For the series “a chat with the team”: Jakub Nedbal
Last month, Occuity welcomed Jakub Nedbal as an Optical Imaging Scientist. He is a dynamic scientist and engineer known for his cross-disciplinary expertise and innovative contributions across various industries.
At Occuity, Jakub will be at the forefront of building, characterising, and utilising prototype fluorescence-based and speckle-based ophthalmoscope systems. As part of his role, he will be working with clinical partners to verify and validate the instruments and establish clinical research investigations into chronic and systemic diseases. In addition, he will work closely with Engineering teams to advance the instruments beyond prototype stage.
Jakub will also be working closely with Alistair Bounds on a £1.4m grant-funded four-year project that is geared toward healthcare technologies of the future and how the healthcare market is expected to evolve with the specific project focus being on the burgeoning field of Oculomics.
Jakub has dedicated most of the last decade to academia after earning his Ph.D. in immunology at King's College London. During his PhD, he led a multidisciplinary endeavour to pioneer innovative techniques for visualising DNA recombination within human cells at the microscopic level. Over the past five years, in his role as a postdoctoral researcher at the same institution, he has continued to focus on cutting-edge arrays to develop advanced cell imaging techniques for applications in biomedicine and healthcare.
Jakub's extensive expertise in photonics and optical imaging, along with his rich research background, positions him as a truly invaluable addition to our team, and we are thrilled to have him on board. We recently had the opportunity to connect with Jakub and delve into his experiences so far at Occuity.
How did you get involved in Occuity and why did you feel it was the right thing for you?
I found a job post on LinkedIn with the job description being quite specific in looking for people with my niche (I mean really niche) area of expertise. These jobs don’t come around often, so it felt like I should give it a go even though I wasn’t job hunting at that time. I came for an interview and was inspired and motivated by the people I had a chance to talk to. So, whilst I loved my previous job, I didn't want to miss this opportunity!
What is your position at Occuity and why is your role important?
I just started in the role of an "Optical Imaging Scientist" and my role is to ensure that the fluorescence lifetime imaging ophthalmoscope project progresses at pace by helping to navigate any roadblocks quickly. I like to think that is pretty important. Fluorescence lifetime is a form of spectroscopy, but it has its own quirks and is notoriously tricky to perform and ‘sell’ to users. There is an existing ophthalmoscope on the market, but Occuity has a plan to develop one that uses a modern technology and offers additional features to the incumbent. The technology (time-resolved single-photon avalanche diode array - SPAD) is key to making the instrument manufacturable and scalable, but few people have experience with it because it is an emerging technology. Fortunately, I am one of those few who does have deep experience with the SPADs. Whilst, I do not design these chips, I know how to deploy them both in instruments built around them and using them to solve real-world problems.
What do you find most exciting or unique about Occuity's technology/products?
It is the team of people at Occuity which makes Occuity so exciting and unique. The team is really motivated, has the right mix of complementary expertise and runs smoothly and professionally. Consequently, the business, technology, and products ought to be great and successful.
What do you believe sets Occuity apart from other companies in a similar field?
From a personal perspective, Occuity is embracing the SPAD technology I have been working on over the past decade. This to me demonstrated it is a forward thinking company. Occuity is well positioned to bring to the market the SPAD technology and do so in a professional manner ahead of the competitors. It would be fulfilling if it did and I believe the technology is ripe enough to make it possible. I will do my best to help Occuity succeed.
Do you want to work within an extremely high calibre team, who are all working together on cutting-edge technology to deliver world-leading products? If the answer is 'yes', then we want to hear from you. Keep an eye out on our careers site for open vacancies.