PhD or MD-PhD student in childhood endocrinology

The Department for BioMedical Research (DBMR) at University of Bern has the mission to bridge the gap between bench and bedside with strong emphasis in the development of translational approaches, the use of omics and other cutting-edge technologies, and extensive interaction and collabo-ration between laboratory-based and patient-oriented clinical research.
The Paediatric Endocrinology Research Group conducts basic and clinical research in childhood endocrinology, focusing on sex hormones, diabetes, and growth hormone.

The PhD project No 1 will fill help to better understand phenotypes and clinical care of differences of sexual development (DSD). DSD are rare, but exact numbers on prevalence are missing. In the past, persons with DSD asked for better care. To improve care, we need collabora-tive studies within international networks to identify large enough numbers of persons with similar specific sub-groups of DSD. The international I-DSD registry provides such a network and allows to investigate specific questions and to conduct prospective follow-up studies. Our research group is active member of the international I-DSD registry since many years. In addition, we head the Swiss DSD Cohort Study, a national dataset on >300 persons with DSD.
The PhD project No 2 deals with the chance to improve standard care for patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Especially female patients with CAH still suffer from hyper-androgenism despite treatment. Our Research Group plans an international observational study on the effect of oral contraceptives (OC) on androgen status of adolescents and young women with CAH. By proving a positive impact of OC, we have the chance to alleviate life of those patients.

In your PhD, you will help
  • to manage and shape research within the Swiss DSD Cohort study (Project No 1)
  • to get the already in detail planned study running (Project No 2).
You will collaborate with an international multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers. Together with clinicians and research assistants, you will collect results from medical investigations from the clinics and monitor data entered by clinical partners worldwide. In a team of clinicians, epidemiologists, basic researchers and other PhD students, you will learn the molecular mechanisms of sexual development, learn about CAH, statistical methods and software (R, Stata), present your results at international meetings and publish them in peer-reviewed journals.
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 ( and
Applicants should have a university degree (MD, MSc or equivalent) in medicine or a related field (biomedical sciences, biology, biostatistics, public health, etc.) and a strong interest in child health, endocrinology and genetics. Previous experience in paediatric endocrinology is of advantage. You should be keen to learn statistical software. The position requires fluency in English, knowledge of German and French would be an asset.
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 Dr. med. Claudia Boettcher ( and Dr. Grit Sommer ( For further information, please contact us by e-mail. Please send your application as soon as possible.