadline for applying
Screening of applications will begin as soon as possible. The position will be open until it is filled.

We are looking forward to receiving your application to Eszter Márton-Szűcs, our HR Associate (hr@mukkozpont.hu) including the following documents:

  • An English cover letter and detailed curriculum vitae;
  • Supporting material such as contact to professional references.
November 16th, 2021

Laboratory Associate

Location of workplace: Szeged, Hungary.

The mission of CMF is to develop and apply new ways of ultrashort laser pulses to analyse human blood and thereby assess human health. In the frame of our clinical research, blood samples are collected and measured with infrared spectroscopy. The first results suggest that the detection approach carries a promising potential with wide societal impact, with the possibility to detect early disease-onset. To establish the new approach and to bring it to a high-throughput level, we are seeking a suitable candidate for filling the position of a

biological / biotechnological / chemical / medical laboratory associate

with a primary task to help realize this. The successful professional shall help us in building up, operating, and maintaining a newly establishing biological laboratory and in completing safe blood sample handling and storage, sample aliquoting and routine laboratory testing. In this role, the candidate will also be documenting the results of tests in databases.

The advertised position will be located at the CMF laboratory in Szeged. The professional will be part of a highly international and interdisciplinary team consisting of molecular biologists, physicists and data scientists. The overriding aim is to evaluate the efficiency of our constantly developing infrared technology.

Key accountabilities:

  • Assisting in building-up and maintenance of the biological laboratory in support of the laboratory manager;
  • Handling of the collected samples for temporary storage and processing sample aliquots for measurements;
  • Performing routine and accurate analysis of the samples with infrared spectroscopy and molecular analytical techniques with help of senior-level personnel;
  • Performing quality control assays to ensure sample and data integrity;
  • Documentation of laboratory activities using a laboratory information and management system (LIMS);
  • Elaboration of SOPs in cooperation with the laboratory manager and further team members.

Required qualifications and skills:

  • Qualification as a biological / biotechnological / chemical / medical technician or Bachelor’s degree in Biology / Biotechnology or equivalent and related fields;
  • Proven work experience within a GxP environment or in a clinical laboratory is advantageous;
  • Ability to communicate in Hungarian and a good command of English are essential;
  • Confident user-level computer management skills;
  • Willingness to learn quickly and good communication skills;
  • Independent working style after completed trainings;
  • Flexibility for domestic travel;
  • High-level of responsibility.

We offer:

  • a fast-paced stimulating international environment which will expand your abilities and give your talent an edge;
  • a broad range of laboratory activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment;
  • ample opportunities for improving your professional skills and qualifications – including professional trainings and workshops;
  • working location based in Szeged;

We are interested in filling the position as soon as possible and applications are continuously evaluated until the position is filled. Possible, the start date for the advertised position is beginning of 2022.

Please send a brief English cover letter explaining your interest in the post and your English CV to Eszter Márton-Szűcs (hr@mukkozpont.hu).

November 16th, 2021

Head of Laser Laboratory/Senior Laser Scientist/Post-Doctoral Associate – Laser Physics

Location of workplace: Szeged, Hungary.

Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) is developing cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies [1-3] to advance electric-field molecular fingerprinting techniques based on field-resolved infrared spectroscopy [4]. The laser spectrometers developed at CMF will be utilized in large scale clinical studies to target disease detection (https://www.lasers4life.de/). Planned high-throughput measurement operations will encompass several tens of thousands of human samples per year being measured by several laser spectrometers, operated in parallel within the CMF laboratories. The research is performed in close collaboration with the attoworld laboratories led by Prof. Krausz at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU) and the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) (https://www.attoworld.de/).

The successful candidate will work, together with laser scientists, life scientists and technicians from CMF, MPQ and LMU at the CMF laboratories at Szeged and Budapest. During the initial phase of employment, the successful candidate will be trained for several months on the existing laser systems within the attoworld laboratories at LMU Munich, in preparation for the technology transfer to CMF in Hungary. Drawing on this training, the successful candidate will be responsible for setting up and managing an interim laser laboratory in Szeged with a couple of field-resolved spectrometers and managing a small technical staff team. Further development and applications of the laser systems at CMF will be performed in close collaboration with the scientist at the attoworld laboratories in Munich.

In perspective, there is the unique possibility - after a positive evaluation of the work of the successful candidate - to take over a leading position at the CMF laboratories currently under construction in Budapest, Hungary. The CMF headquarters at Budapest will host a large-scale laser facility (with more than ten femtosecond lasers systems) and large-scale cryogenic biobank with a storage capacity of several millions human samples. The aim of the CMF operations is to apply next-generation field-resolved spectrometers based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-Infrared sources for the analysis of human blood samples to non-invasively detect disease and monitor health.

