Quick facts

    • Basel
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Biology
  • Physics


  • Phd

Apply by: 2022-08-23

PhD Position in Myopia Research Group

Published 2022-06-23

The Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) is seeking a highly motivated PhD Student to join the Myopia Research Group of Prof. Frank Schaeffel.

IOB is a research institute combining basic and clinical research. Its mission is to drive innovations in understanding vision and its diseases and develop new therapies for vision loss. It is a place where your expertise will be valued, your abilities challenged, and your knowledge expanded.

Myopia is currently the most frequent developmental disorder in juvenile eyes. In myopia, the axial length of the eye is growing longer than required for the focal length of cornea and lens which precludes sharp vision at a distance. While there is a genetic predisposition for myopia, its rapid rise in the last decades can only be explained by environmental factors. Because of its extremely high prevalence (30-40% in the Western world and above 80% in Southeast Asia), myopia is one of the most rapidly growing research topics in visual science. However, despite considerable efforts, it was never possible to fully inhibit myopia progression once it started - basically suggesting that the underlying visual mechanisms are still not fully understood.

Your position
As a successful candidate you will study and conduct experiments necessary to understand the visual signals controlling myopia development. Proposed projects:

(1) For the first time, you will directly study how peripherally imposed defocus or low pass filtering of the movie watched by the subject may control subfoveal choroidal thickness, by using our custom-developed eye trackers.
(2) You will further explore the role of the ON/OFF system in the sign of defocus detection by the retina. You will optimize our artificial dynamic stimuli which are currently assuming symmetrical responses of the retina to ON and OFF stimulation. However, ON system responds more linearly, is more sensitive to small luminance changes in a larger field while the OFF system responds highly non-linearly and has much smaller receptive field sizes. You will implement these features into our stimulation software and measure which stimuli can thicken the choroid most (and inhibit myopia at the best).

You will perform measurements in subjects, learn programming stimuli in C++, and acquire thorough knowledge on the mechanisms of myopia, optics, psychophysics, and information processing in the visual system, as well as you will join a highly competitive, dynamic, and international research community in Basel.

Your profile
  • Master's degree in biology, optometry, neuroscience, or physics
  • Knowledge of eye biology, physiology, optics and/or neuroscience
  • Experience in programming is welcome
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work as a collaboration team member
  • Fluent written and spoken English
We offer you
Highly competitive conditions in a dynamic and international research community in Basel.

Application / Contact
Interested candidates should submit their application online to our recruitment platform: https://iob.ch/join-iob/open-positions. Please include the following information in your application:
  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page)
  • CV
  • Contact details of at least two established researchers for recommendations
  • Abstract of your Master's thesisFor further information, please visit our website
 www.iob.ch, contact Prof. Frank Schäffel (frank.schaeffel@iob.ch) or reply to the confirmation mail that you will receive after your application.

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