Position: Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics

Department: Clinical Cooperation Unit "Molecular Hematology/Oncology"

Code number: 2022-0399

The German Cancer Research Center is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. With more than 3,000 employees, we operate an extensive scientific program in the field of cancer research.

The Clinical Cooperation Unit "Molecular Hematology / Oncology" of DKFZ and University Hospital Heidelberg has a basic science focus on causes and consequences of chromosomal instability, a nearly universal feature of human malignancies and a major contributor to genetic heterogeneity, clonal evolution and metastasis, themselves being at the center of cancer development, progression, relapse, and therapy resistance in solid tumors. Its clinical / translational research centers around carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP syndrome), a paradigm metastatic malignancy in which only metastases but no primary tumor can be identified. To improve the grave prognosis of CUP patients, we have initiated a large international, randomized clinical trial, examining the role of mutation-based targeted treatments and immunotherapy compared to standard chemotherapy. In addition, we are leading a national multicenter trial to examine the impact of immune checkpoint inhibitor combination therapy in patients with relapsed / refractory CUP syndrome. Within the frame of these clinical trials and as a synthesis of our basic and clinical research efforts, our translational research program explores the contribution of chromosomal instability to the metastatic process and the poor prognosis of patients with CUP. Overarching goal is the development of novel treatment options in patients with metastatic disease.


Job description:

Within an interdisciplinary team between University Hospital Heidelberg, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Roche Pharma we currently analyze the treatment response of patients with CUP syndrome by a variety of sequencing readouts. For the analysis of genome sequencing, DNA methylation sequencing and gene expression analysis data from patients treated within a large, international clinical study (CUPISCO), which compares 12 different targeted therapies with standard chemotherapy, we are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to conduct bioinformatic analyses in tight interaction with lab-based scientists and clinicians. The work will include standard sequencing data analysis methods as well as machine learning based approaches. The goal is it to develop models that allow for primary tumor identification, rationalize patient treatment response and identify predictive markers of the cancer genotype. We are looking for someone with strong computational skills and capable to handle large scale data sets who wants to work in an interdisciplinary team and is willing to learn what is needed on the biomedical side. Prior experience with high-throughput sequencing data is a plus but not required. The fellow will have the possibility to shape the development of theoretical method and models for the analysis of sequencing and gene expression data from patients with CUP syndrome in the context of a tightly interacting group of clinicians, basic researchers and theoreticians.

You will be part of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Hematology / Oncology at DKFZ Heidelberg and participate in the CUPISCO project. The primary goal of the position is to evaluate DNA sequencing, methylation and gene expression data types in terms of their ability to identify the tissue of tumor origin, explain patient and disease heterogeneity, and to predict tumor recurrence and treatment response. You will have the opportunity to shape your own research profile by pursuing research in method development and collaborative analysis of novel datasets.



  • PhD or equivalent qualification in quantitative sciences (mathematics, physics, systems / quantitative biology, computer sciences and related fields)
  • Experience in the computational analysis of omics data, solid programming skills in a high-level programming language (e.g. C, C++, Java) and/or appropriate scripting languages such as R or Python, as well as familiarity with Linux compute clusters is highly beneficial
  • You are interested in data science, statistics, scientific computing, and cancer.
  • You are able to assess, adapt or further develop computational methods and wish to make or contribute to biological discoveries.
  • You are interested in interdisciplinary science, enjoy collaborative work and like to communicate concepts and results to other scientists in different fields of research.
  • You are excited by pushing science forward with your own ideas.

We offer:

  • Interesting, versatile workplace
  • International, attractive working environment
  • Campus with modern state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Salary according to TV-L including social benefits
  • Possibility to work part-time
  • Flexible working hours
  • Comprehensive further training program
  • Access to the DKFZ  International Postdoc Program

Important notice:

The DKFZ is subject to the regulations of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). As a consequence, only persons who present proof of immunity against measles as well as against COVID-19 may work at the DKFZ.

Earliest possible start date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is initially limited to 2 years with the possibility of prolongation.

The position can in principle be part-time.

Application deadline: 30.11.2022


Prof. Dr. Alwin Krämer
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-1440

Please note that we do not accept applications submitted via email.

The DKFZ is committed to increase the proportion of women in all areas and positions in which women are underrepresented. Qualified female applicants are therefore particularly encouraged to apply.

Among candidates of equal aptitude and qualifications, a person with disabilities will be given preference.

To apply for a position please use our online application portal (https://www.dkfz.de/en/stellenangebote/index.php).

We ask for your understanding that we cannot return application documents that are sent to us by post (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Personalabteilung, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg) and that we do not accept applications submitted via email. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.