PhD Student in the field of targeting the microenvironment 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

You will work in the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences (CRS) at ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen (PSI). The goal of the CRS is to develop innovative targeted radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic and therapeutic use in clinical applications with a focus on cancer. The CRS is a well-equipped and strongly interdisciplinary institute.

Project background

Radiopharmaceuticals are used in clinical practice for targeted diagnosis and therapy of various cancers. Most compounds target membrane proteins that are often overexpressed in cancer cells. However, this approach is limited to specific cancer types for each compound. Therefore, we would like to develop a broader approach so that one compound can be used for different cancer types. The altering mechanism in the microenvironment is in different cancer types very similar and is also valid for other diseases. In this SNSF-funded project, we will investigate different radiolabeled compounds as novel target proteins in the microenvironment and evaluate their potential for diagnosis and therapy.

Job description

It is envisaged that two PhD students will work in close collaboration on the project. One PhD student will focus more on the chemical and initial biological aspects, including the design and synthesis of optimized compounds. This will include the application of innovative methods such as AlphaFold with docking studies or DNA-encoded libraries, but also the initial biological evaluation of the new compounds.
The second PhD student will take care of the in vitro and in vivo evaluation of these compounds. The goal is to test the compounds for their therapeutic and diagnostic capabilities in different mouse models and to understand the role of the target protein in cancer tissue. Evaluating the effects of targeted radiotherapy directed to the microenvironment is of great interest. For this purpose, different methods such as SPECT/CT, high-end fluorescence microscopy as well as proteomic approaches can be used.

The two students will work closely with different Swiss and international research groups. Additionally, you will be involved in laboratory management and teaching. The students will be hired via PSI and the working place can be PSI and ETHZ. The PhD degree will be awarded by the ETHZ.

Your profile
  • We expect that you have a Master degree in Chemistry, Pharmacy or a related field with a strong interest in chemical synthesis and in biological systems.
  • A high interest in interdisciplinary work with the willingness to evaluate the synthesised compounds in vitro is required.
  • You should have good social skills for working with a team of people from different scientific fields.
  • Research experience abroad would be of benefit and fluent English is required.
Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

The position offers the unique opportunity to be part of a multidisciplinary team to shape the development of innovative cancer therapies.

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 by 28th of February 2023 with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum Vitae including most important scientific achievements
  • References

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

Further information about the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences can be found on .

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