Postdoc position in X-ray analytical research for biomedical applications: understanding nanoparticle behavior in biological environments

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.
Empa’s Centre for X-ray Analytics develops X-ray analytical and imaging methods for understanding materials structure in materials, life- and medical sciences.

The Postdoc research will focus on fundamental studies to understand the behaviour of nanoparticles in a biological environment. This includes experiments using laboratory and synchrotron infrastructures for in-situ and operando investigations. The mechanism of interactions of (mostly) inorganic materials with biomolecules will be studied in depth with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) as the main methodology, complemented by microscopy and dynamic light scattering, among other methods. The aim is to develop a fundamental understanding of the leading interactions between nanoparticles and biology, enabling the design of high-efficiency strategies for targeted applications. The project is interdisciplinary, is related to a funded European project, and will be in close cooperation with our national and international partners.

Your tasks

  • Investigating how nanoparticles — primarily inorganic, but also organic — interact with biological environments, including proteins, serum, and whole blood.
  • Studying the interplay of bio-molecules on surfaces.
  • Focusing on analytical research: methods development in SAXS and Grazing-Incidence SAXS (GISAXS).
  • Design of experiments for in-situ and operando studies.

Your profile

If you are a highly motivated and passionate person, with excellent communication skills, seeking to make a major impact in analytical research related to biomedicine; you thrive in interdisciplinary environments, and meet the following criteria: 
  • completed PhD degree in crystallography, material science, chemistry, physics or similar
  • have strong hands-on laboratory skills
  • have experience with X-ray based analytical methods
  • Have additional experience in the biomedical domain
  • Fluent in English, German is beneficial
then, this position might be for you.

Our offer

Project duration is one year with the potential extension of one more year. The candidate will perform the research at Empa in St. Gallen. The desired starting date is the 1st of July 2024 or upon mutual agreement.
We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.
We look forward to receiving your complete online application including a letter of motivation, CV, certificates, diplomas and contact details of two reference persons. Please submit these exclusively via our job portal. Applications by e-mail and by post will not be considered.
Sarah Stüdli, HR Partner


Your future place of work

Lerchenfeldstrasse 5
9014 St. Gallen

Empa as an employer

Innovative, sustainable, meaningful activities
Creating added value for society
International, multicultural working environment
Freedom to create and develop
Culture of inclusion and respect
Excellent balance between different areas of life
Multiple award-winning and certified employer
Benefits for rail, mobile, childcare, catering, etc.