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Phd/postdoc Opening in Engineering Dedicated Microfluidic In-vitro Barrier Model Systems for Bacterial Lung and Bladder Infections

International students are invited for a PhD scholarship in cell biology at ETH Zurich. The initial contract for this position is 4 years. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible.

The Bio Engineering Laboratory at the Departement of Biosystems of ETH Zurich in Basel is inviting applications for a PhD/Postdoc Opening in Engineering Dedicated Microfluidic in-vitro Barrier Model Systems for Bacterial Lung and Bladder Infections. We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD student/Postdoc, who will work in a highly international environment in Basel, Switzerland.

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD student/Postdoc, who will work in a highly international environment in Basel, Switzerland. In the framework of a large National Competence Center of Research "Antiresist" (for more information, see https://www.unibas.ch/en/Research/NCCR/Antiresist.html) involving clinicians, academic and industrial research partners across multiple disciplines, a microfluidic platform for studying bacterial lung and bladder infections and testing new antibacterial drugs will be developed. The platform will consist of a microfluidic system for culturing advanced in-vitro lung and bladder barrier models (e.g., membrane-based organ-on-chip models) and for exposing those to bacteria and potential target drug compounds. A variety of analysis methods (fluorescence microscopy, mass spectroscopy, TEER, permeability assays) will be used to analyze and continuously monitor barrier-layer status and viability. The goal will include to develop a system that can be broadly used for testing in industrial settings. A state-of-the art cleanroom, a broad spectrum of engineering and testing equipment, as well as cell-culture and biological facilities are available in the group. Research partners in the consortium have ample experience with the biological model systems, lung and bladder, as well as with a broad variety of bacterial infections.

For this highly interdisciplinary project, a suitable candidate should have a solid background in microengineering, especially in cleanroom and plastic fabrication processes for microfluidics, as well as knowhow in cell biology, cell-culturing methods and in vitro bioassays. Moreover, specific knowhow with lung or bladder models and transwell systems or barrier models is highly appreciated. Programming skills and, in particular, knowledge of design and simulation tools (e.g., CAD, FEM) are important assets. Being successful in interdisciplinary work in the fields of microtechnology/medicine/biology requires good communication skills and a proactive work attitude. The candidate must be able to fluently communicate in English (oral and written) and be willing to work and take over leadership in a highly interactive international environment with master (master scholarships) and PhD students. The Postdoc’s activities will also include project management and acquisition of national and international projects. The position is planned for 2-4 years (PhD student: 4 years).

ETH Zurich is one of the world's leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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