PhD student position at ETH Zurich

We seek to fill a Ph.D. student position in our research group end of 2017/early 2018. The Ph.D. student will take part in a collaborative project on exhaled breath analysis using ambient mass spectrometry. The project combines aspects of biomarker identification using advanced mass spectrometric, chromatographic and statistical tools, some instrumentation, and work with patients from the University Hospital Zurich. State-of-the- art mass spectrometry and LC-MS instrumentation is available in our group, and world-class departmental facilities (mechanical and electronic workshops, library services, computing facilities, etc.) are accessible at ETH.


University Zurich is looking for a MS specialist

Das Institut für Chemie der Universität Zürich ist mit ca. 300 Mitarbeitenden in Lehre und Forschung tätig.

Die Abteilung für Massenspektrometrie & allgemeine Analytik unterstützt die Forschungsaktivitäten im Institut für Chemie und führt hauptsächlich Analysen von synthetischen Substanzen mittels Chromatographie, Massenspektrometrie und Verbrennungsanalysen durch.

Wir suchen ab sofort oder nach Vereinbarung eine/n

Laborant/in in analytischer Chemie (Massenspektrometrie) 80%

Sie ergänzen das gut eingespielte und motivierte Team der Abteilung Massenspektrometrie & allgemeine Analytik.


Newsletter 20174 Vol. 35/1 is online

The ability to voice our opinion or share ideas at any given time is something we often take for granted. Do we always make use of these opportunities? In a world where 140 character messages and alternative facts seem to dominate the news, we as scientist have a duty to be more thorough than ever, to show the world the scientific method. Be bold to propose a new idea or challenge established ones, no matter from whom they are. As the great Richard Feynman said: “It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are or what your name is. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.” Therefore, be ready that your idea will be challenged, if not now, certainly in the future as we move forward in science, technology and zeitgeist.

After this somewhat dramatic opening, I have two serious requests: 1) The poster session is good, but you’ll have better exposure when you present orally. The board would like to see more students submitting a talk. 2) Attending the general assembly is vitally important to our society. It will be held this year during the SGMS meeting on Wednesday after the last session.

To the students among us (and to our members who supervise them): the SGMS meeting is the best possible platform for our young scientist to show showcase their latest results, bring forward new ideas and defend their thesis statement. At worst the crowd will be critical, but believe me when I say that there is always respect. Respect for the work you have put in, respect in general for the person standing up front.

During the meeting last year, we organised a vendor session. I have received a lot of positive feedback as well as some constructive criticism. I would like to thank AB Sciex, Agilent Technologies, Brechbühler, Bruker, ERC, Jeol, reseaLIFE, Thermo Scientific, CTC Analytics, TOFWERK, Shimadzu and Waters for giving us an educative show. Also, I would like to thank Advion as a long-time sponsor as well as two new sponsors: EQUIPNET and LIPOMED. It is important to give them time to showcase their products for two reasons: Foremost, for our education but also without them this meeting would be either much more expensive if not impossible altogether. So please join me in showing appreciation for our colleagues and contributors from the business side. Merci Vielmol!

The 2016 meeting was a full house with 110 active participants and as usual, we were treated with excellent presentations from a wide variety of fields. Professor Gabrielse from Harvard spoke about the daunting task to measure the charge to mass ratio of antimatter atoms to test the most fundamental symmetries and theories of nature. The recipient of the 2016 SGMS award, Professor Picotti from ETH Zurich, spoke about her strategy of targeted and untargeted proteomic analysis to unravel protein structural changes. We also had the pleasure to have Dr Makarov from ThermoFisher Scientific, telling us a little about the history of the development of the orbitrap and its future direction.

But we also heard about the developments in electrospray ionisation, native protein ms in fragment-based drug discovery, the application of MS/MS molecular networks to discover natural products, two talks about high-resolution ion mobility, targeted proteomics in aquatic research and so on, again highlighting the importance of mass spectrometry. The poster session was as loud as ever and we managed to take over the whole hotel lobby. The quality was high, some of you should have definitely presented orally. Please have a think about it for this year. We awarded two students with the SGMS student award for excellent presentations, namely Zainab Ahdash from King’s College London and Elena Tierbach from EAWAG. Congratulations!

The attendance of the general assembly was low. Perhaps I take it for granted that people are aware it takes place (or that they can read the program), but I will make an effort to cajole some more of you this year. Also, I am happy to report that everybody survived the Muh-bar.

I think at this point it is also appropriate to thank the team at the Dorint Blüemlisalp Hotel. I know that we are very welcome guests, but I also know that the team works hard behind the scene to make it all happen.

I would again like to advertise the SGMS Travel Grant: Is meant to support PhD students from Swiss academic institutions by contributing towards the cost of actively participating at an international scientific event that has Mass Spectrometry at its heart.

Next year we will also be handing out the SGMS Award to a promising scientist working in Switzerland or a promising Swiss scientist working abroad, for outstanding independent research in the field of mass spectrometry. The deadline is 31st December 2017.

Please look at our website ( for details on our Awards.

This year the board has the honour to organise the 35th SGMS meeting. To mark that occasion, we have an extra day of scientific exchange and have an excellent line up of invited speakers. Namely: František Tureček, Julia Chamot-Rooke, Sönke Szidat, Kevin Pagel, David Goodlett and Alain van Gool. You will find the abstracts in this newsletter. To celebrate the anniversary, we will all the Tropenhaus in Frutigen. We will have a guided tour, some workshops and of course a delicious meal.

Thoughts? Ideas? I’d like to hear your opinion, ideally in a scientific talk during our meeting, but of course you can email, call or visit me anytime.

Have a great summer and I hope to see many of you during the meeting this year.

Bertran Gerrits – President SGMS


SGMS 2017 meeting registration is OPEN

Swiss Group for Mass Spectrometry
Schweizerische Gruppe für Massenspektrometrie
Groupe suisse de spectrométrie de masse
Gruppo svizzero di spettrometria di massa