Open positions

Master and Semester projects

Board-level Femtoampere Current Recording Platform Design

Qualifications we are looking for

  • Hands-on experience in high-speed PCB design and assembly, test and measurements.
  • Basic experience in the field of electronics design for data recording and communication based on microcontroller
  • Experience in microcontroller programming (C or C++). Proven knowledge of other logic devices such as DSPs and FPGA would be an advantage.
  • Experience with USB2.0 communication between microcontroller and PC would be an advantage.

Supervisor: Chan Cao

Contact: [email protected]

Availability: Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Decoding digital polymers with nanopore

Data storage capability has been a key aspect of the latest technological developments of human-kind and it still is as never before a compelling challenge to face the current and future “big data” explosion. Although the research on semiconductors has dramatically improved the capacity of data storage in silicon devices, this technology cannot meet the exponential growth of demand for digital data production and storage. This issue is expected to keep widening, as the data storage density of silicon chips is limited and magnetic tapes used to maintain large-scale permanent archives begin to deteriorate after 20 years. Recent advances in chemistry provide a great potential of using synthetic heteropolymers to precisely code digital information at the molecular level with the benefits of ultra-high-density and long-term storage. However, synthetic polymers are, so far, only deciphered by tandem mass spectrometry, a method that is efficient but requires large instruments. In this project, we are developing a nanopore-based strategy for decoding digital polymers. In comparison to mass spectrometry, the nanopore approach is faster, cheaper, non-destructive, low energy cost, ultrasensitive down to the single-molecule level, and holds the potential of integration into portable devices.

Supervisor: Chan Cao

Contact: [email protected]

Availability:  Fall 2021, Spring 2022

PhD positions in nanopore sensing

We are seeking highly motivated candidates with an interest in nanopore single-molecule sensing to join Dr. Chan Cao’s group at the School of Life Science, EPFL (Switzerland).

This newly established research group is focused on developing novel approaches to address questions in life science and diagnosis at the single-molecule level, especially specialized in nanopore technology. Nanopore measurement is an electrophoretic approach that allows the characterization of molecules of interest in real-time with sub-angstrom resolution and without the need for additional labels/amplification in aqueous solution. It has been successfully applied in sequencing long fragments of DNA and has shown great potential for single-molecule proteomics applications. The main goal of the group is to push the limits of nanopore technology and maximize its potential for as many fields of application as possible. In this position, you will join a dynamic team of computational & structure biologists, biophysicists, biochemists and analytical chemists.

The applicant should have at least one of the following backgrounds: biophysics, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, molecular biology or biomolecule synthesis. Experience in protein production and good programming skills is an advantage. The starting time should be September 2021 at the latest.

The applicant who is interested in this position, please send your resume to Dr. Chan Cao ([email protected])

The position is part of a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) PRIMA project and the student will be co-supervised by Dr. Chan Cao, Prof. Matteo Dal Peraro and/or Prof. Gisou van der Goot.

Doctoral programs in Biotechnology and Bioengineering (EDBB) and Molecular life Science (EDMS). For more details please check: