ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. It is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice.
Postdoctoral Research Assistant (100%)
The position is offered in the Computational Biology (Claassen) Group in the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zürich, which focuses on concepts from statistics, machine learning and mathematical optimization to describe biological systems from single cell data. The position will involve research in the interdisciplinary consortium PRECISE, comprising researchers at ETH Zurich, University of Zurich and the University Hospitals of Zurich, Basel, Bern and Lausanne. Research in this consortium builds on recent advances in immunotherapy in the treatment of patients suffering from chronic inflammatory disease. While the successes of immunotherapy are decisive, several inflammatory diseases remain untreatable. The identification of disease biomarkers of therapy responses is therefore a fundamental and urgent goal of personalized medicine.
PRECISE aims at identification of such biomarkers and proposes to acquire liquid and solid biopsies from patients suffering from chronic inflammatory disease, with a focus on those treated with immunotherapy. This material will be part of multiple independently ongoing clinical studies carried out in various Swiss clinical institutions, namely University Hospitals in Zürich, Basel, Bern and Lausanne. High-dimensional single cell cytometry combined with computer-aided analysis will be used to identify cell type signatures, i.e. possibly rare, disease relevant cell subpopulations as reliable biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets. The candidate will apply and develop deep learning approaches to identify therapy response associated cell subsets and instruct further in-depth experiments for these cell subsets. Further, identified signature cell types will be subjected to proteomic and epigenetic screening to provide an in-depth view of the biochemical state of disease-relevant cell types. Upon validation in independent patient cohorts, this information will then be used to stratify patients prior to immunotherapy to maximize the therapeutic impact and to minimize adverse effects as well as to provide new personalized therapeutic targets for immune-intervention across the Swiss wide patient population.
The ideal candidate brings along a degree that demonstrates an interdisciplinary background in both life and formal sciences. While a background in experimental and immune biology is highly recommended to advise the design of single-cell experiments, an in-depth background in mathematics, statistics and programming is required to carry out the subsequent data analysis. A fluent level of English is mandatory. We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with excellent communication skills who is capable of working in an interdisciplinary environment and can team up with scientists for experimental as well as computational analysis. The candidate should have a high degree of initiative. A competitive salary will be provided, which will be well matched relative to the cost of living in Zürich. We offer work in a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, providing the successful applicant with unique opportunities to develop a strong interdisciplinary portfolio in both experimental and computational biology.