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PhD position: Follicular Endocrinology during Personalised Ovarian Stimulation (PROSPECT-study) in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, fixed-term

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specializing in science and technology. At the Institute of Agricultural Science, the Animal Physiology Group addresses reproductive challenges in humans, livestock, and wildlife. We have strong expertise in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in livestock and wildlife species and in the analytics of steroids using both immunoassay – und mass spectrometry (MS) based techniques.

Project background

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is routinely applied in fertility clinics across the world for couples facing fertility problems. Although IVF success rates have considerably improved in the last decade, there is still an urgent need to further improve hormonal stimulation protocols. Ovarian follicle stimulation is an important step within the IFV procedure and aims to harvest mature eggs for in vitro fertilisation. There is a wide range of individual responses to the stimulation protocol posing a major challenge to fertility experts. To date, neither underlying mechanistic causes of the heterogeneous responses nor predictive biomarkers are known resulting in premature discontinuation of treatment.

Job description

The interdisciplinary PROSPECT-study funded by PHRT (Personalized Health and Related Technologies) comprises a comparative approach with cattle as an animal model for the human follicular development. In this project, blood and follicular fluid samples of human and cows undergoing IVF treatment will be collected for the characterisation of the steroidome using an MS-based method. In addition, granulosa cells from both species will be acquired for transcriptional analyses and correlated with the obtained hormonal data and ultrasound imaging acquired in a complementary second project part.

Your profile

You are an early experienced, highly motivated young researcher with a strong interest in endocrinology and analytical tools for the sensitive quantification of hormones. You will have a master’s degree in biochemistry, biology, molecular biotechnology, chemistry, or a related discipline. Futhermore, you have experience in analytical assay development and in MS-based techniques are preferred. In addition, you should have the ability to work independently in an interdisciplinary research environment. Very good knowledge of spoken and written English is essential.

Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

We offer a very well-equipped facility at ETH Zurich in a working environment of an experienced, dynamic interdiscinary research group. You will have access to state-of-the-art molecular and analytical laboratories at ETH and UZH including the Functional Genomics Center Zurich (FGCZ).

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 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 including:

  • a letter of motivation
  • a detailed CV 
  • certificates

Please address your application to: ETH Zurich, Prof. Susanne E Ulbrich, CH-8092 Zurich. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

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