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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)
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. 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 16, 2019
Honorary membership for Prof. Krausz

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

December 16, 2019
Honorary membership for Prof. Krausz

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

CEO

krausz@cmf.science

László Vastag, MD

Managing Director

vastag@mukkozpont.hu

Dr. Mihaela Žigman

Research Director

zigman@cmf.science

Markó Madaras

Chief Operating Manager

madaras@cmf.science

Győző Karácsony

Financial Manager

karacsony@cmf.science

János Pittner, MD, PhD

Clinical Project Manager

pittner@cmf.science

Dr. Krisztina Szekely-Molnar

Legal Counsel

szekelymolnar@mukkozpont.hu

Dr. Frank Fleischmann

Advisor – Biological Laboratories

fleischmann@cmf.science

Dr. Stefan Jungblut

Advisor – Clinical Collaborations

jungblut@cmf.science

Dr. Alexander Weigel

Chief Laser Scientist

weigel@cmf.science

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:

June 18, 2020

Computer Scientist / Programmer

At the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF, mukkozpont.hu) we combine cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies [1-3] with novel molecular fingerprinting techniques [4,5] to advance a new type of mid-infrared spectroscopy. The novel systems are developed and utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, data scientists, biologists and clinical personal to identify, via minuscule variations in the infrared response, medical conditions such as cancer in body liquid samples.

The successful candidate will work together with scientists and technicians at the CMF and the Joint LMU-MPQ Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP, attoworld.de) and develop a complete high-speed data acquisition and data processing system for the next generation of scientific molecular fingerprinting devices. Using C/C++ programming interfaced with laboratory LabVIEW programs his task is to integrate extremely fast data acquisition into a full spectroscopy system including automated sample exchange. The data handling includes the implementation of loss-less streaming from a state-of-the art high-speed AD card and real-time pre-processing at CPU, GPU and/or possibly FPGA. In this project we continuously progress into a new scientific territory, and another task of the successful candidate will be to develop new algorithms for the real-time correction of experimental data to reach unprecedented levels of sensitivity and reproducibility.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Master degree in Computer Sciences or a related discipline
  • Experience with C/C++ programming and DLL/shared libraries development
  • Knowledge of numerical analysis and numerical algorithms
  • Ideally, experience with data handling and signal processing
  • Ideally, experience with LabVIEW
  • Ideally, experience with GPU and FPGA programming
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work with interface to laser physics and biomedical applications
  • English communication skills

We offer:

  • A broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment with ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications.
  • The possibility of partially working from home, with base in Budapest with frequent visits to Munich.

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your CV and contact information of two references to Dr. Alexander Weigel (weigel@cmf.science).

[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] I. Pupeza et al., Nature Photon. 9, 721 (2015).
[5] I. Pupeza et al., Nature 577, 52 (2020

June 09, 2020

Physicist with Background in Nonlinear Optics

At the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF, mukkozpont.hu) we combine cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies [1-3] with novel molecular fingerprinting techniques [4,5] to advance a new type of mid-infrared spectroscopy on the electric-field level. The novel systems are developed and utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, data scientists, biologists and clinical personal to identify, via minuscule variations in the infrared response, medical conditions such as cancer in body liquid samples.

The successful candidate will work together with scientists and technicians at the CMF and the Joint LMU-MPQ Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP, attoworld.de) in Garching (Germany) to develop next-generation instruments based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-Infrared sources and field-resolved detection. The goal for this position is to develop coherent field-resolved infrared metrology with multi-octave spectral coverage and unprecedented detection sensitivity. The duration of the position is initially 2 years, with the possibility of extension. For the first two years the place of work will be predominantly at the LAP in Garching (Germany).

Tasks:

  • Development of electric-field-resolved mid-infrared metrology
  • Reaching unprecedented spectral bandwidth and sensitivity with coherent mid-IR detection
  • Support the development of instruments for reliable mid-IR fingerprinting of clinical samples
  • Presentation and publication of scientific output

Qualifications and Skills:

  • PhD in physics or a related discipline
  • Experience with ultrafast lasers and nonlinear optics
  • Ideally, experience with infrared and/or nonlinear spectroscopies
  • Ideally, experience signal processing and programming (for example with Labview)
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work with interface to biomedical applications
  • Good command of the English language

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your CV and contact information of two references to Dr. Alexander Weigel (weigel@cmf.science).