Task:

  • Responsible for the establishment and operation of the CMF interims laser laboratories;
  • Management and responsibility for the technical team responsible for the maintenance and reliable operation of the lasers;
  • Supporting the interdisciplinary team and ensuring the reliable operation of the laser spectrometers for biological measurements.

Qualifications and Skills:

The successful candidate with a PhD/MSc degree in physics or a related technical discipline and strong self-motivation and the ability to solve problems independently, with post-doctoral experience; should have some expertise in some of the areas listed below:

  • Linear/nonlinear optics or laser development ;
  • Ultrafast and/or high-power laser systems;
  • Project and laboratory management;
  • Experience with Labview, Python, or another programming language;
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work at the interface with biomedical applications;
  • Good command of the written and spoken English language is required, German language skills are advantageous, knowledge of Hungarian is of advantage but not a requirement.

The advantage to having experiences in:

  • Management and development of complex latest-generation laser systems including:
    • High-power ultrafast disc laser
    • Multi-pass compression to sub-20 fs
    • Efficient octave-spanning mid-infrared generation
    • Field-resolved detection with electro-optical sampling
    • Dual-oscillator laser synchronization with attosecond timing calibration
    • High-speed data acquisition and processing;
  • Further implementation of the latest technology advances from attoworld research (technology transfer);

We offer:

  • A broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment;
  • Access to the latest optical technologies and state-of-the-art laboratories;
  • Excellent research and working conditions;
  • Close collaboration with and research visits at the attoworld laboratories in Munich (https://www.attoworld.de/).;
  • Supportive, highly motivated, and multi-disciplinary team;
  • Pleasant working atmosphere with many learning opportunities;
  • Open-minded, inspiring, dynamic and international atmosphere, scientific flair;
  • Competitive salary;
  • Personal and professional training programs;
  • Unlimited contract position;
  • Career perspectives with the possibility to play a leading role at the CMF laboratories currently build in Budapest, Hungary.

Contact:

Please send a brief English cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your English CV and contact information of two references to Eszter Márton-Szűcs (hr@mukkozpont.hu).

[1] O. Pronin et al., “High-power multi-megahertz source of waveform-stabilized few-cycle light,” Nat. Commun. 6, 6988 (2015).
[2] K. Fritsch et al., “All-solid-state multipass spectral broadening to sub-20 fs,” Opt. Lett. 43, 4643 (2018).
[3] I. Pupeza et al., “High-power sub-two-cycle mid-infrred pulses at 100 MHz repetition rate,” Nat. Photon. 9, 721 (2014).
[4] I. Pupeza et al., "Field-resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological systems," Nature 577, 52-59 (2020).

November 16th, 2021

Laser Technician

Location of workplace: Szeged, Hungary.

Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) is developing cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies to advance electric-field molecular fingerprinting techniques based on field-resolved infrared spectroscopy. The laser spectrometers developed at CMF will be utilized in large scale clinical studies to target disease detection (https://www.lasers4life.de/). Planned high-throughput measurement operations will encompass several tens of thousands of human samples per year being measured by several laser spectrometers, operated in parallel within the CMF laboratories. The research is performed in close collaboration with the attoworld laboratories led by Prof. Krausz at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU) and the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) (https://www.attoworld.de/). The aim of the CMF operations is to apply next-generation field-resolved spectrometers based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-Infrared sources for the analysis of human blood samples to non-invasively detect disease and monitor health.

The successful candidate will work, together with laser scientists, life scientists and technicians from CMF, MPQ and LMU at the CMF laboratories at Szeged and Budapest. The candidate will be performing field-resolved infrared measurements and help maintain the laser systems. During the initial phase of employment, the successful candidate will be trained on the existing laser systems within the attoworld laboratories at LMU Munich, in preparation for the technology transfer to CMF in Hungary. Drawing on this training, the successful candidate will be helping set up and manage a laser laboratory in Szeged with a couple of field-resolved spectrometers.

In perspective, there is a unique possibility to help shape the CMF projects and build up of the CMF laboratories, with the possibility of professional development as well as contribution to the latest scientific developments.

Major tasks include:

  • Routine operation of our laser-based infrared spectrometers, consisting of femtosecond-laser oscillators, amplifiers, pulse compressors and electro-optical detection systems;
  • Regular quality control and documentation of the achieved laser parameters;
  • Maintenance and fine adjustment of optomechanical components as well as the implementation of improvements of the laser systems;
  • Facilitating the routine analysis of clinical samples;
  • Instruct new team members on how to use the laser spectrometer;
  • Elaboration of SOPs for laser operation in cooperation with biomedical staff.

