Doctoral student: Synthetic Biology for Living Materials

100%, Basel, fixed-term

The CTSB lab headed by Prof. Mustafa Khammash at the Depatment of Biosystems Science & Engineering (D-BSSE) at ETH Zurich welcomes doctoral applicants in the area of Synthetic Biology for Living Materials. This position is part of the Advanced Engineering with Living Materials (ALIVE) intitative.

Project background

The ALIVE Initiative of ETH Zurich aims at elucidating and applying the design principles of living systems as a basis for sustainable, intelligent and resilient materials and technologies of the future. Our approach encompasses the study of natural systems and the development of biohybrid or biomimetic synthetic systems bridging across scales, from the nano to the macro and structural scale. The candidate will or in one or both of the following project steams:

  • Multiscale biohybrid tissues for robotics driven by applications in health
  • Actuated human joint organoid on chip for personalised health

The fellows will be employed according to the regulations of ETH Zurich. The corresponding guidelines for doctoral education apply. Upon successfully completing the doctorate, the fellows are awarded the title "Doctor of Sciences (Dr. sc. ETH Zurich)". more info about ETH Zurich doctorate

Job description

The position involves using experimental synthetic biology approaches to engineer living cells that acutate biohybrid robots and/or actuatated human joint organoid. Stem cell derived muscular systems will be developed and used as mechanical actuators that can be controlled either with electric fields or light. You will work closely with a multidisicplinary team to achieve the goal of the project.

Your profile

You are enthusiastic to drive future transformations in the way Materials and Processes shape the world - sustainably, intelligently and resiliently. You must hold a Master's degree in a field relevant to at least one of the above project streams including synthetic biology, biosystems science, bioengineering, control engineering. You must have an excellent track record and meet the general admission requirements for a doctorate at ETH Zurich. Ideally you have expertise in one or more of the following areas

  • Mammalian synthetic biology
  • Bacterial/yeast synthetic biology
  • stem cell-derived muscle systems
  • optogenetics
  • synthetic, bio-inspired & bio-hybrid robotic systems
  • bacterial & muscle biology
  • tissue & systems engineering at the interface of living & non-living materials

Good written and spoken English is essential.

Your workplace

We offer

  • A highly multidisciplinary and collaborative environment. Our team consists of experimentalists and computational/theoretical scientists working closely together.
  • A wide range of activities like symposia, workshops and lecture series, as well as the possibility for the doctoral students to engage in organising such formats.
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents by October 10th 2022:

  • Detailed CV including a list of publications, talks and awards (if applicable)
  • Short motivation letter (750-1000 words) outlining your research interests and career plans in relation to the present offer.
  • Scanned degree certificates and transcripts (Bachelor's, Master's and other degrees)
  • Names and email addresses of 2-3 individuals (established faculty researchers, max. 1 letter from a postdoctoral researcher or non-academic (e.g. industry) supervisor is allowed) who can provide reference letters. Please ask your referees to submit their reference letters to our online system within the application deadline.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Mustafa Khammash: mustafa.khammash@bsse.ethz.ch (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.