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PhD Position in Engineering Protease-Responsive Ultrasound Contrast Agents for Molecular Imaging

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Responsive Biomedical Systems Lab (RBSL) at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) of ETH Zürich is searching for a PhD candidate to join the group to work on the development of protease-responsive ultrasound contrast agents for next generation of point-of-care diagnostics.

Our group focuses on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic systems at the nano-‚Äčand microscale with the aim to tackle a range of challenging problems in health care. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and combines expertise from the fields of engineering, materials, and nanofabrication with chemistry, synthetic biology, and molecular medicine.

Job description

The project will focus on the development of protease-responsive contrast agents for ultrasound imaging. Proteases are critical actors in health and disease that provide insight into the state and progression of inflammatory conditions, cancer, and many other ailments. Detection of their activity could serve as a powerful clinical tool to inform application, monitoring, and adjustment of treatments.

The candidate will work in close collaboration with engineers, biologists, and clinician scientists to develop ultrasound contrast agents for monitoring proteases. Since sonography is a widely available diagnostic technique commonly applied at the point-of-care, this project could build a basis for cost-effective molecular imaging modality. As one concrete clinical application, the project aims to lay the foundation for real-time in vivo assessment of the inflammation state in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This will be tested in animal models together with clinician scientists.

Your profile

The ideal candidate for this project should have MSc (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, chemical engineering or chemistry. Candidates with a biomedical or interdisciplinary background with a strong physics and chemical engineering mindset are also encouraged to apply.

We are looking for a team player with a passion for taking on new challenges. Profound knowledge of standard laboratory techniques (with engineering or biology focus), scientific rigor, and excellent presentation skills round up the profile. The candidate will join an international team of molecular biologists, biochemists, chemical engineers, and material scientists and will be presented with outstanding opportunities for professional and personal development.

ETH Zurich

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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We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • CV
  • complete study record
  • motivation letter
  • 2 letters of recommendation

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. For additional questions please contact Dr. Matej Vizovisek, by email at (no applications).

Earliest Start: 01.02.2022
Latest start: 01.06.2022

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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