PhD student position available in functional genomics at the CIG, UNIL (CH)


The University of Lausanne is a higher teaching and research institution composed of seven faculties where approximately 14,300 students and nearly 3,900 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.


Prof. Jolanda van Leeuwen, who will start a new research group at the CIG (Center for Integrative Genomics) of the University of Lausanne in April 2018, is seeking to recruit a PhD student to work on projects relating to functional genomics and genetic interactions.

Job information

Expected start date in position: 01.04.2018 or to be agreed

Contract length: 1 year, possibily renewable 2 x 2 years, maximum 5 years

Activity rate: 85% (minimum of 50% of the activity rate for research thesis, maximum of 35% of the activity for the institute)

Workplace: University of Lausanne, Dorigny

Your responsibilities

The main research mission of the Van Leeuwen lab is to use functional genomics tools to improve our understanding of how mutations can interact to produce unexpected phenotypes, and how this determines the severity of genetic traits. Our research specifically focusses on suppression interactions, in which the accumulation of secondary mutations elsewhere in the genome can compensate for the deleterious effects of the primary mutation. For human disease genes, suppressors can represent strong targets for therapeutic intervention. 

The candidate will be expected to conduct research within the context of the lab’s research goal. We currently seek trainees for several projects, including:

  • Expanding the suppressor network in yeast and decipher general rules of suppression to allow us to predict these interactions in human genomes.
  • Investigating the role of suppressor mutations in tumor development and chemotherapy resistance.
  • Technology development for high-throughput analysis of suppression interactions in cultured mammalian cells.
  • Exploring suppression phenotypes involving more than two genes, to understand how multiple mutations can combine to yield phenotypes.

The successful candidate will be expected to accurately execute experiments to validate discoveries from primary genetic screens. The candidate will contribute to manuscripts for publication and present research findings at academic conferences. Funding for the position is available, but application to fellowship programs will be highly encouraged.

Your qualifications

We are a young research laboratory looking for talented students interested in high-throughput genetic analysis, with a specific focus on suppression. A Master’s degree in biology or a related discipline is required, and a background in yeast genetics or cancer biology is a plus. Exceptional interest in understanding genetic interactions and a great sense of teamwork are essential.

What the position offers you

The Van Leeuwen lab is hosted at the Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG) at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), a vibrant, well­ funded institute with a focus on functional genomics and equipped with modern core facilities (see It is embedded in the broader Lausanne research environment that includes two High schools (UNIL, EPFL), the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Ludwig Center for Cancer Research, university hospital, and a cluster of biotech companies flourishing in the larger Leman lake area. We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diversified and dynamic academic environment. The PhD student will be enrolled in the Faculty of Biology and Medicine’s doctoral school (

Contact for further information

Informal enquiries should be sent to Prof. Jolanda van Leeuwen


Your application

Please submit your full application comprising:

a cover letter detailing your research interests and experience
a CV
a copy of your Master’s degree certificate
contact details for 2 or more referees

Only applications through the UNIL website will be taken into account.

Additional information

UNIL is committed to promoting gender equality and strongly encourages applications from female candidates.