[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] I. Pupeza et al., Nature Photon. 9, 721 (2015).
[5] I. Pupeza et al., Nature 577, 52 (2020).

June 09, 2020

Electrical Engineer

At the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF, mukkozpont.hu) we combine cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies [1-3] with novel molecular fingerprinting techniques [4,5] to advance a new type of mid-infrared spectroscopy on the electric-field level. The novel systems are developed and utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, data scientists, biologists and clinical personal to identify, via minuscule variations in the infrared response, medical conditions such as cancer in body liquid samples.

The successful candidate will work together with scientists and technicians at the CMF and the Joint LMU-MPQ Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP, attoworld.de) in Garching (Germany) to develop next-generation instruments of laser-based instrumentation for field-resolved detection. The goal for this position is to optimize photodetection, to precisely synchronize and stabilize multiple pulsed lasers, and signal acquisition with suitable microwave electronics. The duration of the position is initially 2 years, with the possibility of extension. For the first two years the place of work will be predominantly at the LAP in Garching (Germany).

Tasks:

  • Identify and implement low-noise, high-dynamic range photodection solutions for our instruments
  • Develop precise feedback loops for synchronization and stabilization of pulsed lasers
  • Generate and modify microwave signals for clocking low-noise, high-speed data acquisition
  • Develop the electric/electronic backbone for laser-based instrument prototypes.

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in electrical engineering or a related technical discipline
  • Experience with ultra-sensitive photodetection, and minimizing detection noise
  • Experience with electronic signal generation and synchronization including PLLs
  • Experience with handling electrical signals in the microwave regime
  • Ideally, experience with FPGA programming
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work with interface to bio-medical applications
  • Good command of the English language
  • German language skills are advantageous

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your CV and contact information of two references to Dr. Alexander Weigel (weigel@cmf.science).

[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] I. Pupeza et al., Nature Photon. 9, 721 (2015).
[5] I. Pupeza et al., Nature 577, 52 (2020).

June 09, 2020

Laser Engineer

At the Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF, mukkozpont.hu) we combine cutting-edge femtosecond laser technologies [1-3] with novel molecular fingerprinting techniques [4,5] to advance a new type of mid-infrared spectroscopy on the electric-field level. The novel systems are developed and utilized by a highly interdisciplinary team of physicists, data scientists, biologists and clinical personal to identify, via minuscule variations in the infrared response, medical conditions such as cancer in body liquid samples.

The successful candidate will work together with scientists and technicians at the CMF and the Joint LMU-MPQ Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP, attoworld.de) in Garching (Germany) to develop next-generation instruments based on bright, coherent, broadband mid-Infrared sources and field-resolved detection. The goal for this position is to transform latest research results into a technically mature and reliable laser-based measurement system with unprecedented performance. The duration of the position is initially 2 years, with the possibility of extension. For the first two years the place of work will be predominantly at the LAP in Garching (Germany).

Tasks:

  • Development of laser system prototypes (including laser oscillators, amplifiers, compressors, conversion and detection modules), based on exiting research setups
  • Technical improvement of the laser systems to optimize for example stability, noise performance and user friendliness
  • Test and characterize laser and downstream module specifications and resolve potential problems
  • Instruct new team members in the usage of the laser and measurement systems

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Master’s degree or higher in physics or a related technical discipline
  • Experience with the setup and adjustment of optical systems
  • Strong self-motivation and the ability to solve problems independently
  • Experience with computer-aided technical drawings (e.g., Autodesk Inventor)
  • Ideally, experience with Labview, Python, or another programming language
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work with interface to bio-medical applications
  • Good command of the English language
  • German language skills are advantageous

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the position, your CV and contact information of two references to Dr. Alexander Weigel (weigel@cmf.science).

[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] I. Pupeza et al., Nature Photon. 9, 721 (2015).
[5] I. Pupeza et al., Nature 577, 52 (2020).

