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6 PhD positions available at multiple Institutions within a collaborative Quantitative Cell Biology project

6 PhD positions available at multiple Institutions within a collaborative Quantitative Cell Biology project

Funded by a Swiss National Science Foundation Sinergia grant, we are looking for ambitious PhD/postdoc students with interest in quantitative cell biology approaches within a consortium made of four labs with complementary expertise. The multidisciplinary project aims at understanding signaling mechanisms that regulate contractile cytoskeletal structures in processes such as cell migration, organogenesis and cytokinesis. The project will mix state of the art live cell imaging methods in cultured cells and Drosophila embryos, optogenetic and microfabrication techniques to manipulate single living cells, and analysis of cytoskeletal/signaling processes using tools and concepts from theoretical physics. The positions are available in different groups within the consortium.

Model systems studied in the different labs

The Pertz lab will study contractile cytoskeletal networks regulating leading edge dynamics during cell motility (F-actin stain of a motile fibroblast). The Riveline lab will study myosin ring clusters during cytokinesis (top: microfluidic device to orient cytokinesis, bottom: myosin-based ring during cytokinesis). The Brunner lab will study myosin clusters powering tissue morphogenesis and cell wound closure (myosin micrograph of a laser-wounded Drosophila yolk cell). We are looking for PhD students for the Pertz/Brunner/Riveline labs. The Kruse group will derive equations to model the interplay between spatiotemporal Rho GTPase signaling and cytoskeletal arrays in all model systems (Snapshot of an actin polymerisation wave obtained from active gel theory with hotter colors indicating higher densities).

Pertz: lamellar myosin
networks powering cell motility

Riveline: myosin arrays controlling cytokinesis/cell wound closure

Brunner: myosin array powering fly development

Kruse: modeling spatio-temporal Rho GTPase signaling - active gel coupling

Candidate requirements and conditions of employment

Candidates with a Degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Physics or a closely related field should apply. Experience with molecular biology, cell culture, live cell imaging and programing are advantages, but are not an absolute requirement. The students are expected to interact within a multidisciplinary environment including cell biology, physics and mathematics, and to closely collaborate with all members of the consortium. An important goal is the development of new optogenetic tools, signaling biosensors, and cytoskeletal reporters that can be applied across different model systems. Excellent spoken and written English are required. We aim to start this project around June 2019. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. All positions are initially offered for 1 year, and can be renewed for up to 4 years. Salaries are in accordance with guidelines from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

How to apply?

Applications with a full CV, 3 references and a cover letter with a short research statement should be submitted by email to the PIs of the labs that most accurately matches the applicant’s research interests, as listed below:


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