Position: Postdoctoral Scientist in Computational Biology

Department: Pediatric Neurooncology at DKFZ and KiTZ

Code number: 2023-0080

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 Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the University of Heidelberg (UniHD). As a treatment and research center for oncological and hematological diseases in children and adolescents, the KiTZ is committed to scientifically explore the biology of childhood cancer and closely link promising research approaches with patient care – from diagnosis to treatment and aftercare.

The Division of Pediatric Neurooncology at the German Cancer Research Center and the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg is offering three postdoctoral positions in computational biology for the International Pediatric Cancer Data Mining project.


Job description:

1. Genomic data mining of clinical bulk sequencing

This group led by Dr. Robert J. Autry focuses on developing computational methods and workflows to answer clinically relevant questions across the range of childhood cancers by interrogating genomic and epi-genomic alterations. We aim to elucidate the mechanisms underlying cancer predisposition, tumorigenesis and therapeutic response to discover novel therapeutic targets and to improve diagnosis, prevention and clinical outcome in children.

Two postdocs will perform analyses on large-scale bulk genomic sequencing data sets (Whole genome/exome, RNA, methylation, other genomic and epigenomic data types). One position is working on cancer predisposition projects (rare variant burden testing, somatic second hit analysis and collaborations with other institutes). The other postdoc will work on high-grade glioma data to identify potential targets and vulnerabilities in this very high-risk cancer type. Both postdocs will independently manage their own academic research projects, coordinate to meet project deadlines under the mentorship and support of their supervisor. They will also prepare publications, present data both internally and externally, participate in relevant collaborations, and advise and inform other group members on relevant methodology and analytical approaches.


2. Single-cell / spatial genomics data mining

This group led by Dr. Supat Thongjuea aims to understand cellular heterogeneity and molecular mechanisms in childhood cancer. The group focuses on developing and applying computational approaches to analyze single-cell multi-omics and spatial information to uncover patterns and extract relevant knowledge underlying disease mechanisms.

One postdoc will work on data mining and integration of single-cell muti-omics/spatial datasets (RNA-seq, Spatial, ATAC-seq, copy-number and mutational analysis, all at single-cell resolution) including data from longitudinal samples from the same patients generated within the Division of Pediatric Neurooncology. The postdoc will apply existing or develop new computational, statistical, and machine learning techniques to uncover molecular patterns for understanding disease mechanisms (e.g., therapy resistance in cancer). The postdoc will independently manage own academic research, coordinate work to meet project deadlines while receiving mentorship and support from their supervisor. He/she will also prepare research publications and internal/external presentations, participate in relevant collaborations, and act as a source of information and advice to other group members on methodology and analytical approaches.



  • The applicants must hold a master's degree and a PhD (or equivalent) in bioinformatics, computational biology, genomics and biostatistics, computer science or a related subject.
  • The applicants have strong bioinformatics analytical skills and experience with Linux / Unix command lines and programming languages (e.g., C++, Python, R, and Bash).
  • Experience in working in machine learning and high-performance computing environments is beneficial.
  • Expertise in the analysis and integration of next-generation sequencing and other multi-omics data is a plus, ideally including single-cell or single-nucleus analysis and have a strong interest in oncology.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to write publications, present research proposals and results, and represent the lab at meetings and conferences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work independently as well as part of a team.

    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 positions are initially limited to 2 years with the possibility of prolongation. ‚Äč

    The position can in principle be part-time.

    Application deadline: 05.04.2023


    Dr. Supat Thongjuea
    Phone +49 (0)15201091154

    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.