ENAC - PhD Positions (LEV)

WorkplaceLausanne, Lake Geneva region, Switzerland

The Laboratory of Environmental Virology (LEV) is interested in the fate of human viruses in the environment (air, water, fomites). Our goal is to understand the fundamental processes that govern the stability of viruses outside their hosts, and to utilize this information to protect public health. We are currently looking for a 

PhD candidate  

to investigate the effect of air composition on the respiratory virus transmission chain (AirTRAC)

Since the COVID pandemic it is well-acknowledged that airborne respiratory viruses significantly contribute to disease transmission. Nevertheless, our current understanding of the physicochemical processes that affect the infectivity of respiratory viruses in the aerosol and the susceptibility of the next host to airborne infection are limited. Recent research has revealed an important impact of air composition on virus stability and transmission. Specifically, air composition influences the physical-chemical microenvironment encountered by viruses in aerosol particles, and also may affect the susceptibility of host cells to infection. The interdisciplinary project AirTRAC aims to elucidate the impact of air composition on the different steps in the airborne transmission route. AirTRAC is a large, interdisciplinary project involving researchers from EPFL, University of Zurich, ETHZ and Emory University (USA). The team encompasses virologists, environmental engineers as well as atmospheric and aerosol scientists.

The objective of this PhD project is to determine how different air compositions affect the physical-chemical microenvironment in aerosol particles and droplets, and how this microenvironment in turn affects the stability of a suite of respiratory viruses. The work involves kinetic experiments in drops and in aerosol particles, as well as molecular virology experiments to determine inactivation mechanisms.

We are looking for candidates with a Master’s degree in environmental sciences, microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry or a related field. Prior experience in microbiology and an interest in aerosol science and public health is beneficial. The successful applicant will closely collaborate with PhD candidates and a postdoc and a technician in LEV, as well as with our collaborators at University of Zurich, ETHZ and Emory University. A good command of both spoken and written English is essential.

We offer a fully funded 4-year position in stimulating international research environment, good research infrastructures and resources, a competitive salary, and the opportunity to live and work along the shores of beautiful Lake Geneva.

The position will start as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. PhD applicants must be accepted by the EPFL Doctoral School in order to pursue a PhD. For more information, please see ?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.epfl.ch%2Feducation%2Fphd%2Fedce-civil-and-environmental-engineering%2F&module=jobs&id=2888723" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.epfl.ch%2Feducation%2Fphd%2Fedce-civil-and-environmental-engineering%2F&module=jobs&id=2888723" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.epfl.ch/­education/phd/­edce-civil-and-environmental-­engineering/ . For further information about obtaining a PhD at EPFL, please consult ?url=http%3A%2F%2Fphd.epfl.ch%2Fprospective&module=jobs&id=2888723" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?url=http%3A%2F%2Fphd.epfl.ch%2Fprospective&module=jobs&id=2888723" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://phd.epfl.ch/­prospective .

To apply, please send the following documents as a single pdf fileto [email protected] :

  • a letter of motivation
  • your CV
  • the name and contact information of at least two references
  • 1-2 page summary of your Master’s thesis
  • a transcript of the grades of your Master’s degree
In your application, please refer to myScience.org and reference JobID 2888723.