EDBB Open Positions

This page will be updated starting in the Fall of 2019, as the EDBB program will be informed of new positions becoming available for the January 22-24, 2020 Hiring Days event at EPFL. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to contact the laboratories which interest you to find out whether they have upcoming openings for PhD students.

  • Patrick BARTH – Laboratory of protein and cell engineering / Interschool Institute of Bioengineering / School of Life Sciences

Engineering powerful proteins with novel functions for cell engineering, synthetic biology and therapeutic applications
Protein design has made tremendous progress in recent years and is becoming central to synthetic biology applications including cell engineering approaches. For example, engineered proteins with customized signaling responses to disease-associated molecules provide promising and powerful new therapeutic agents for cancer immunotherapy, regenerative medicine and autoimmune disorders.
Our lab is developing and applying computational-experimental protein design approaches for engineering proteins with a wide range of novel functions. The technologies have been validated on simple proof of concepts (e.g. Feng et al., Nat Chem Biol 2017; Arber et al., Curr Opin Biotech 2017; Keri et al., Curr Opin Struct Biol 2018; Young et al., PNAS 2018; Chen et al., Nat Chem Biol in press). Using these approaches, we now aim at designing innovative and powerful protein nanomachines towards engineering synthetic living cells or for improving the anti-tumor responses of engineered immune cells in cancer immunotherapies.
Specific projects typically involve some aspects of computational protein modeling and design using the techniques developed in the lab complemented by the directed evolution of desired protein functions and validation of engineered cells using a variety of
cell biology approaches. Collaboration with laboratories at the CHUV/UniL/Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (e.g. Caroline Arber, George Coukos) are in place for testing engineered molecules and cells in mouse xenograft models before potential
translation to the clinic. Marrying empirical and computational protein engineering approaches has the unique potential to design a broad spectrum of cellular functions for engineering powerful cells with novel synthetic or sustained anti-tumor responses.

  • Pavan RAMDYA – Neuroengineering Laboratory / Brain Mind Institute / School of Life Sciences

In the Neuroengineering Laboratory, we investigate transgenic flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to understand how behavior is controlled and to design more intelligent robots.

We have several PhD openings to study one of the following areas:

1) Data-driven neural and biomechanical modeling of limb control.

Key techniques: Computational modeling, Simulations, Confocal microscopy, Genetics

2) Electrophysiological recordings of synthetically rewired behavioral command neurons.

Key techniques: Electrophysiology, Genetics, Confocal microscopy

3) Optical recordings of neuronal population dynamics for limb control.

Key techniques: 2-photon microscopy, Machine learning, Genetics

4) Bioengineering insect exoskeletons for applications in robotics

Key techniques: Cell culture, microfabrication, microrobotics.

Join us! There is much to discover!”

  • Maartje BASTINGS – Programmable Biomaterials Laboratory / Institute of Materials / School of Engineering

We have two PhD openings:

1) Design, modelling and experimental analysis of DNA-based emi-crystalline surfaces

2) Cellular stability of DNA origami nanomaterials

For more details, see web pages of the EDBB program’s potential thesis directors.