PhD in Biomedical sensing; Raman spectroscopy for Prostate Cancer Detection

Auckland University

PhD in Biomedical sensing

Raman spectroscopy for prostate cancer detection



University of Auckland/Faculty of Science/Physics Department.


Auckland; New Zealand; Biochemistry; Cancer Biochemistry; Spectroscopy; Raman spectroscopy; Multivariate data analysis; Chemometrics; Molecular Biology.

The project

This fully funded PhD project, supervised by Dr. Claude Aguergaray, is part of a grant funded by the New Zealand MBIE to develop a diagnostic tool capable of real-time, in-vivo, prostate cancer diagnosis.

We use a technique with high molecular specificity known as Raman spectroscopy alongside advanced data processing. This light-based measurement system has the potential to diagnose cancer with high accuracy and sensitivity and remove the need for painful biopsies.

In earlier clinical trials, we have demonstrated that we can accurately diagnose and grade prostate cancer on freshly excised biopsy tissue with high sensitivity and specificity. Your work will follow up on these findings and contribute to enabling in vivo testing. This project will allow you to develop your technical creativity and learn about new data analysis techniques receiving ever-increasing attention worldwide for their biomedical capabilities!

Why Apply?

Through this project, you will be able to work with a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary team to innovate solutions to transform cancer diagnosis. The student will benefit from access to existing data sets and will be able to develop a diverse skill set, including cutting-edge spectroscopy, tissue biochemistry, and data analysis. You will collaborate closely with clinicians and pathologists. 

Your work will include:

-          Experimental work in the lab and clinical settings.

-          Data collection on animal and human tissue (ex vivo and in vivo)

-          Multivariate data analysis (chemometrics)

-          Biomarker identification (biochemistry).

-          Work with our research and clinical team to facilitate and organise clinical trials.

-          Work with our research and clinical team to improve the probe design for seamless integration of our technology in surgical settings.


You have successfully completed a Master’s degree in biosensing, spectroscopy, biochemistry, biophysics, or another relevant field with first or upper-second class (Division I) honours degree or equivalent qualification. Please review the Regulations for the Doctor of Philosophy for detailed admission requirements on the University of Auckland website.


A strong desire to present research findings at conferences and publish in scientific journals.


The student should possess the following expertise:

-          Raman spectroscopy techniques.

-          Biomarkers identification.

-          Experience with multivariate data analysis.

-          Cancer tissue biology is desirable.

-          Programming (Matlab or Python) for data analysis is desirable.


Scholarship duration: 3 years. Tuition Fees and Health insurance coverage. Research Expense Support. Stipend: $33,000 NZD per annum.

Application Process:

To apply, email your CV, contact details of two academic referees, and a personal statement detailing your suitability for the project to Highlight how your research experience aligns with this project.

Screening of applicants will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is selected.


For any questions or additional information regarding this position, please contact Dr. Claude Aguergaray at