PhD in Neurotechnology: Focused-ultrasound mediated, non-invasive drug delivery to the brain
The ETH Zurich Neurotechnology group (Prof. Mehmet Fatih Yanik) at the Institute of Neuroinformatics is looking for an outstanding PhD student with training in the fields of biomedical engineering, neuroscience, biochemistry related fields. The goal of the project is to use a novel technique recently developed in the Neurotechnology group that utilizes Focused Ultrasound (FUS) for non-invasive, precise drug delivery (see Ozdas, Shah, Johnson et al. 2020, Nature Communications) to explore new routes of treating brain disorders and brain diseases.
The student will advance and use Focused-Ultrasound mediated drug delivery to treat different pathological brain conditions in animal models. Initially, the focus will be on rodent models of treatment-resistant brain tumors and also on neuropsychiatric disorders. The later phase of the project can involve primate work.
The project will involve:
- Chemistry / fabrication of micro-bubbles and loading of drugs into liposomes
- Optimizing the Focused Ultrasound hardware and sequence for targeting specific brain areas
- Behavioral and neurophysiological characterization of cognitive abilities and potential side effects in the animal models
- fMRI-guided targeting, drug delivery and dosing
- Histological analysis of tissue
Applicants should have a Bachelor’s and ideally also Master’s degree in the fields mentioned above or related studies. Essential requirements are experimental/bench experience (e.g., in-vivo experiments, chemistry), good quantitative and analytical skills, solid knowledge of at least one programming language (such as Python or Matlab) and excellent grades. A strong interest in fundamental neuroscience is expected as well as the willingness to perform animal experiments.
Applicants should send, in one merged PDF, a cover letter with a statement of research interests, CV, publications, relevant certificates (degrees and grades), and the names and contact details of at least two references.
The start date is spring 2021. Applications are accepted until the positions are filled. The position is for 4-6 years. The candidate will be enrolled as PhD student at the ETH Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, and the Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ) PhD program.