Interdisciplinary PhD position in iPSC modelling of human hyperkinetic disorders

WorkplaceZürich, Zurich region, Switzerland

Interdisciplinary PhD position in iPSC modelling of human hyperkinetic disorders

100%, Basel, fixed-term

The Bio Engineering laboratory (BEL) is inviting applications for a PhD position at the intersection of human cellular modelling, large-scale electrophysiology and multi-modal data analysis. The project is part of the EUROPEAN JOINT PROGRAMME RARE DISEASES (EJP RD) and is aimed at developing new analytic tools to study pathways and accelerate the diagnosis of rare hyperkinetic disorders. The PhD project will be carried out at the ETH Zurich Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel and involves close collaboration with several other research institutions in the EU.

The position is planned for 3-4 years (PhD), the starting date of the project is 1st of July 2023.

Project background

Dystonias encompass a heterogenous group of rare hyperkinetic movement disorders. Leveraging the advance in genetic technology, researchers have been able to elucidate the genetic cause of various monogenic forms of dystonia, revealing different pathogenic mechanisms. However, in most cases the genetic diagnosis fails, hindering the understanding of the pathogenesis, and, thereby, obviating accurate prognosis and the development of targeted therapeutic approaches. In this project, we aim to increase the diagnostic yield in dystonias and to study some variants in 3-D human iPSC-derived cellular models. We will employ clinical cohorts, large collections of samples, and patient-derived organoid models to probe dystonia features at the molecular level and to identify prognostic markers for a better treatment of these disorders.

Job description

For the work package involved in the systematic molecular and functional characterization of human cellular models of dystonia, we are looking for a motivated PhD candidate. The main tasks of this project include:

  • Development of protocols to study dystonia in 3-D human iPSC-derived brain organoids.
  • Functional characterization of brain organoid development with large-scale electrophysiological means (e.g., high-density microelectrode arrays).
  • Applying immunohistochemistry and single-cell genomic methods to study human cellular models of dystonia.

Your profile

  • You should have a background in either neuroscience, stem cell biology or molecular/cellular biology.
  • Desirable skills include expertise in cell cultures, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and knowledge of statistical data analysis.
  • You must be able to fluently communicate in English and be willing to work in a highly interactive international team. Academic excellence, a professional work attitude and a proactive and self-driven nature are expected.

We offer

From childcare to car sharing – there is a range of offers and benefits available to ETH Zurich employees which are designed to make their work and life easier.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

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.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application by April 30th, 2023:

  • CV
  • short and specific motivation statement for this position (1/2 page)
  • full transcripts
  • two reference letters and/or contact details of at least two referees

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Incomplete application packages and applications via e-mail or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Bio Engineering Laboratory can be found on our website . For more information on the position, please contact - exclusively via e-mail: Dr. Manuel Schröter ( ).

Apply online now

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.

In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 60308.

More job offers worldwide on

Related Continuing Education Programs