Simone Schürle

Born in: Germany
Primary research category: Nanoengineering
Research location / employer: Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Fellowship dates: 2016-

Academic Career

  • Postdoctoral research fellow, Laboratory of Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA (2014-present)
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Multi Scale Robotics Laboratory, Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland (2009-2014)
  • Diplom (equivalent to M.Sc) in Industrial Engineering and Management, Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology (2003-2009)
  • Undergraduate Studies in nanomaterials, Nano/Micro System Laboratory, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan (2008)
  • Undergraduate Studies in biomedical engineering, Centre for Bioengineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, (2006)

Fellowship Research

Recently, historic efforts to harness living organisms to fight cancer have been revived via synthetic biology. Certain circulating bacteria can inherently locate tumors, and be engineered to controllably induce local cytotoxicity while remaining unobtrusive to the host system. Dr. Schürle proposes to advance this promising approach by leveraging bacteria that are naturally capable of producing magnetic particles within their body. With the application of low and high frequency alternating magnetic fields, these living, mobile therapeutics can be monitored in vivo and also be remotely activated to achieve increased tumor penetration, toxin release, and their own self-destruction to provide an externally-controlled ‘safety net’. Her goal is to shed light on the clinical potential of combining the power of magnetics and probiotics, in order to test the hypothesis that this one-two punch may pave the way for a revolutionized cancer therapy.

Major Awards

  • ETH Zurich Medal for distinguished doctoral thesis, 2014
  • Research fellowship for postdoctoral scientists, German Academic Exchaneg Service (DAAD), 2014
  • Early Postdoc Mobility fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), 2014
  • Best Medical Paper Award, Co-Auhor, IEEE Int Conf Robot Autom, Hong Kong, 2014
  • Finalist, Best Manipulation Paper Award, IEEE Int Conf Robot Autom, Minneapolis, USA, 2012
  • Heinrich-Hertz research scholarship, Germany, 2008
  • Baden-Württemberg scholarship (State B.-W .Foundation, Germany), 2008
  • Rotary foundation scholarship, Germany, 2003