Position: PhD Student in Functional Cancer Genetics

Department: DKTK partner site Freiburg – Division of Cancer Research, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medical Center – University of Freiburg

Code number: 2023-0067

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.

Together with university partners at seven renowned partner sites, we have established the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).
For the partner site of DKTK Freiburg the German Cancer Research Center is seeking a PhD student in functional cancer genetics.

The position is located in the Division of Cancer Research (headed by Prof. Dr. Sven Diederichs), Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Center for Translational Cell Research in Freiburg.


Job description:

Our research division explores the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis with a special emphasis on non-canonical and novel types of mutations in cancer (EMBO Mol Med 2016, Nat Commun 2019, Nat Cell Biol 2020) as well as the functional characterization of mutations for their impact on therapy response in high throughput. The method spectrum in our lab ranges from innovative techniques from molecular and cell biology like diverse CRISPR techniques (Nucleic Acids Res 2017, Hepatology 2018) or RNA-protein complex identification (Nature 2015, Mol Cell 2019, Nat Protoc 2020) to applications in bioinformatics and biochemistry. Our lab in Freiburg is newly equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation.

We are seeking a highly motivated, ambitious graduate student (PhD student) with strong interest in cancer genetics and ideally experience in the area of molecular biology and / or cancer research. The core project of the graduate student will be the functional characterization and analysis of genetic alterations in cancer in high throughput. Research questions will include the mutational impact at the cellular and molecular level and their mechanistic consequences as well as their impact on therapy response to molecularly targeted drugs. An innovative screen using CRISPR site-directed mutagenesis shall unravel their impact on human cells. Comprehensive resources as well as established protocols to build on are available.



You are a highly motivated graduate student with a very good MSc degree in molecular biology, biochemistry or a related topic and are eager to pursue research projects in tumor genetics and the molecular biology of cancer including high throughput approaches and genome editing with ambition, creativity, independence and team spirit. You work efficiently, goal-oriented and accurate, have a deep interest in research and are fully proficient in English.

We offer:

  • Interesting, versatile workplace
  • International, attractive working environment
  • Campus with modern state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Access to international research networks
  • Doctoral student payment including social benefits
  • Flexible working hours
  • Comprehensive training and mentoring program through the Helmholtz International Graduate School

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 limited to 3 years with the possibility of prolongation.

Application Deadline: 11.04.2023


Prof. Dr. Sven Diederichs
Phone +49(0)761 270-77571

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.