Student Projects & Teaching

Student projects

We are constantly looking for motivated Bachelors and Masters students from any scientific or engineering background to experience interdisciplinary research with us. Specific currently open projects are listed below, but don’t hesitate to contact us with your interests:

 1) Where are my mitochondria? Automated tracking analysis of mitochondrial features

Reproducible image analysis is crucial for quantitative data evaluation in advanced microscopy applied to biological samples. In this project, we attempt to elucidate the rules of mitochondrial division and its ties to mitochondrial features from time-lapse acquisitions. Several challenges arise, as mitochondria are highly dynamic in shape and position over time. The project will thus evolve around developing software scripts for segmentation and tracking of features from time-lapse movies (image stacks).

The focus and scope of this project can be adapted to interests and constraints of the aspirant. Ideal starting time would be summer or fall 2018.

If this description sounds like something that could be suitable for YOU feel free to send a mail with your motivation directly to Tatjana Kleele (tatjana.kleele@epfl.ch) and Timo Rey (timo.rey@epfl.ch).

 2) PAINT the town red. Super-resolution imaging using fluorescently-labeled low-affinity monobodies

The principle of single molecule localization microscopy lies in the separation of individual dye molecules through the induction of photoswitching (blinking). In DNA-PAINT, the transient binding of short dye-labeled oligonucleotides to their complementary target strands creates the necessary ‘blinking’ to enable localization microscopy. We will apply the same principle of transient binding but instead use labelled monobodies that can directly interact with the respective target structure. This new approach has two advantages: (1) monobodies can be selected at different affinities and (2) they directly interact with the protein of interest thereby reducing the size of the label compared to an antibody as in DNA-PAINT. 

The project is a collaboration between our group and the labs of Pierre Gönczy and Oliver Hantschel (both SV, EPFL). It is suitable for a MSc thesis and could start in late summer 2018. If you’re interested, please apply directly to Christian (christian.sieben@epfl.ch).

3) Are these good chips? Characterization of waveguide chips for fluorescence microscopy

Research project:  develop a methodology for waveguide-chip characterization (propagation losses, coupling efficiency). Model the waveguides numerically to develop an understanding of optimal waveguide parameters.

Proposed Methods:  

    • Experimental: photon detection, imaging inspection for waveguide characterization

    • Modelling: starting from Maxwell’s equations and the slab waveguide approximation, understand the main parameter for coupling efficiency and losses (mode confinements, etc) 

 If you’re interested, please apply directly to Anna (anna.archetti@epfl.ch).

 

 

Courses

Biophysics I

To examine cellular systems through physical models and quantitative approaches to analysis. 

MINEUR, 2015, Spring semester, language : en

General Physics I

Students will learn the principles of mechanics to enable a better understanding of physical phenomena, such as the kinematics and dyamics of point masses and solid bodies. Students should acquire the capacity to quantitatively conceptualize and analyze these effects with the appropriate theoretical tools.

ALL SECTIONS, 2014-2016, Fall semester, language : en

Physique générale II: Thermodynamique

Le but du cours de Physique générale est de donner à l’étudiant les notions de base nécessaires à la compréhension des phénomènes physiques. L’objectif est atteint lorsque l’étudiant est capable de prévoir quantitativement les conséquences de ces phénomènes avec des outils théoriques appropriés.

Section de génie mecanique, 2018-, Semestre de printemps, language : fr