The University of Lausanne is a higher teaching and research institution composed of seven faculties where approximately 17’000 students and nearly 5’000 collaborators, professors, and researchers work and study. Ideally situated along the lake of Geneva, near Lausanne’s city center, its campus brings together over 120 nationalities.

Presentation: The Department of Fundamental Microbiology offers a doctoral position in host-microbiome interactions assessing the role of the early life gut microbiota in nutritional disorders.

Do you like to dig deep into the « why » and molecular mechanisms underlying host-microbiome interactions? We offer a fully funded PhD position in the Vonaesch lab at the University of Lausanne aimed at disentengling the role of the early life microbiome in nutritional disorders.

The projet is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation through the National Competence Center in Research (NCCR) Microbiomes. The project is aimed at shedding light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the interplay of the small intestinal microbiota with stunted child growth and elucidate the mechanisms leading to ectopic colonization by oral bacteria, which is one of the factors implicated in pathophysiology.

The Vonaesch lab is hosted by the Department of Fundamental Microbiology in Lausanne. Our work is centered on the role of the microbiota and the gut ecosystem in different forms of malnutrition in order to contribute to the understanding of the syndromes and harness then this knowledge to develop powerful interventions strategies and treatments.

We are also more generally interested in the role of the microbiota in the triad linking gut health, infection and nutrition. To this purpose, we perform clinical/translational projects, especially in low-and middle income countries (LMIC) and analyze the underlying molecular mechanisms using in vitro and in vivo mouse models.

This PhD project will offer you the opportunity to perform your PhD thesis with us and to work alongside a young and dynamic team of microbiota experts. You will also be an active member of the NCCR Microbiomes, a thriving initiative to strengthen research on the microbiome in Switzerland with excellent collaboration and network opportunities.

Job information

Expected start date: 01.10.2023 or upon mutual agreement

Contract length: 1 year, renewable twice, maximum 4 years

Activity rate: 100%

Workplace: University of Lausanne

Your responsibilities

The candidate will be responsible for in vitro and in vivo experiments aimed at better understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the interplay of the small intestinal microbiota and the host in the context of nutritional disorders.

After an introductory period, the candidate is expected to plan and execute his experiments independently. We expect the candidate to be experienced in wet-lab experiments and, ideally, computational work.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Plan and execute wet-lab experiements as needed and discussed with the group leader
  • Willingness to take part in the necessary regulatory courses as well as continuing education for the licence to perform animal work
  • Organise eventual amendments to the ethical animal protocol
  • Help to organize the animal facility at DMF
  • Perform data analysis using R and other statistical programs as needed (both 16S and shotgun metagenomics); this can be learned during you PhD if you are less well trained in computational analyses so far
  • Contribute to teaching duties (especially supervision of younger students) and general life at the Department of Fundamental Microbiology
  • Write reports and publications
  • Disseminate your results at national and international conferences
  • Other laboratory-based and analysis tasks as needed within the project and larger group

Your qualifications

  • An excellent MSc in science, preferentially in microbiology or infection biology
  • Experience in molecular work
  • Former experience in working in a multicultural team
  • Prior experience in work with animal and cell culture models is a plus, but not a must
  • Excellent organizational skills and detail-oriented working style
  • Personal motivation and the ability to work independently as well as a member of a team
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • A strong interest in the microbiome and microbiome-host interactions

What the position offers you

We offer a stimulating position in a highly international and interdisciplinary environment both, within the DMF at the University of Lausanne. Our lab is located on the University of Lausanne campus, only a few hundred meters from the shores of beautiful lake Geneva and less than an hour from the mountains. Lausanne also has a rich cultural life to offer.

Contact for further information

Prof. Pascale Vonaesch:  

Your application

Application deadline: until position is filled, at the latest until the 31.06.2023. Please include your full application in a single PDF (motivation letter, CV, list of publications and the contact details of two referees). Only applications through the below APPLY NOW will be taken into account. We thank you for your understanding.


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