Required qualifications and skills:

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in physics, physical engineering or electrical engineering or related fields;
  • Experience with optical systems;
  • Good command of English (written and spoken) is a pre-required, Hungarian is advantageous;
  • Ability to work in an international environment;
  • User-level computer management skills;
  • Quick learning and good communication skills;
  • Self-employment after training;
  • Responsibility.

We offer:

  • a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment;
  • ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications – including professional trainings and workshops;
  • long term opportunity with highly qualified professionals.
  • the location of the position is in Szeged.

We are interested in filling the positions as soon as possible and applications are continuously evaluated until the position is filled.

Please send a brief English cover letter explaining your interest in the post and your English CV to Eszter Márton-Szűcs (hr@mukkozpont.hu).

November 16th, 2021

Head of Laboratory Operations/ Chief Bio-facility Manager

Location of workplace: Budapest, Hungary.

At the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) we combine cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies with laser-based fingerprinting techniques to advance electric-field molecular spectroscopy. Our novel infrared molecular fingerprinting is developed and utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of laser physicists, life scientists, data scientists, molecular scientists and medical personnel to probe human health and to identify medical conditions in samples of human bodily liquids. The main aim is to demonstrate how a unique laser technology, that generates ultrashort light pulses, can be utilized for probing human health and disease.

We are searching for candidates with either molecular biological, chemistry, or medical background that will work at the CMF. The overriding goal is to plan, build up and manage a laboratory facility that will allow storage and management of blood-based human samples at cryogenic conditions, to preprocess samples and fuel laser-based infrared molecular fingerprinting. The work will be performed in close collaboration with a team at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) (https://www.attoworld.de/) in Munich, Germany.

CMF is planning a large-scale automated cryogenic biorepository that will be established at the CMF premises to be newly built at Budapest for storage of several hundred thousand aliquots, one of a kind in Hungary and the region. We are seeking a suitable Facility Manager that will help us meet the high-end expectations of a quality-controlled facility.

In the first instance the successful candidate will help us plan the establishment of the new facility, and in the next phase manage and continuously upgrade it with modern technologies to facilitate the best sample quality.

The successful candidate will take over the task of the overall management of the CMF strategy for the long-term storage of human materials. Responsibilities include interactions with other departments of CMF for an effective decision making structure as well as database, technical, laser physics and legal affairs. The technical and scientific approaches will be complemented by exchanges with collaborating LMU laboratories in Munich.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • planning and coordination of the technical setup of the biobank infrastructure;
  • contribute to the technical planning and realization of the connected biological laboratory;
  • responsible for procurement of required devices and interaction with relevant suppliers;
  • management of sample related biobanking activities such as the delivery of samples on demand to researchers and collaborating scientists;
  • contribute to the development and maintenance of the quality management system of CMF (Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Quality Assurance, pre-training of audits etc.)
  • coordinates and ensures the privacy of data and samples,
  • trains and guides the technical staff in sample handling and storage
  • close interaction with the collaborating partners in Munich;

Requirements and Qualifications:

  • relevant degree in chemical, molecular biology, biomedical sciences - master/diploma degree. Ph.D. in molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology and/or related life sciences is welcome but not preconditioned;
  • track record of experience in managing a laboratory, facility, repository or similar is required;
  • exceptional capacity in analytical and problem-solving capabilities is required;
  • high project management skills and ability to prioritize work efficiently is expected;
  • team-management experience is required;
  • required ability to communicate effectively and interact in a professional manner at different levels;
  • familiarity with IT systems such as large-scale databases is advantageous;
  • familiarity with regulatory and governance processes associated with the collection, storage, retrieval and analysis of biomedical research and facilities is advantageous;
  • familiarity with working in a GxP environment is advantageous;
  • required excellent written and verbal communication skills – proficient in both written and spoken English and Hungarian;
  • strong motivation, ability to work independently but also well equipped for collaboration in this multidisciplinary project;
  • team-spirited and engaged to work within a multicultural and diverse environment;
  • able to act in fast pace environment and adapt to new needs.

Candidates with experience in managing a biobank are particularly encouraged to apply. Consideration will also be given to less experienced candidates who can demonstrate the necessary drive, required background and vision to develop the role.

We offer:

  • a unique possibility to work at the highly cross-disciplinary field, at the forefront of biobank sciences shaping the future of biomedical diagnostics;
  • a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavor and professional environment;
  • ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications – including professional training and workshops;
  • a place of employment is in Budapest, with the ability to travel required;
  • a versatile range of work-packages with good possibilities for further development.

