Update: Vacancy closed; Vacancy: PhD fellowship or Early Stage Researcher position

Update: Vacancy closed; Vacancy: PhD fellowship or Early Stage Researcher position


Update: vacancy closed


We are recruiting for a:

PhD fellowship or Early Stage Researcher position Biotechnology and Bioengineering/Synthetic Biology

Host: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH-Zürich), Basel, Switzerland
Supervisor: Prof. Martin Fussenegger
Department: Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE)
Duration: 24 months in EpiPredict, with possibility to prolong with one or two years

The EpiPredict EU Innovative Training Network focuses on epigenetic regulation of endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer, an urgent clinical problem. EpiPredict includes 15 (academic and private) organisations from eight different countries, providing unique research training to 12 PhD students. The multidisciplinary fellows will master and apply urgently needed new approaches to address complex diseases taking personalized patient aspects and systems medicine into consideration being equipped to succeed in their careers. Strong involvement of the private sector ensures exploitation of EpiPredict achievements and exposure to an entrepreneurial mind-set.

The Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE, www.bsse.ethz.ch) is the first truly interdisciplinary research unit of the ETH Zurich where theory, engineering and experimental biology groups team up to foster advances in Systems Biology, Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology. With its headquarter in Basel, the D-BSSE is situated in the heart of the Biovalley, a tri-national region hosting 40% of the global life science industry including several pharma giants, which provides a unique environment for high-leverage translational research.

For more information about the consortium: www.EpiPredict.eu
Apply for EpiPredict Early Stage Researcher position 12: ASAP. Start date: 1 Jan. 2017 or as soon as possible.
Send your CV and motivation letter, including information about your doctoral study, internships, scientific interest, lab experience, complementary qualifications, achievements, other relevant information, contact information for two recommendations (in one PDF) to: the EpiPredict coordinator Dr. P. J. Verschure P.J.Verschure@uva.nl, Prof. M. Fussenegger: fussenegger@bsse.ethz.ch and a.j.a.vastenhouw@uva.nl


  • Eligibility according to Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN criteria:
    • The candidate holds an MSc degree in a relevant discipline (Medical/Molecular/Cell Biology, Biochemistry) or will receive MSc degree before the appointment date,
    • The candidate is in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his/her research career and has not been awarded a doctoral degree, and
    • The candidate did not reside or carry out her/his main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months during the 3 years immediately prior to the appointment date.
  • Good experience with basic cell and molecular/synthetic biology techniques, cell culture and cloning, quantitative cell imaging, data analysis and statistical analysis, modelling and affinity with computational approaches.
  • The ability to work in a multidisciplinary team and to work independently.
  • High motivation to pursue a career in science.
  • Excellent mastery of the English language.
  • Enthusiasm to attend the EpiPredict training program
  • Actively contribute to project aims and objectives.
  • Enthusiasm to contribute to dissemination (results, outreach) to specialists and public at large.
  • Enthusiasm to visit one or multiple EpiPredict organisations for a number of months during secondments (internships).

Brief overview of this project’s objectives and expected results:

  • To develop and test a novel inducible epigenetic interference tool
  • To build and characterize synthetic devices to redirect epigenetic-based endocrine resistance development in mammalian cell clones. Such devices will be created by constructing synthetic links that couple different signaling pathways considering Boolean logic gates that perform logical signal operations.

Expected Results:

  • Develop synthetic devices that enable to control endogenous gene expression and connect signaling pathways that play an important role in epigenetic-based resistance development
  • Develop a synthetic system that enables to mimic the epigenetic-based resistance development and to predict behavior of involved pathways considering logic gate operations
  • Insight in the interplay and timing of regulatory feedback loops in epigenetic regulation of resistance development and epigenetic cell fate switches

Host training: Clone generation, gene circuit behaviour, synthetic devices and modelling
Planned secondment(s): UMCG: Epigenetic editing, UvA: Bioinformatics/modelling, FCC: Data integration/modelling

We offer

  • A PhD student position for an highly qualified, outstanding, driven and highly motivated Early Stage Researcher
  • An international advanced research program and participation in a strongly interdisciplinary training covering scientific areas of cell/molecular/medical/systems/synthetic/computational biology focussing on a clear medical need with exciting high level research projects
  • Local training at host institutions and registration at local PhD programmes
  • Network wide training through meetings and workshops for research-specific skills and transferable skills, like entrepreneurship, presentation, e-learning, communication, product development, IPR, proposal writing, etc.
  • Building up an international network through secondments, visits and collaboration with the other PhD students and participating scientists in the project, both from the academic and private/industrial sector
  • Generously funded position, following EC Marie S. Curie rates, by local and national rules

Conditions of employment
A full-time appointment. After 12 months an evaluation will be done.
EpiPredict will take all measures to implement the principles set out in the Commission Recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. More information on the Euraxess Rights page.


Download the recruitment flyer with the information here.