PhD position in Discovery of novel biomarkers for chronic wound formation

Updated: about 5 hours ago

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.

In a close collaboration with several other Empa groups, the '

Multi-omics for healthcare materials

' and '

Nanomaterials Spectroscopy and Imaging

' groups are starting a multidisciplinary project aiming to discover novel protein and metabolite biomarkers specific for the early phases of chronic wound development. The project will be part of a larger initiative focused on the design of a precision, self-care integrated system to completely understand, simulate, and monitor skin wound evolution, with the ultimate aim to treat and prevent chronic wounds. 

The candidate will focus on the characterization of chronic wounds arising from venous ulcers and perform comprehensive proteomic and metabolomic characterization of wound exudates from patients. Furthermore, the candidate will demonstrate Raman spectroscopy as a rapid, noninvasive, and label-free omics technology enabling metabolic profiling and biomarker detection in wound exudates.

Your tasks
  • Large-scale data analysis, programming and statistical evaluation 
  • Implementation of established and development of new workflows for biomarker identification from omics datasets (proteomics, metabolomics, Raman) 
  • Combining Raman spectroscopy and mass spectrometry-based proteomics, along with cutting-edge machine learning approaches, to enable timely identification of high risk for the chronic wound formation
  • Coordinate preparation of wound fluids and perform Raman spectroscopy measurements 
  • Coordination of activities with project partners, including clinicians 
  • Preparation of results for publishing and presentation at conferences

Your profile
  • A strong background in computational biology, physics, physical chemistry or materials science 
  • Strong programming and statistical knowledge, including machine learning 
  • Excellent communication skills with a good command of the English language 
  • Interest in clinically applied research and enthusiasm for combining experimental and computational work 

Beneficial skills for this position include: 

  • Prior experience with Raman spectroscopy

Our offer
  • A highly interdisciplinary and supportive environment 
  • A cutting-edge research project project which will be instrumental for guiding new therapeutic approaches for wound healing 
  • World-class teams committed to exploring the next-generation of biomedical applications 
  • A global network of collaborators and clinical partners with opportunities for building a competitive research portfolio. 

In addition, we offer outstanding infrastructure, a broad interdisciplinary environment and competitive salaries. The position is based at Empa, St. Gallen with frequent visits to Empa headquarters in the Zurich area, and it is available from September 2024, or upon mutual agreement, with a planned duration of 3 to 4 years. The PhD student will be enrolled at ETH Zurich. The student will be additionally affiliated with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.

PatriciaNitzsche, Stv. Leiterin Human Resources / Dep. Head Human Resources

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