Position: Scientific Coworker / Postdoc

Department: Research group of Episomal-Persistent DNA in Cancer- and Chronic Diseases

Code number: 2019-0352

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

Job description:

The research group “Episomal-Persistent DNA in Cancer- and Chronic Diseases” analyzes human patient material for the presence of a novel group of putative pathogens termed Bovine Meat and Milk Factors (BMMFs), which are frequently isolated from bovine meat and milk. These plasmid-related episomal DNA agents are hypothesized to induce chronic inflammation as a starting point for the development of several major human diseases like e.g. breast and colon cancer as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Several of those diseases are epidemiologically linked with bovine meat and milk consumption. Recently, BMMFs were isolated from colon cancer tissue material. We verified BMMF bioactivity in human cells along with specific modulations of disease-relevant host pathways. In addition, we established a spectrum of diagnostic screening tools allowing detection of putative pathogenic proteins as well as analysis of indicative serological and immunological response patterns.

With a strong focus on BMMF genome/transcriptome/proteome analysis, the aim of the new research project is the identification of BMMFs in additional cancers and the correlation with clinical parameters. Future experiments include tissue- and cell-based immunohistochemistry and immunologic analysis. Human cell culture infection models as well as analysis of primary human materials are the tools for detailed analysis of BMMF contribution to cancer/disease development, which serves as a milestone for interventions like targeted therapy/vaccination.

In this multifaceted project, the successful candidate exploits experimental techniques in the field of molecular biology, virology, and immunology: e.g. DNA/RNA sequencing, immunohistochemistry, cell sorting, immune cell stimulation, serological/protein screening assays e.g. WB/NB/IF/IHC/ELISA/FACS/MS). We offer a research project with access to excellent technical facilities and a place in a dynamic and creative international team with strong scientific collaborations.


The successful candidate should hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) in life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, microbiology, virology, medicine) with a strong motivation for exploring a new and unique research field opening up a very promising perspective for fruitful establishment of networks with experienced scientists. You have a strong enthusiasm in establishing new experimental procedures, both working as a team-player but also independently. Theoretical knowledge in the following subjects is mandatory: Immunology, Molecular Biology/Genetics. Interest in molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity/virology as well as profound experience in establishment of cell lines/infection models/animal work is a plus.

Further qualifications:

  • You are a cooperative team player and are easily communicating with your international lab members in English
  • Software for data analysis/documentation: MS Office (Word, Excel), Photoshop, bio-statistical analysis; interest in large data set pipeline analysis, IPA, Prism
  • Reliable and flexible way of working with proper documentation; hands-on mentality with high level of organization and strongest motivation for the scientific project

Please send a single pdf file including CV, university degrees/certificates, cover letter stating research and career interests as well as project ideas, expected availability date, and at least 1 expressive letter of reference. Incomplete applications will not be considered or acknowledged.

For more information please visit our web page at www.dkfz.de.

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

Earliest possible start date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is limited to 2 years.

The position can in principle be part-time.

Application deadline: 20.12.2019


Mariella Pugliese
Phone +49(0)6221/42-4805

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

The German Cancer Research Center is committed to increase the percentage of female scientists and encourages female applicants 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 (www.dkfz.de/jobs).

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.