Doctoral position (100%), Veterinary Anatomy, Vetsuisse Bern

University of Bern
March 15, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Doctoral position (100%), Veterinary Anatomy, Vetsuisse Bern

Research focus Veterinary Anatomy In our working group, we are interested in the morphological examination of cells, tissues and organs in situ and in vitro. Our spectrum of methods ranges from the classical macroscopic to the histological and cytological level to the analysis of ultrastructure via electron microscopy. Our research focus lies, among other things, in the establishment and analysis of realistic in vitro models of blood vessel formation. We further develop three-dimensional, complex in vitro models of different species. Our research group offers close and good supervision, a structured introduction in the applied methods and joyful teamwork.

Theses project

"Conductive capillary bed on a chip - Implementation of functional vascular circulation in a 3D skin model" In skin disease research, animal models are still considered the gold standard, because diseases are often multifactorial and involve the complex interaction of many cell types. However, the translation of results obtained in animal models is limited due to enormous cross-species differences, and the predictability of outcomes in humans remains questionable In recent years, 3D artificial skin models have been developed which opened a promising perspective for preclinical studies. Nevertheless, the dermal layer of most of these skin models is still based on fibroblasts seeded in artificial, non-species specific scaffolds/matrices, e.g. bovine collagen gels. Those scaffolds lack the physiological variation and structure of the native extracellular matrix. Furthermore, every in vivo tissue which is expanded beyond 1mm in diameter needs the supply of nutrients and oxygen from the circulatory system, as well as the removal of metabolic products. Most current cell culture models are still largely incubated under static conditions, and therefore do not reflect the situation a living organism sufficiently. Aiming to overcome the current limitations, the Kässmeyer lab has established completely self-assembled 3D skin models composed of species-specific fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Here, the fibroblasts produce a complex, but highly organized self-assembled extracellular matrix and the endothelial cells form near-real capillary structures. Despite these advances, the in vitro capillary bed lacks a connection to a systemic circulation. We therefore aim to implement latest organ-on-a-chip technologies in our in vitro model, and to connect the dermal in vitro capillary bed to the circulatory system of a microfluidic device. Being successful, this would reflect the in vivo processes and physiological functions of tissues and organs as realistically as never shown before and will provide a convincing alternative to animal models. The doctoral student will further develop our advanced skin model protocol, by implementing a stable connection between the in vitro vascular capillary bed and the circulatory system of a microfluidic device. She/he will assess the validity and robustness of the optimized model and will determine the impact of circulation on normal epidermal differentiation and stratification by standard histology, as well as transmission-electron-microscopy and immunofluorescence staining of epidermal differentiation markers.


We are looking for a highly engaged applicant to complement our cell culture lab. The candidate should be open minded and curious to learn new methods. After careful training, independent work and contribution of own ideas is expected. We demand a good level of comprehension and expression in English as well as the joy of producing scientific publications. The candidate must have a degree in veterinary medicine or a related field.

What we offer

We are an open-minded team and welcome new staff members, whom we support and accompany competently and continuously in their work. Our laboratories offer the possibility to work with a wide range of microscopic and immunohistochemical techniques. Our networking within and outside the faculty guarantees the exchange with other experts. These conditions offer optimal framework conditions for the timely completion of the doctoral thesis.


Salary for doctoral students according to the rates of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Application deadline: until 15.03.2023 Place of work: Bern Employment level: 100% Duration: 18 - 24 months Starting date: as soon as possible Please send your application documents (letter of motivation, CV, certificates, references) as a single pdf file to [email protected]


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