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Two PhD positions in Regulatory Evolution, Tschopp group, University of Basel, Switzerland

Posted by , on 1 August 2016

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

The Laboratory of Regulatory Evolution (Tschopp group) at the Zoological Institute, University of Basel, is hiring for two fully funded PhD positions.

Our research interests focus on two main questions: 1. How is phenotypic diversity generated during vertebrate embryogenesis? And 2. how can developmental processes be modified to drive morphological evolution? We are particularly interested in investigating how the evolution of gene regulation is underlying these phenomena. As a model system, we are studying the development of the vertebrate skeleton with its associated neuromuscular system.

In a first project, we will investigate the gene regulatory networks underlying the generation of skeletal cell types, originating from distinct embryonic sources and in different species. This will allow us to assess the developmental and evolutionary constraints on gene regulation during cell type specification. Secondly, we are interested how cell specification and embryonic patterning are intertwined. To this end, we will study the specification of synovial joints during the embryonic outgrowth of digits, a process contributing important aspects of the patterning diversity seen in the hands and feet of vertebrates.
Both projects build on solid foundations of confirmed preliminary data. For more information please visit

We will address these questions using a range of experimental methods, including embryology in chicken, mice and fish; functional genomics (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, STARR-seq); cell culture and viral gene delivery; genome editing (CRISPR-Cas9); bioinformatics and in silico modeling.

Successful candidates will have a background in molecular and/or developmental biology, and ideally will have a basic understanding of Unix and the R language for statistical computing.

Please send your application with a brief statement of motivation, a current CV and contact(s) for references (where applicable) to
Evaluation will begin on Sept. 1st 2016 and suitable candidates will be contacted shortly after.

The University of Basel is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from female candidates.

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