PhD Position in Medicine
University of Bern

PhD Position in Medicine 

A PhD position is available in the Laboratory for Prenatal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine, Insel Hospital (Prof. Daniel Surbek, Prof. Andreina Schoeberlein) for a highly motivated and hard-working candidate interested in studying the role of glial cells in perinatal brain injury.

Starting date: September 1st, 2024 (or as agreed)
Duration: 3-4 years

Project Background
We are interested in the mechanistic underpinnings of injury to the fetal and newborn brain. Building on our work in recent years to understand the molecular identity of reactive astrocytes following acute perinatal brain injury, this project aims to decipher astrocyte reactivity in the context of chronic insult during gestation. Using this understanding, we hope to be able to harness astrocyte reactivity as both a therapeutic target and diagnostic tool in pregnancies affected by placental insufficiency.

Your Responsibilities
  • Planning, execution and analysis of experiments investigating single cell characterization of astrocyte reactivity in rodent models of placental insufficiency.
  • Planning, execution, and analysis of experiments investigating the use of astrocyte-derived extracellular vesicles as a diagnostic tool in intrauterine growth restriction (analysis of astrocyte-derived EV protein content in rodent model, analysis of astrocyte-derived EV protein content in blood samples from human pregnancies).
  • Preparing findings for presentation at local and international conferences.
  • Publication of findings in peer-reviewed journals
  • University Master Degree in Biomedical / Biological Sciences or equivalent.
  • Work with rodent models of disease is a key component of this project. While previous experience with rodent handling and experimentation is not required, willingness to perform studies on mice and rats is required.
  • Independence, creativity, persistence, strong work ethic, team-player attitude, and self-directed problem solving are key to success in this position.
We offer
  • The student will work as part of an active basic research laboratory team led by Prof. Daniel Surbek and Prof. Andreina Schoeberlein. The team is composed of two post-doctoral fellows, a senior PhD student, and a research associate.
  • Laboratory meetings for data presentation and discussion are held twice monthly. Journal Club meetings are held twice monthly
  • Discussion of data and feedback on results and next steps will be provided on a daily to weekly basis through the post-doctoral fellow leading the project.
  • The project offers the opportunity to be involved with international collaborations
  • The Department of Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine, Insel Hospital and the Department for BioMedical Research at the University of Bern provides a stimulating platform for scientific interaction between clinicians, PhD students, post-docs, and faculty through regular gatherings to present and discuss research.

Salary: According to the University of Bern Guidelines
Please send your CV, a motivational letter, at least one reference letter, and the names and contact details of two additional references as a single PDF document by May 23, 2024 to
Applicants that best match the sought profile will be contacted regarding an in-person interview by the end of May, 2024. If you are not contacted, we are unfortunately unable to consider your application further.

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