ETH Zürich

Postdoc position in in vitro kidney model development

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ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

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Postdoc position in in vitro kidney model development

For a collaboration project between the Bio Engineering Laboratory (Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of ETH Zurich in Basel) and Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland, we are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic Postdoc. The candidate will have a unique opportunity to collaborate across scientific and organizational boundaries with a focus on developing powerful new technologies that have the potential of therapeutic breakthroughs for patients.

Project background

In this collaborative effort, the Postdoc will develop an in vitro model mimicking in vivo physiology of the renal tubule to identify new promising targets and compounds for pharmaceutical intervention and to advance our understanding of chronic kidney disease. Current in vitro models of the renal tubular unit cannot faithfully replicate the function and complex interplay between the different cellular components of the tubule. Emerging models, based on pluripotent stem cell differentiation and cellular self-organization, have shown promising results in mimicking the kidney structure and cellular function. However, these models cannot be easily adopted for pharmaceutical research and target validation. By combining state-of-the-art engineering approaches and new cellular models, this project is aimed at realizing new kidney models, which will find application in both fundamental biology and drug testing.

Job description

The postdoc will develop new cell-culture platforms and tisssue models intended to mimic the kidney microenvironment. He will use these platforms to culture stem-cell-derived renal cells to realize a renal tubular unit. The postdoc will then focus on the functional characterization of the tubular unit to confirm that the developed model faithfully recapitulates the tissue of interest. In this endavor, the researcher will work in close collaborations with engineers and biologists at ETH Zurich and Novartis AG.


The successful candidate should have a background in bioengineering, biology, physiology, or related fields, with a preference for experience with advanced in vitro models, transport across epithelial and/or endothelial barriers, and organoid differentiation and culture. Experience with microfluidics, optical microscopy, and biochemical assays will be highly beneficial. In-depth knowledge of kidney physiology and pathophysiology, and knowledge of standard molecular biology techniques are desirable. Good communication skills and a proactive work attitude are required for working in the interdisciplinary field of preclinical testing and drug development. The Postdoc must be able to fluently communicate in English (oral and written) and be willing to work in a highly interactive and collaborative international environment. The researcher will work at the intersection of academic and industrial research with access to resources and expertise from both institutions.

Academic excellence, a professional work attitude, and a self-driven nature are expected. The position is fully funded for initially 2 years, an extension to up to 4 years is possible. The starting date is flexible but must be before 10-2024.

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.

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 your online application by August 15th 2024: 

A complete application package includes

  • a short and specific motivation statement for the advertised position (1/2 page)
  • complete academic transcripts
  • an up-to-date CV
  • at least two reference letters (or contact details of referees).

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications submitted via e-mail or postal services or incomplete application packages will not be considered.

Further information about the Bio Engineering Laboratory can be found on our website. For more information on the position, please contact exclusively via e-mail:

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.

Job details

Postdoc position in in vitro kidney model development
Rämistrasse 101 Zurich, Switzerland
Application deadline
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About the employer

ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

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