The Adolphe Merkle Institute ( is an established independent center of competence associated with the University of Fribourg. AMI prides itself with an unusual blend of fundamental and application-oriented research within a multidisciplinary setting and strives to be a leader in interdisciplinary research on soft nano-science. To complete our team, we are seeking a

PhD Student (Biophysics)

The Biophysics Group (Prof. Michael Mayer) invites applications for PhD students for three projects in the domains of single molecule characterization of proteins with nanopores, single molecule fluorescence techniques, or single molecule electrophysiology studies.  Our goal is to increase our understanding of neurodegenerative, amyloidogenic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by developing next generation protein analysis approaches that can reveal multiple protein descriptors on a single molecule level. Such a technology will make it possible to examine the aggregation state and kinetics of heterogeneous amyloid samples in human cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood.  We will then take advantage of this information to explore its potential for early diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of amyloidogenic diseases.

Applicants must have a MSc or equal degree in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Biotechnology.  Interest in computer programming for data analysis is a plus.  Strong motivation, previous research experience, and enthusiasm for top-quality research as well as good oral and written English communication skills are a must.

We offer a uniquely stimulating and supportive interdisciplinary research environment at the interface of biophysics, biochemistry, nanoscience, and diagnostics as well as brand-new, state-of-the-art laboratories, excellent working conditions, a competitive salary, and outstanding career prospects. As a member of the Adolphe Merkle Institute, which is leading a 12 Mio CHF National Competence Center for Research (NCCR) in Bio-inspired Materials, the successful candidate will also benefit from training opportunities and presentations in an international setting as well as from multidisciplinary collaborations with groups at the ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. Our in-house technology transfer office provides training, mentoring and support for start-up companies and provides contacts to industrial partners.

Please send your letter of motivation, a succinct description of your previous research experiences (max. 1 page per project), CV, copies of pertinent certificates, and contact details of three references to (turn on JavaScript), stating “PhD Biophysics” in the subject line.  Positions are available starting from Dec 1st, 2016. For additional information, please refer to Nature Nanotechnol., 2011, 6, 253-; ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 5909-; Neurotox. Res., 2009, 16, 1-; PlosOne, 2012, 7, e47261-; ArXiv, 2015, arxiv:1510.01935 (this manuscript is provisionally accepted from Nature Nanotechnol., 2016) or contact Prof. Michael Mayer (email: (turn on JavaScript)).

Adolphe Merkle Institute - Chemin des Verdiers 4 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Phone +41 26 300 9254