Position: Postdoctoral Scientist in Neuropathology for Single-cell and Spatial Sequencing

Department: Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuropathology

Code number: 2022-0481

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 group of Prof. Dr. Felix Sahm at the Clinical Cooperation Unit (CCU) Neuropathology is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to lead a project group that translates single-cell and spatial profiling into personalized oncology.


Job description:

The successful candidate will devise novel molecular approaches that disrupt current technical boundaries between “traditional” and “modern” tissue profiling: Molecular and morphological characterization will converge on spatial profiling with single-cell resolution, yet not limited to one layer of biological readout but including epigenetic regulation, mutations, copy-number-alterations, gene and protein expression in parallel. The integration of multi-layered data in a spatial context will enable to correlate the molecular findings with histopathological criteria of classification and grading, supported by our database of >50,000 digitalized histology sections. The study will be conducted in close collaboration with our partners employing AI algorithms for tissue profiling.

The successful candidate will work in our interdisciplinary team of physicians, biologists, and informaticians to bridge the gap between high-throughput molecular analysis and routinely used histopathology in diagnostic applications. The CCU Neuropathology and our group are positioned at the interface of biomarker research, clinical diagnostics and individualized therapy trials, an excellent foundation for this endeavor.

This endeavor will benefit from the thriving environment at the DKFZ and Heidelberg Life Science Campus, including a DFG-funded comprehensive research center (SFB) in neurooncology, interaction with our international collaborators, and the cutting-edge-technology with short- and long-read-sequencing, library preparation automation, single-cell microfluidics and mass spectrometry on-site.

The project conditions are optimal for a candidate who wants to grow into an independent role and subsequently apply for group leader positions.

Selected publications:
1.    Maas, S.L.N., et al., Integrated Molecular-Morphologic Meningioma Classification: A Multicenter Retrospective Analysis, Retrospectively and Prospectively Validated. J Clin Oncol, 2021. 39(34): p. 3839-3852.
2.    Zheng, T., et al., Cross-Species Genomics Reveals Oncogenic Dependencies in ZFTA/C11orf95 Fusion-Positive Supratentorial Ependymomas. Cancer Discov, 2021. 11(9): p. 2230-2247.
3.    Sahm, F., et al., DNA methylation-based classification and grading system for meningioma: a multicentre, retrospective analysis. Lancet Oncol, 2017. 18(5): p. 682-694.
4.    Patel, A., et al., Rapid-CNS(2): rapid comprehensive adaptive nanopore-sequencing of CNS tumors, a proof-of-concept study. Acta Neuropathol, 2022. 143(5): p. 609-612.
5.    Dogan, H., et al., Single-cell DNA sequencing reveals order of mutational acquisition in TRAF7/AKT1 and TRAF7/KLF4 mutant meningiomas. Acta Neuropathol, 2022. 144(4): p. 799-802.
6.    Capper, D., et al., DNA methylation-based classification of central nervous system tumours. Nature, 2018. 555(7697): p. 469-474.



  • Master's degree and PhD degree in any relevant field of life sciences, preferably related to genomics, molecular biology, pathology, or oncology
  • Experience with next-generation sequencing technology and data interpretation
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English
  • Ability and willingness to supervise students and staff

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 may work at the DKFZ.

Earliest possible start date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is initially limited to 2 years. ‚Äč

The position can in principle be part-time.

Application deadline: 09.02.2023


Dr. Felix Sahm
Phone +49 6221/56-37886

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.