February 03, 2020

Quality Manager

We are seeking a suitable candidate for filling the position of a Database Specialist at the earliest possible date. The aim of the new collaborative project is to unite expertise in infrared laser physics, molecular fingerprinting on large-scale human biobanking to develop a research agenda that establishes the novel approach of laser-based infrared spectroscopy as a reliable tool for cancer diagnostics.

The aim of the new collaborative project is to unite unique expertise in laser physics with renowned leaders in the field of clinical oncology and related disciplines in order to devise a research agenda that establishes laser-based infrared spectroscopy as a reliable high throughput tool in cancer diagnostics.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • establishing and developing a QM system according to ISO 9001 e.g., creation and updating of SOPs, filing systems and work instructions
  • maintenance and continuous improvement of QM system
  • writing and regular reviewing of SOPs, contribution to the generation of scientific and research reports
  • administration of QM documentation as well as performing filing and archiving activities
  • ensuring conformity and compliance of internal systems and activities of external partners with established QM systems
  • providing administrative and technical support to assure compliance with FDA and other applicable regulations
  • close cooperation with research and clinical project management to ensure quality and timely meeting of research deliverables
  • planning and execution of internal audits and full cooperation with external auditors and inspectors
  • planning and conduct of quality and systems-related training of internal and external staff, vendors and suppliers, issuing and overseeing training certifications

Requirements

  • fluent written and excellent verbal communication skills in Hungarian and English is required
  • a minimum of a BA or BSc degree in Life Sciences, medicine, pharmacy or in a related scientific field (or equivalent experience)
  • a minimum of two to four years of experience in biomedical, clinical or biophysical research, including experience in site and internal audits, however, other relevant experiences and skills may be considered
  • experience in the development of QM systems, SOPs and work instructions
  • thorough knowledge of the ISO 9001 and ISO 13485, knowledge of product and manufacturing process validations
  • excellent written and oral communication, as well as leadership skills
  • experience in mentoring/coaching of other team members is preferred and the ability to guide and support small teams
  • being a team player with a high degree of initiative, goal orientation, and organizational skills
  • flexible mindset and ability to work in a fast-changing environment
  • ability to work on multiple tasks in parallel

We offer

  • a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavor and professional environment with ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications
  • possibility of partially working from home, with base in Budapest, occasional visits to the collaborating clinical centers in Hungary and abroad
  • a full-time, permanent position
2020. február 02

Adminisztratív munkatárs

Társaságunk teljes munkaidős adminisztratív munkatársat keres, aki adminisztratív támogatást nyújt az iroda hatékony működésének biztosításához. Felelős bizalmas és időérzékeny anyagokért. Képes telefonon és e-mailen keresztüli hatékony kommunikációra.

Feladatok

  • a munka általános támogatása az egységhez tartozó kommunikáció, például a posta, telefonhívások és dokumentumok kezelése révén;
  • találkozók szervezése és közreműködés a határidőnaplók vezetésében;
  • külső és belső megbeszélések szervezése, közreműködés a kiküldetések előkészítésében;
  • megkeresések, információ- és dokumentumkérések megválaszolása nagyfokú szolgálatkészség, tapintat, diszkréció és titoktartás mellett;
  • levelek és más dokumentumok megfogalmazása és véglegesítése, jegyzőkönyvvezetés az értekezleteken;
  • elektronikus és papíralapú dokumentumok kezelése (címlisták, levelezés, gépelés, fénymásolás, szkennelés, iktatás és archiválás);
  • belső adminisztratív szolgáltatások az egység személyzete részére;
  • az egység munkafolyamának támogatása;
  • közreműködés az egységközi és az egységen belüli csapatmunkában;
  • igény szerint bármely más, a munkaterülethez kapcsolódó feladat ellátása.

