ETH Zurich
PhD student in brain vascular biology
ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences. It is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.
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JOB DETAILS
Published: 1 month ago
Application deadline: Unspecified
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
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PhD student in brain vascular biology
The research groups «CNS angiogenesis and neurovascular link» within the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Division of Neurosurgery (University Zurich and University Hospital Zurich) and «Laboratory for Exercise and Health» within the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) are seeking per now a
PhD student in brain vascular biology
The main task of the candidate will be to discover how angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels) and the perivascular cells of the neurovascular unit are regulated during brain development and in brain tumors.
Glioblastoma are amongst the most deadly human cancers with a mean survival of only around 15 months. A typical feature of these tumors is their high grade of vascularization which is established by angiogenesis. However, therapeutic approaches targeting angiogenesis in glioblastoma showed only poor outcome so far. The main reason therefore is that the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating angiogenesis within brain tumors are very complex and remain poorly understood. In addition to classical endothelial signaling pathways such as the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) – VEGF Receptor (VEGFR) axis, new molecular pathways and thus therapeutic targets arise from the blood vessel microenvironment, also called the perivascular niche or neurovascular unit.
In the healthy adult brain, blood vessels are mostly quiescent with only < 0.5% of endothelial cells proliferating. Importantly, in many angiogenesis-dependent brain pathologies such as brain tumors or brain vascular malformations, blood vessel growth is reactivated during disease initiation or progression, at least in part by up-regulating signaling pathways that are important for developmental brain angiogenesis and for recruitment of perivascular cells of the neurovascular unit.
To that regard, the novel and highly interesting concepts of neurovascular link (common regulation of blood vessel- and neuronal growth), metabolism and cell-ECM interactions will be explored. Moreover, using unbiased system biology approaches, yet completely unknown signaling pathways will potentially be identified.
The overarching aim of the collaborative efforts of our two groups is to understand how angiogenesis and the neurovascular unit/perivascular niche are regulated in brain development, brain tumors, and brain vascular malformations.
Successful candidates will work under the direct supervision of Dr. Dr. Thomas Wälchli and Prof. Dr. Katrien De Bock, in close collaboration with other PhD-students and postdoctoral fellows in both research groups. The position is to be filled starting right now, for three to four years and is jointly financed by both research groups. Conditions according to Swiss National Science Foundation.
We are exclusively looking for outstanding and highly motivated candidates. To investigate the above-described projects, the candidate will use a variety of in vivo mouse models as well as a broad spectrum of in vitro molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemical assays using mouse and human endothelial and perivascular cells. Therefore, excellent training in biology and a MSc in neuroscience, biochemistry or molecular biology (or an equivalent discipline) with experience in and enthusiasm for molecular- and cell biology, biochemistry, and animal experiments are required.
To tackle the above-mentioned high risk-high potential projects, candidates should demonstrate overwhelming enthusiasm for neuroscience, vascular biology, and tumor biology. Moreover, the candidate should be highly motivated and display a flexibility with regard to experimental (combination of various in vivo and in vitroexperiments of human and mouse tissues) and organizational (the candidate will work between two labs, circulating between the University Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich and the ETH Zurich) issues. Therefore, we feel that only very dedicated, motivated, and talented persons will be able to successfully work on the above-described, highly novel and translational projects with the potential to significantly enhance our current knowledge on brain- and brain tumor biology.
Finally, the candidate should have the ability and self-motivation to work both independently and as a team player and should demonstrate good communication skills (German is not required, English is mandatory).
We offer working on highly original and translational projects regarding angiogenesis and the neurovascular unit/perivascular niche in brain development and brain tumors. The aim is to significantly improve the understanding and therapeutic modulation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern angiogenesis and the neurovascular unit/perivascular niche during brain development, in brain tumors, and in brain vascular malformations. Our young and interdisciplinary team tackles these questions using a highly interdisciplinary and translational approach including the combination of various in vivo and in vitro techniques and the combination and comparison of mouse and human tissues and cells.
For further information please contact simultaneously Dr. Dr. Thomas Wälchli (waelchli@hifo.uzh.ch), Prof. Dr. Katrien De Bock (katrien-debock@ethz.ch), and Prof. Dr. Karl Frei (kaerefrei@bluewin.ch).

We are looking forward to receiving your electronic application in one PDF. It should include a cover letter stating your motivation for this position, a comprehensive CV including (potential) publications, your academic record including copies of degree certificates and two references (including names and contact details). Please send your electronic application simultaneously to:

Dr. Dr. Thomas Wälchli
group leader „CNS angiogenesis and neurovascular link“
Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Division of Neurosurgery, Neuroscience Center Zurich
University Zurich and University Hospital Zurich
waelchli@hifo.uzh.ch

Prof. Dr. Katrien De Bock
Professor Laboratory of Exercise and Health
Institute of Movement Sciences, Department of Health Sciences and Technology
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ)
katrien-debock@ethz.ch

Prof. Dr. Karl Frei
scientific advisor „CNS angiogenesis and neurovascular link“
Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Division of Neurosurgery, Neuroscience Center Zurich
University Zurich and University Hospital Zurich
kaerefrei@bluewin.ch

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