PhD students – physics of bacterial infections and collective behavior

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 18 Mar 2022

The Biozentrum of the University of Basel ( ) is one of the leading life sciences research institutes in the world. It consists of 30 groups and 500 employees that investigate how molecules and cells create life, spanning the scales from atoms to organisms and communities. The Biozentrum has been the birth place of many fundamental discoveries in biology and medicine, spawning several Nobel Laureates.

The research group of Prof. Knut Drescher at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel seeks to appoint PhD students in biological physics, with a focus on bacterial infections and bacterial collective behavior, to start immediately or as per arrangement.

The research group of Knut Drescher ( ) focuses on understanding the development and functions of bacterial collective behaviors, particularly in the context of human infections, using controlled laboratory experiments and clinical samples. One relevant collective bacterial behavior is the formation of bacterial biofilms, which are antibiotic-tolerant bacterial communities that are the cause of many chronic and acute infections. A separate type of bacterial collective behavior is the formation of bacterial swarms, which can result in a unique type of turbulence, and enhanced spreading across surfaces. Bacterial biofilms and swarms are also model systems for understanding fundamental aspects of collective behaviors in bacteria.

The PhD projects will focus on either bacterial biofilms or swarms, in the context of human infections. The projects will be highly quantitative, and will involve the analysis of big datasets with advanced data analysis and machine learning techniques. The PhD projects require a background in physics, biophysics, mathematics, or a similar discipline. The exact projects are flexible and will be developed together with Knut Drescher, depending on the strengths and interests of the PhD students.

To get an overview of recent projects, take a look at our publications: .

We are looking for highly motivated and talented PhD students to join our lab. A Master degree in physics, biophysics, applied physics, mathematics, or a similar discipline is required. In addition, an interest in learning about bacterial collective behaviors and bacterial infections is required.

We offer a highly interactive, multidisciplinary, and international research group within the Biozentrum. Our group spans expertise in physics and molecular biology, as well as bioinformatics and the analysis of big datasets. Moreover, the Biozentrum offers excellent internal support from various core facilities with expert staff, and a structured PhD program. Our group embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.

Basel is an international city with people from 150 nations. Located on the border where Switzerland, Germany, and France meet, Basel is home for a large number of institutions for biomedical research, with numerous possibilities for training, networking, and career development. Basel provides a high standard of living and a rich and varied cultural atmosphere.

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Application deadline: 18 March 2022:
Please note that only applications through the online form linked above will be accepted.

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