Position: PhD Position/Fellowship „Chronic Inflammation and Cancer“

Department: Chronic Inflammation and Cancer

Code number: 2020-0173

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:

  • Are you interested in studies of liver diseases (fat liver disease, viral hepatitis), liver cancer and therapies?
  • Are you interested in working with novel mouse models, and human patient cohorts?   
  • Would you like to help us understand the alterations of immune cell signalling during in liver pathology?  
  • Are you highly motivated and hard working?  
  • Are you interested in publishing high profile manuscripts and in sharing your data on international conferences to a big audience? 
  • Do you want be guided in soft skills (e.g. presentation skills; communication skills) and career development? 

If your answer is 6 x YES – join our international team!

Liver inflammation is one of the features of chronic liver disease, characterized by the accumulation of immune cells in the liver, ER stress, mitochondrial stress, hepatocyte cell death, fibrosis and compensatory proliferation. Although reversible to some extent, over time liver fibrosis can progress to cirrhosis – extremely severe, irreversible pathology that results often in liver failure and is considered independent risk factor for the liver cancer development.

Fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic/alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH/ASH) caused by obesity and metabolic syndrome has become pandemic. The mechanisms driving fatty liver disease and subsequent liver cancer remain elusive. We intend to investigate the link between the liver, the gastrointestinal tract and the microbiome during the process of liver cancer. We will apply novel single cell technologies, artificial intelligence, CRISPR mediated in vivo genetics and high throughput immunohistochemistry paired with therapeutic in vivo experiments to identify the mechanisms of the liver gut axis in the process of NASH/ASH and NASH/ASH induced liver cancer.

Therefore, we invite highly motivated PhD candidates that would like to focus their studies on chronic liver disease/liver cancer and the liver gut axis to join our group and work on this topic.


  • Master’s degree in biology, biotechnology or similar
  • ‘hands on’ experience with basic laboratory techniques (WB, qRT-PCR, IHC, light microscopy)
  • Ideally experience with in vivo experimental models
  • Experience in working with animals or a will to work with animals
  • Highly motivated and well organized
  • Good team player with good communication skills
  • Good knowledge of the English language
  • Will to learn histo-pathologic examination of liver disease

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

Earliest Possible Start Date: 01.09.2020

Duration: The position is limited to 3 years.

Application Deadline: 12.08.2020


Michaela Hart
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-3891

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.