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1 PhD Position in Cell Deformability-Based Diagnosis of Hematological Diseases.

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. Application is thus invited for

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.

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 look forward to receiving online applications that includes CV, copies of all Bachelor and Master certificates, transcripts and letter of motivation. Please note that applications must submitted through the online application portal ( Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For more information see: Specific questions regarding the position can be directed to Professor Andrew de Mello and Dr Stavros Stavrakis, by email (,

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