ESR 7

Recruiting organisation:             

University of Bern, ARTORG Center for
Biomedical Engineering Research

Organs-on-Chip Technologies
(PI: Prof. Dr. Olivier Guenat)

Subproject title:

Development of an acute lung infectionon-
chip model

Starting date:

01.06.2019

The advertised subproject will be carriedout by a PhD student (“Early-stage Researcher”) at the University of Bern over a period of 36 months. The recruited researcher will work in the Organs-on-chip Technologies Lab headed by Prof. Dr. Olivier Guenat, which aims at developing the next generation in vitro models combining microfluidics and tissue engineering. The lab closely collaborates with clinicians from the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital). She/he will develop a lung model for acute lung infection, a diseased condition with no current effective therapy, based on a breathing lung-on-chip system. The main tasks of this project are:

  1. Study of immune cell recruitment and transmigration upon pro-inflammatory stimulation
  2. Integration of a bead-based multiplex immunoassay for cytokine detection and optical sensors to monitor the cell culture conditions
  3. Correlation of in vitro to in vivo clinical data

Secondments are planned as follows:

  • University Hospital Jena, Germany (PI: Dr. Alexander Mosig): 2 months
  • University of Uppsala, Sweden (PI: Dr. Maria Tenje): 2 months
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Germany (Dr. Stefan Kauschke): 2 months

This subproject is fully funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network „EUROoC“ (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018). The monthly salary consists of a living allowance, mobility allowance and family allowance (if applicable). Please visit the EC MSCA webpage for more information. The recruited researcher will have the opportunity to work as part of an international, interdisciplinary team of 15 PhD students, based at universities and industrial firms throughout Europe. She/he will gain a unique skill-set comprising microfabrication, biomaterial science and stem cell differentiation, as well as an overview of different organ-on-a-chip technologies and their implementation at industrial level. She/he is expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and to disseminate the results through patents (if applicable), publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Networks (ETNs) are joint research and training projects funded by the European Union. Funding is provided for PhD students from both inside and outside Europe to carry out individual project work in a European country other than their own.

 

The European training network “EUROoC” is made up of 11 core and 10 associate partners from academia, industry and regulatory agencies, coordinated by Fraunhofer IGB. The network will recruit a total of 15 PhD students for project work lasting for 36 months.

Organ-on-a-Chip (OoC) technology is advancing at breath taking pace due to its potential impact in drug development and personalised treatments of disease. New researchers entering this field must be equipped with a multidisciplinary background ranging from biology to microfluidic chip engineering. EUROoC offers the first complete and coherent European training program on OoC by gathering multidisciplinary participants (biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers) in a multi-sectoral network composed of six companies, three regulation entities and twelve academic institutions.

EUROoC will qualify the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists for all aspects of OoC development and utilisation, including understanding of commercialisation pathways and regulatory aspects. EUROoC furthermore comprises a collection of innovative research projects addressing the development of advanced OoC systems with higher physiological significance going beyond current in vitro testing.

Qualifications / experience:

  • Early-stage researcher: a Researcher without a PhD, who is in the first four years (full-time equivalent Research experience) of her/his research career, measured from the date when she/he obtained the degree, which would formally entitle her/him to embark on a doctorate.
  • M. Sc. degree in biomedical sciences, biotechnology, biomedical Engineering or related fields.
  • Basic knowledge of cell biology, cell culture, microfabrication, microscale phenomena, microfluidics.
  • Practical experience of fluorescence microscopy is a plus.
  • Basic knowledge of data analysis and good knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Well-structured and autonomous working style, good organizational and communication skills.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is a must.

 

Mobility:

The applicant must not have resided or carried out her/his main activity (work, studies etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the past three years.

How to apply

Please send your CV, a half-page summary of master/diploma thesis, a letter of motivation (up to 2 pages) which states your research experience and interests, and names and contact information of at least two academic referees who could write a letter of recommendation by e-mail to the following address, quoting the reference „EUROoC-IGB-ESR7“:

EUROoC@igb.fraunhofer.de

 

For questions, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Olivier Guenat:
olivier.guenat@artorg.unibe.ch

 

Assessment of applications starts 31st January 2019, applications are possible until 17th February 2019.

Interviews are planned for February/ March 2019.