Application process:

Selection criteria
Candidates will be evaluated based on their qualifications and their ability to perform the tasks specified for the position.

Deadline for applying
Screening of applications will begin as soon as possible. The position will be open until it is filled.

Please send a brief English cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your English CV and contact information of two references to Eszter Márton-Szűcs (hr@mukkozpont.hu).

We are looking forward to receiving your application including the following documents:

  • A cover letter and detailed curriculum vitae;
  • Supporting material such as contact to professional references.
November 16th, 2021

Clinical Research Associate

Location of workplace: Budapest, Hungary.

Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) is developing cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies to advance electric-field molecular fingerprinting techniques based on field-resolved infrared spectroscopy. The laser spectrometers developed at CMF will be utilized in large scale clinical studies to target disease detection (https://www.lasers4life.de/). Planned high-throughput measurement operations will encompass several tens of thousands of human samples per year being measured by several laser spectrometers, operated in parallel within the CMF laboratories. The research is performed in close collaboration with the attoworld laboratories led by Prof. Krausz at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU) and the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) (https://www.attoworld.de/). The aim of the CMF operations is to apply next-generation field-resolved spectrometers based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-Infrared sources for the analysis of human blood samples to non-invasively detect disease and monitor health.

If you:

  • feel to have more potential than treadmilling the same path from study to study
  • fed up with managing 6 studies with less than 100 subjects involved
  • would like to make a difference & be part of a project of historical importance with unprecedented magnitude
  • can exhibit creative & strategic thinking
  • have more interest in science and the future vs. dividends for the shareholders

THEN APPLY FOR OUR OPEN POSITION!

Our institution is setting up a unique longitudinal human research study with the participation of 15,000 individuals across Hungary to bring to the international forefront a groundbreaking diagnostic procedure that could be a game changer in the field of health monitoring. As a Clinical Research Associate, Project Coordinator you will take on the management of interventional human research project(s) in an expanding team, which has 4 members on CRA side.

Major tasks include:

  • Full ownership of study management
    • investigators & sites - responsibility for the successful management of all site-related activities from feasibility through maintenance till close-out including Investigator relationship management, document management, site stock monitoring, sample shipment, issue detection, reporting, resolution
    • compliance - ensuring SOP and regulatory compliance for site activities as well as data integrity and validity, assistance during audit/inspection
    • regulatory and ethics – submission package compilation, deficiency response, amendment submission
    • contract and payment – contract negotiation, payment preparation
    • vendors – involvement in specification, procurement, and commissioning of supplies

Required attributes:

  • Experience in investigator site management – either in clinical pharmacology trials, or preferably interventional human research trials (i.e. trials w/o investigational drug administration) including feasibility, site initiation, monitoring and close-out, recruitment support, source data verification, query management, plus appropriate document management
  • Regulatory knowledge – familiar with local regulatory requirements
  • Life science background – a minimum of master’s level degree in life sciences
  • Language knowledge - fluency in Hungarian and English including technical terms
  • IT – strong user-level knowledge of MS Office
  • Interpersonal skills - proactive, enthusiastic team player
  • Flexibility – ability to tolerate a fast-paced working environment, rapidly changing circumstances

A strong plus, if you:

  • hold a medical doctor degree
  • hold a PhD
  • have experience in process and/or SOP development
  • can demonstrate a project management skill
  • own a car and accept a car allowance

We offer:

  • a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment;
  • ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications – including professional trainings and workshops;
  • long term opportunity with highly qualified professionals.
  • the location of the position is in Szeged / Budapest.

We are interested in filling the positions as soon as possible and applications are continuously evaluated until the position is filled.

Please send a brief English cover letter explaining your interest in the post and your English CV to Eszter Márton-Szűcs (hr@mukkozpont.hu).

November 16th, 2021

Systems Engineer (f/m/o)

Location of workplace: Garching, Germany.

The research Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) develops in collaboration with Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU) and the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) cutting-edge femtosecond-attosecond laser technologies [1-5] for a novel cross-molecular detection of changes in the molecular composition of biological systems: infrared electric-field molecular fingerprinting [6]. The novel systems are utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, data scientists, biologists and clinical personal to identify, via minuscule variations in the infrared response, diseases such as cancer in body liquid samples (https://www.lasers4life.de/).

The successful candidate will work, together with scientists and technicians from CMF and LMU at the Laboratory for Extreme Photonics (LEX www.lex-photonics.de) on the research campus Garching, north of Munich, on next-generation instruments based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-infrared sources and field-resolved detection. The goal for this position is to transform the latest research results into a technically mature and reliable laser-based measurement system with unprecedented performance with a special focus on automation, diagnostic, and data acquisition.