Az álláshoz tartozó elvárások

  • folyékony angol tudás;
  • diploma nem kötelező, de előnyt jelent;
  • az MS Office ismeretek (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint és Excel ismeretekkel);
  • részletorientált munka;
  • kivételes kommunikációs készségek;
  • kiváló szervezési készségek és elkötelezettség a projektek időben történő befejezéséhez.
November 11, 2019

Database Specialist

We are seeking a suitable candidate for filling the position of a Database Specialist at the earliest possible date. The aim of the new collaborative project is to unite expertise in infrared laser physics, molecular fingerprinting on large-scale human biobanking to develop a research agenda that establishes the novel approach of laser-based infrared spectroscopy as a reliable tool for cancer diagnostics.

We seek a specialist that sets up databases, continuously improves and operates them to collect, manage, and analyze data from clinical trials and epidemiological studies dedicated to the disease detection using novel laser-based technologies. Independent databases will be established and applied, for clinical subject’s data, laboratory information, and management systems to develop and deliver high-quality clinical data for advancing the frontiers of disease detection.

Clinical studies for cancer detection suggest that the approach carries high potential with wide societal impact, already at the early stage of development. To further develop it, test its efficiency in combination with other state-of-the-art molecular approaches, as well as to validate it on large independent populations for real-world clinical problems.

Major tasks include

  • full responsibility for setting up, maintaining and advancing clinical and laboratory databases,
  • data management according to best practices in the field, as well as for documentation and training on data collection practices, query management and database procedures,
  • working with collaborators on data content requirements throughout the different steps of data management lifecycle,
  • contributing to protocol development, with focus on data management issues and cross- study data collection consistency,
  • contributing to the design of study specific clinical report forms (CRFs) and data management plans,

in close cooperation with colleagues specializing in clinical project management and data analysis.

Required qualifications and skills:

  • master’s degree, preferably in informatics, or information systems or related areas,
  • experience using (clinical) database setup and management,
  • ability of multi-tasking and building efficient working relationships with a wide variety of collaborators,
  • good command of English.

We offer:

  • a broad range of activities in a dynamically evolving second-to-none endeavour and professional environment with ample opportunities for improving professional skills and qualifications,
  • possibility of partially working from home, with base in Munich with frequent visits to Budapest,
  • full time, permanent position.

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

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the post, your CV and contact information of two referees to Dr. Csilla Pozsgay (pozsgay@cmf.science) and Dr. Mihaela Zigman (zigman@cmf.science).

November 21, 2019

Data Scientist

We are seeking a suitable candidate for filling the position of a Data Scientist at the earliest possible date. The aim of the new project is to unite expertise in infrared laser physics, molecular fingerprinting, data analytics and machine learning to develop a research agenda that establishes novel laser-based infrared spectroscopy as a reliable tool for cancer diagnostics. Given the novelty of the approach, pipelines for high-throughput analysis need to be devised and applied.

Major tasks include

  • preprocessing, analysis and interpretation of large data sets,
  • signal processing and analysis of spectroscopic data,
  • interpretation of datasets with various metrics for optimal preprocessing and feature selection,
  • implementation, optimization and comparison of classification methods,
  • on-demand custom analysis of given datasets.

Required qualifications and skills:

  • master’s degree in a quantitative discipline (physics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, etc.),
  • experience with at least one scripting language for statistical analysis (preferred Python or R),
  • experience in data analysis and machine learning,
  • good knowledge of applied statistics,
  • good command of English.

Desired qualifications and skills:

  • PhD in a related field (physics, statistics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, machine learning, etc.) or two years of professional experience involving analysis of large data sets;
  • experience in programming with Python;
  • experience with classification tasks using machine-learning algorithms;
  • solid knowledge of applied statistics;
  • analytical thinking and creativity.

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;
  • possibility of partially working from home, with base in Budapest and frequent visits to Munich;
  • permanent position, full time or part time.

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

Please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the post, your CV and contact information of two referees to Dr. Mihaela Zigman (zigman@cmf.science) and Dr. Kosmas Kepesidis (Kosmas.Kepesidis@physik.uni-muenchen.de).

Contact

Center for Molecular Fingerprinting (CMF)
Molekuláris- Ujjlenyomat Kutató Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft.

Markó Madaras, Operations Manager
1027 Budapest, Ganz utca 16. 1. emelet, Hungary
Phone: +36.1.3360542, Email: info@cmf.science