Open positions

Interested in nanoscience research? Please remember to check this page where we regularly post job offers for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and senior scientists at the Adolphe Merkle Institute. Chemistry, materials science, analytics, physics, and biophysics are all at the core of our scientific projects. We offer a uniquely stimulating interdisciplinary research environment, state-of-the-art laboratories, excellent working conditions, competitive salaries, and outstanding career prospects. Our alumni regularly take up attractive positions in academia, public research organizations, and industry around the world.

  • Postdoctoral position - development of pore-forming protein assemblies with controlled size and activity

    The BioPhysics group of Adolphe Merkle Institute is looking for a POSTDOC (ideally 100%) for developing pore-forming protein assemblies with controlled size and activity.

    ABOUT THE GROUP

    The Biophysics group is a multidisciplinary and collaborative group where concepts from biology and physics converge towards solutions to challenges, such as improving human health, medical diagnostics and bio-inspired energy transformation. The group pioneered the development of biomimetic hydrogel-based electrical power sources which are biocompatible and mechanically flexible (Schroeder et al, Nature 2017). Other research activities of the group are directed towards gaining a molecular understanding of disease, developing sensitive diagnostic assays and sensors (Yusko et al, Nature Nanotechnology, 2011 and 2017), as well as characterizing individual protein molecules for applications in biomarker detection, routine protein analysis, personalized medicine, and proteomics.

    GOAL OF THE PROJECT

    Nanopore technologies are redefining the way we analyse and sequence DNA and RNA as well as unlabelled proteins at a single-molecule level. Nanopore sensing devices consist of a thin membrane with a nanometer-sized pore which separates two electrolite solutions. When a potential is applied across the membrane, an ionic current is established in the nanopore. Measuring the current modulations caused by proteins translocating through the nanopore allows to estimate several important molecular parameters, such as size, shape and charge.

    Controlling the size and the stability of the nanopore is one of the key challenges to the advancement of this technology. We strive to achieve such control by taking advantage of DNA nanotechnology to engineer natural pore-forming proteins to assemble into nanopores with programmable sizes that can be used for protein analysis.

    WE ARE LOOKING FOR A CANDIDATE WITH

    • A PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics or related fields
    • Experience with protein chemical functionalization and analysis
    • Experience with DNA design and assembly is a plus

    APPLICATION PROCEDURE

    Please send your CV, a motivation letter and two reference letters to Prof. Michael Mayer (michael.mayer@unifr.ch)

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

    Please contact Prof. Michael Mayer (michael.mayer@unifr.ch) or Dr. Alessandro Ianiro (alessandro.ianiro@unifr.ch)

  • Postdoc Position Bio-Inspired Adhesives 100%

    ... The research project involves the development of bio-inspired adhesives. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with an industrial partner and has the ambitious goal to lay the foundation for an innovative product with so far unmet characteristics. The project involves the analysis of a specific natural adhesive, the identification of key parameters that govern its performance, and the design, synthesis, and characterization of artificial materials that mimic this function.

    Applicants must have a PhD degree in Polymer or Materials Science, or Chemistry, demonstrated high research productivity, and wish to pursue application-oriented research with the goal to solve unmet technological problems. Previous experience in independently synthesizing and characterizing new polymers is a must. Familiarity with mechanical and adhesive testing is desirable. The collaboration with our industrial collaborators is an important aspects of the project. AMI offers highly attractive employment  conditions and an outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to AMI applications (ami-applications@unifr.ch) with the subject title “Postdoc Position Adhesives”.

  • Postdoc position (100%) – Nanoparticle synthesis and analysis

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's BioNanomaterials group research aims to study the synthesis and characterization of highly complex inorganic nanoparticles designed for biomedical applications and their behavior in biological system and their interaction with cells. In order to study ultrasmall particles in complex biological and physiological fluids, stringent control over particle synthesis parameters is required.  In addition, particle characterization is crucial during all steps and in particular in the final chemical environment the particles are exposed to. This can range from simple buffers and cell culture media to protein crowded plasma, food matrices, or cosmetic products.

     We aim to attract the best talents in the respective research field and expect:

    • A PhD degree in natural sciences/engineering with proven track record in mechanistic particle synthesis
    • Very strong knowledge in scattering techniques, electron microscopy, sample preparation, spectroscopies
    • Fluency in English – written and oral, Candidates with working knowledge in French or German will be preferred
    • Supervision of Master and PhD students in the group, involvement in teaching activities
    • An integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills;

      We offer:

    • Excellent research facilities
    • A one year contract with the possibility for prolongation and – if successful with high impact publications and acquisition of own funding – promotion to group leader with the opportunity for a Habilitation
    • Full funding (according to the SNSF guidelines)
    • Supporting curriculum with many optional courses
    • International environment with English as the working language

     Start date:

    • To be discussed.

    Application Procedure

    Please email your application to alke.fink@unifr.ch including your CV, a cover letter, and contact information of (at least) two references with the subject title “Postdoc position (100%) BioNano group”.