Position: Postdoctoral Researcher – Oncolytic Virus Engineering for Viro-Immunotherapy of Cancer

Department: Clinical Cooperation Unit Virotherapy

Code number: 2020-0297

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.

We are looking for a postdoctoral scientist eager to pursue a third party-funded research project in the cancer biology / virology / immunology field about engineering and characterizing oncolytic viruses as cancer therapeutics. The work will be performed in an interdisciplinary environment of our Clinical Cooperation Unit "Virotherapy" in well-equipped labs of the DKFZ and NCT (https://www.dkfz.de/en/virotherapie/index.php). While a first oncolytic virus has obtained marketing approval for patient treatment, new agents with improved potency are needed. The project involves the engineering of oncolytic adenoviruses with improved oncolytic and immunological features using new technology for cloning of large viral genomes. Molecular and cellular studies for the characterization of virological and immunological properties of oncolytic adenoviruses will be performed in cancer cells, immune cells and patient-derived pre-clinical tumor models (tumor explants, patient-derived tumor cell cultures and xenografts). A wide spectrum of methodologies as well as interactions with local and external partners in research and clinics are involved. We offer supervision and mentorship to support the candidate to grow to scientific independence.


Job description:

  • Molecular cloning of adenoviral genomes, virus generation in cell culture and virus purification
  • Planning, conducting and analyzing goal-oriented experiments involving molecular biology, virology, immunology and cell biology analyses (including qPCR, transcriptomics, ELISA, FACS, reporter assays, cytotoxicity assays, cell death analyses, fluorescence microscopy….) and animal experiments (minor part of work)
  • Active exploration and establishment of new methodology/protocols
  • Present and discuss experimental results in the group, institution and externally
  • Brief rotation to a collaborating lab in Germany
  • Supervise PhD and master students
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team and cooperate with local and external partners
  • Scientific literature research
  • Preparation of manuscripts


  • PhD with strong background in cancer biology, virology and/or immunology
  • High level of motivation, curiosity, dedication and responsibility
  • Publications resulting from master and/or PhD work
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Advanced experience in mammalian cell culture and basic molecular biology techniques
  • Skills in virological and/or immunological methodology or in animal experimentation desirable
  • Deep interest in planning, conducting and analyzing goal-oriented experiments systematically, accurately and independently
  • Open to work in a collaborative environment

Please submit in a single pdf a motivation letter, CV with transcripts and publication list, description of research experience, and contact information of two referees.

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: 01.03.2021

Duration: The position is initially limited to 2 years with the possibility of prolongation.

The position can in principle be part-time.

Application deadline: 06.12.2020


Priv. Doz. Dr. Dirk Nettelbeck
Phone +49 (0)6221/56-38134

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 (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.