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PhD or MD-PhD student: Epidemiology of a rare lung disease in the COVID-19 pandemic - Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia in Bern


The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at University of Bern performs research in a range of disciplines relevant to public health (www.ispm.ch). Groups cut across divisions, facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to research in the fields of clinical epidemiology, social and behavioural health, biostatistics, and international and environmental health.
The Paediatric Epidemiology Research Group conducts population-based and clinical studies in child health, focusing on respiratory disorders and cancer.

The PhD project will fill important knowledge gaps in the epidemiology of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD), with a focus on the Coronavirus pandemic . PCD is a rare, genetic, multisystem disease that affects ~ 1 in 10,000 people. It leads to progressive upper and lower airway disease and strongly affects quality of life. Genetic and functional factors influence the phenotype, but we lack knowledge on the clinical epidemiology, the spectrum and severity of the disease, long-term course, risk factors, and responses to treatment. We host several projects: a large international cohort study on patients with PCD , the national Swiss PCD registry (CH-PCD) and the COVID-PCD study , a longitudinal participatory online survey of over 600 people suffering from PCD from 5 continents (www.covid19pcd.ispm.ch).

In your PhD, you will analyse these exciting datasets to answer questions on the phenotypic variation, the disease burden, and morbidity predictors of PCD. A special focus will be the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on disease course, health behaviour and quality of life. You will have an active role in managing the studies and in communicating with patients and physicians. You will also have the opportunity to develop nested projects, e.g. specific surveys among patients. You will collaborate with an international multidisciplinary team of clinicians, patients and researchers, gain a broad understanding of epidemiological methods and statistical techniques, present your results at conferences and publish them in peer-reviewed journals. The job will prepare you for a research career in a scientific setting (University), a clinical setting (paediatric teaching hospital), or a public health institution , and counts as medical training in Paediatrics or Public Health. Teaching is organised via the graduate schools of the University of Bern (www.gcb.unibe.ch and www.ghs.unibe.ch). Applicants should have a university degree (MSc or equivalent) in medicine or applied science (biology, statistics, public health, etc.) and a strong interest in child health and epidemiology. You should be keen to learn statistical methods and software. The position requires fluency in English. Fluency in German, French, or Italian and previous clinical experience is an advantage. The position is available straight away (later dates can be negotiated). PhD salary rates of the Swiss National Science Foundation apply. If you look for an exciting PhD position in a highly motivated team, please send your CV with motivation letter to Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Kuehni (claudia.kuehni@ispm.unibe.ch) and Dr. Eva Pedersen (eva.pedersen@ispm.unibe.ch). For further information please contact us by e-mail. Please send you application as soon as possible, ideally by December 20, 2020.

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Arbeitsstunden pro Woche
4 - 40
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