PhD Candidate in Immunology

University of Bern Institute of Pathology


PhD Candidate in Immunology

In the Tumorimmunology Research Group, Division of Experimental Pathology at the Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland, the position for a PhD Candidate in Immunology will become available by January 1st, 2020 (negotiable) to investigate the tumor immune microenvironment in pancreatic cancer.

The tumor microenvironment in pancreatic cancer is highly complex, comprising primarily of T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and tumor associated macrophages (TAM). Murine models of PDAC have demonstrated roles of various myeloid cell subsets in mediating both tumor immunity and disease progression. In fact, these cells may either enhance or attenuate the effects of tumor immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitor antibodies. The goal of this project is to dissect the myeloid landscape in human pancreatic cancer and to integrate these findings with immune cell transcriptomic data and tumor genotype signatures. This should allow us to unravel the mechanistic basis of myeloid cell driven immunosuppression in pancreatic cancer.

This project involves a wide range of cellular and molecular biology techniques and work with cell lines, mice, human cells and gene expression profiling platforms. The PhD candidate will receive training, supervision and support in all the aspects of the project and will have the opportunity to present research results in meetings, conferences and journals.

We are looking for a self-motivated candidate, fluent in English and/or German, with theoretical and practical skills in immunology and/or cancer research. Experience in flow cytometry, molecular biology and mouse models is preferable.

Applicants must hold a European academic degree in natural sciences (MSc or equivalent) acceptable for matriculation as a PhD student at a Swiss University. Students will have to be admitted to the Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bern ( Candidates with a diploma in immunology, cellular or molecular biology/ biochemistry and with strong interests in pursuing tumor-immunology are kindly invited to submit their application to, including:
1) Letter of Intent (outlining your motivation, strength, interests and goals)
2) Curriculum Vitae
3) References (letters/contact information of three references)
We offer
The position is available January 1st 2020 with a competitive salary according to Swiss National Science Foundation scale. The Institute of Pathology at the University of Bern offers very attractive state-of-the art facilities in immunology, and pathology, including access to core facilities for flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and animal facilities. For more information on the Institute and on ongoing research projects please visit our website
Submission of applications
Prof. Dr. Mirjam Schenk
Phone: +41 31 632 88 02

In your application, please refer to


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