Task:

  • Transforming the newly developed laser (research) instruments into a reliable tool for spectroscopy;
  • Automation of procedures e.g. switch on/off;
  • Integration of diagnostic devices and sensors to build a GUI to control/log the instrument parameters.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Excellent Master’s degree or higher in computer sciences or a related technical discipline;
  • Experience with hardware programming and system/instrument building;
  • Strong self-motivation and the ability to solve problems independently;
  • Ideally, experience with laser systems;
  • Ideally, experience with optical systems and sensors;Interest in interdisciplinary work with the interface to bio-medical applications;
  • Good command of the English language, German/Hungarian language skills are advantageous.

We offer:

  • Access to the latest optical technologies and state-of-the-art laboratories;
  • Excellent research and working conditions;
  • Supportive, highly motivated, and multi-disciplinary team;
  • Pleasant working atmosphere with many learning opportunities;
  • Open-minded, inspiring, dynamic and international atmosphere, scientific flair;
  • Pleasant working atmosphere with many learning opportunities;
  • Competitive salary similar to German public service pay scale;
  • Personal and professional training programmes.

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your CV and contact information of two references to Eszter Márton-Szűcs, as the HR associate (hr@mukkozpont.hu).

[1] J. Zhang et al., Light Sci. Appl. 7, 17180 (2018).
[2] Q. Wang et al., Opt. Letters 44, 2566 (2019).
[3] N. Nagl et al., Opt. Letters 44, 2390 (2019).
[4] S. Sederberg et al., Nature Commun. 2, 430 (2020)
[5] I. Pupeza et al., Nature Photon. 9, 721 (2015).
[6] I. Pupeza et al., Nature 577, 52 (2020).

November 16th, 2021

Lab Automation Engineer / Lab Automation Specialist (f/m/o)

Location of workplace: Garching, Germany.

The research Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF) develops in collaboration with Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU) and the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies with novel molecular fingerprinting techniques to advance a new type of mid-infrared spectroscopy on the electric-field level. The novel systems are utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, data scientists, biologists and clinical personnel to identify, via minuscule variations in the infrared response, diseases such as cancer in body liquid samples (https://www.lasers4life.de/).

The successful candidate will work, together with scientists and technicians from CMF and LMU at the Laboratory for Extreme Photonics www.attoworld.de ) on the research campus Garching, north of Munich, on the establishment of broadband mid-Infrared sources spectrometers with spectrometers with broadband field-resolved detection.

The goal for this position is to integrate and automatize microfluidic chip and automated sample delivery into a spectrometer measurement system. A special focus lies within with reproducibility and control of such system with the special focus on automation, diagnostic, and data acquisition.

Task:

  • Transforming the newly developed laser spectrometer along with sample delivery unit into a reliable tool for spectroscopy;
  • Automation of procedures - sustaining and developing technical knowledge of automation hardware and software related to biomolecular techniques;
  • Integration of diagnostic devices and sensors to build a GUI to control/log the instrument parameters.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Master’s degree or higher in computer sciences or a related technical discipline is prerequisite;
  • Several years of work experience with scripting and/or a programming language preferably Python, C, or C++ is required;
  • Hands-on experience with automation software and hardware is required, and experience in automated liquid handling devices and robots is advantageous;
  • Experience with NI LabVIEW software with is advantageous;
  • We expect strong self-motivation and the ability to solve problems independently, along with the ability to learn and adapt to new workflows and concepts;
  • Ideally, the candidate shall have experience with optical systems and sensors;
  • Excellent command of the English language is required.

We offer:

  • Access to the latest optical technologies and state-of-the-art laboratories;
  • Excellent research and working conditions;
  • Supportive, highly motivated, and multi-disciplinary team;
  • Pleasant working atmosphere with many learning opportunities;
  • Open-minded, inspiring, dynamic and international atmosphere, scientific flair;
  • Pleasant working atmosphere with many learning opportunities;
  • Competitive salary similar to German public service pay scale;
  • Personal and professional training programmes.

Deadline for applying
Screening of applications will begin as soon as possible. The position will be open until it is filled.

We are looking forward to receiving your application to Eszter Márton-Szűcs, our HR Associate (hr@mukkozpont.hu) including the following documents:

  • An English cover letter and detailed curriculum vitae;
  • Supporting material such as contact to professional references.

Contact

Center for Molecular Fingerprinting Research
Nonprofit LLC.

1093 Budapest, Czuczor utca 2-10. 2nd floor, Hungary
Phone: +36 30 016 7102
Email: info@mukkozpont.hu