PhD or MD-PhD student in childhood asthma and cough at University of Bern, Switzerland


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The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at University of Bern performs research in a range of disciplines relevant to public health (www.ispm.ch). Groups cut across divisions, facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to research in the fields of clinical epidemiology, social and behavioral health, biostatistics, and international and environmental health.

Asthma and chronic cough are common in childhood. While most children have transient problems, others develop chronic disease continuing into adulthood. Currently it is difficult to predict which children are at risk of a chronic course. In a collaborative project with the Children’s hospitals in Aarau, Basel, Bern, Chur, Luzern, St.Gallen, and Zurich we created a national clinical prospective cohort including now more than 1000 children seen in respiratory outpatient clinics: the Swiss Paediatric Airway Cohort (SPAC).

In your PhD, you will help to set up the SPAC study in two additional centres in Switzerland: Lausanne and Geneva. Children visiting outpatient clinics in these hospitals will complete a questionnaire and, with the help of Master students, will collect results from medical investigations (such as lung function and allergy tests). You will have an active role in managing the study by communicating with paediatricians and patients, organising the mailing and supervising research assistants.

You will have the opportunity to use this unique database to answer relevant research questions on childhood asthma and cough. In a team of epidemiologists, clinicians, statisticians and other PhD students, you will learn different statistical approaches to distinguish disease phenotypes, and predict disease course. You will present your results at international meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed journals.
Requirements:
Applicants should have a university degree (MD, MSc or equivalent) in medicine or a related field (biology, statistics, public health etc.) and a strong interest in child health and epidemiology. Previous experience in paediatric pulmonology is of advantage. You should be keen to learn statistical methods. The position requires fluency in both French and English, knowledge of German would be an asset.
We offer:
The job is an ideal preparation for a research career in a clinical setting (paediatric teaching hospital), in a University or in a public health institution, and counts as medical training in Paediatrics or Public Health. Teaching is organised via the graduate schools of the University of Bern (www.gcb.unibe.ch and www.ghs.unibe.ch).
The position is available immediately. PhD salary rates of the Swiss National Science Foundation apply. If you look for an exciting PhD position in a highly motivated team, please send your CV with motivation letter to Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Kuehni (claudia.kuehni@ispm.unibe.ch) and Dr. Cristina Ardura-Garcia (cristina.ardura@ispm.unibe.ch). For further information please contact us by e-mail. Please send your application as soon as possible, ideally by March 29th, 2019.

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