Below is the list of the current PhD students in the institute and their field of research:

Thesis title : Solar UV Modelling for skin cancer prevention

Author: Claudine Backes
Abstract: Claudine Backes’s PhD thesis focuses on occupational and public health issues of long and short term solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposures and related skin cancer prevention. Solar UV doses are estimated by risk assessment modelling tools for different outdoor activities, taking into account overexposure (skin damage), underexposure (Vitamin D) and sun protection effectiveness. This combination of modelling and epidemiological data will hopefully help to better understand the risk and benefits of sun exposure at population level. 

Thesis title: Nanoparticle exposures among cement workers in the construction industry – A comparison between the use of regular and photocatalytic cement

Author: Kiattisak Batsungnoen
Abstract: The overall project will involve the characterization of nanoparticles between photocatalytic and regular cement.  The standard parameters considered for nanoparticle environment analysis such as concentration, size distribution morphology and elemental composition. Furthermore, on-site exposure assessment will be conducted at construction workplaces in Switzerland and Thailand.

Thesis title: Structure of the farmer’s nasal microbiota: Impact of working in close contact with farm animals

Author: Julia Kramer
Abstract:The overall objective of Julia Kraemer’s PhD thesis is focused on the assessment of the role that exposure to farm’s animals play in the modification of the nasal microbiota of farmers. An additional point of interest is the evaluation of the potential occupational exposure of farm workers to dust and microorganisms present in bioaerosol in pig farms.

Thesis title: Prolonged performance-related psychophysiological activation in high- and low-anxious music students

Author: Carole Nielsen
Abstract:This project focuses on music performance anxiety among Swiss music students. Several psychological (i.e. mood, worry, rumination, etc.) and physiological parameters (actigraphy, cortisol, alpha-amylase, etc.) were assessed among low- and high-anxious music students during ten days: a three-day period without any particular stressor and a seven-day period containing a soloist concert organized on the 5th day.

Thesis title : Human skin permeation of Bisphenol A

Author: Elena Reale
Abstract: Human exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) is ubiquitous due to its widespread use, i.e. in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used for food and beverage packaging, in thermal paper used for point-of-sale, parking, airline and cinema tickets, and in personal care products. External exposure from food contamination is the primary source of BPA exposure, but food alone cannot justify the population BPA body burden. Inhalation and dermal routes of exposure should also be considered. As thermal paper is the second largest source of external exposure to BPA, the aim of this study is to determine the permeation and metabolism through viable human skin, not only of BPA but also of BPA alternatives used in thermal paper.

Thesis title: Towards a better use of occupational exposure models

Author: Nenad Savic
Abstract:This PhD thesis is focused on the exposure models recommended within the context of the EU's REACH legislation. The REACH models are used to replace costly and time-consuming measurements in predicting the exposure concentrations of a wide range of chemical substances. They are also used by regulatory authorities for the substance registration. In this thesis, several of these models are investigated in order to develop a new more reliable framework for exposure assessment. This means providing certain recommendations and  guidance to the downstream users on how the models can be used better, e.g. safer and more correctly.

Thesis title: Maternity protection at work: practices, obstacles, resources

Author: Alessia Zellweger
Abstract: The implementation of existing legal provisions (Federal Labour Law, Ordinance on the Protection of Maternity) aimed at protecting the health of pregnant workers or new mothers and their children contains flaws, both in the employment field and in the health care system. Studying the practices of all actors involved should enable us to better identify the obstacles to, as well as the potential resources for, the effective protection of maternity at work.