PhD Position in Chemistry

ETH Zürich


PhD Position in Chemistry 

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The deMello Group in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zürich, a world-leading center for the development of novel microfluidic technologies, is looking for a motivated PhD student in cutting edge research in the areas of microfluidics and imaging flow cytometry.

Job description

The early diagnosis of cancer is now accepted to be a key determinant of patient outcome. Since cancer cells exhibit alterations in their mechanical properties (when compared to their benign counterparts), cell mechano-phenotype is an emerging hallmark of cancer, with the potential to dramatically improve both detection and subsequent classification. Accordingly, mechanical phenotyping through the measurement of cell deformability represents a potentially powerful diagnostic tool. Indeed, since cells undergo physical and biological changes during cancer progression, a complete understanding of such changes offers much in developing new diagnosis and treatment methods. Unfortunately, the application of single-cell deformability measurements is far from widespread, due to a lack of standardized metrics and difficulties associated with performing high-throughput measurements on complex biological samples. With this project, we aim to make single-cell deformability measurements suitable for routine diagnostic analysis in clinics, opening a new approach in cell-based diagnostics. Specifically, we bring together an actively collaborating cohort of scientists and clinicians with the aim of dramatically improving the potency of deformability-based diagnosis for hematological diseases, such as anemia, lymphoma and leukemia.

Your profile

The successful candidate should hold an MSc degree in physics, chemistry, engineering, microsystems/microelectronics engineering, medical technology or a comparable subject with first class grades and excellent programming skills (Matlab/Python, C(++)) Basic experience in optics,  microfabrication and microfluidics, biophysics, cell biology, experience in machine learning methods for image recognition and advanced signal and data processing will be beneficial. Fluent communication skills (written and presentation) in English are essential. The PhD candidates will join an excellent and highly ambitious team at the forefront of research in the areas of microfluidics and imaging flow cytometry.

Since this is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions DN project, PhD candidates must comply with the Mobility rule. Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

chevron_rightWorking, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

chevron_right Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

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 Equal Opportunities and Diversity website 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 online applications that includes

  • CV
  • copies of all Bachelor and Master certificates
  • transcripts and letter of motivation

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

You can find more informatioin our website. Specific questions regarding the position can be directed to Professor Andrew de Mello and Dr Stavros Stavrakis, by email (,

For recruitment services the GTC of ETH Zurich apply.

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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