The research of the group led by Prof. Matthias Ernst in the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zürich, is centered on the instrumental and method development in dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) and method development in high-resolution solid-state NMR of biomolecules. We are seeking applications for a
PhD position in instrumental and methodological development of dissolution DNP
The project is about dissolution DNP, electron polarization which is used to hyperpolarize small molecules at very low temperatures. The liquid resulting from the fast dissolution of the hyperpolarized solid sample can be used to measure either high-sensitivity liquid-state NMR spectra or, after injection into animals, to acquire spatially resolved spectra or images in vivo. This project is a long-standing collaboration with Prof. Sebastian Kozerke (IBT, ETH Zürich), who is responsible for the MRI applications.
The successful candidate will work on the development and construction of a third-generation dissolution probe for fast successive dissolutions as well as on the upgrade of the existing polarizers to higher microwave power. On the methodological side, the PhD student will work on the improvement of the current phenomenological description of the polarization build-up dynamics and on a more accurate characterization of the absolute polarization levels. Such methodological and instrumental developments are important for the further successful establishment of metabolic imaging based on dissolution DNP. The student will collaborate with the group of Prof. Kozerke for imaging applications and with a mechanical and an electronic engineer for the hardware development.

Prerequisites are a Master in Physics, Interdisciplinary Sciences, Chemistry, or related areas. Motivation to work in a multidisciplinary team and a strong interest in hardware development are expected. Previous experience in magnetic resonance or hardware development is beneficial.
We look forward to receiving your online application including a motivation letter, a CV, university transcripts with exam grades and contact details for two academic references. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. The position is available immediately but the starting date is upon mutual agreement.

More information about the ongoing projects in our lab and the hardware available can be found at http://www.ssnmr.ethz.ch/. Questions regarding the position should be directed by email to Prof. Matthias Ernst (maer[at]ethz.ch).