Position: Postdoctoral Scientist / Research Fellow in Single-Cell Mutagenesis

Department: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology

Code number: 2021-0158

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 laboratories of Dr. Moritz Gerstung (Division of Artificial Intelligence in Oncology) and Dr. Duncan Odom (Division of Regulatory Genomics and Cancer Evolution) study how the cancer genome evolution is shaped by the interplay of DNA damage and repair. To understand how genetic sequences become corrupted and how this can lead to human tumours, our collaborative efforts design, perform, and computationally integrate a diversity of experiments, including single-cell sequencing, functional cell and genome analysis, and spatial transcriptomics. The Gerstung lab will join the Functional and Structural Genomics programme of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), which is home to the Odom lab, in the dynamic and exciting academic landscape of Heidelberg in the summer of 2021.


Job description:

The collaborative project will dissect how chemotherapeutics and related mutagens interact with DNA repair pathways by a systematic and single-cell-based assessment of exposure experiments coupled to microfluidics, live cell imaging, whole genome and transcriptome sequencing, and cellular phenotyping. Cells from different DNA repair deficient human cell lines will be exposed to genotoxins at different doses and cultivated for 5-10 generations to create single-cell derived colonies. The underlying distribution of DNA lesions, their genotoxic triggers, estimated repair efficiency from different knockouts and segregation rates, as well as the kinetics of pro- and antimutagenic forces from each component of DNA repair will be quantified. One possible direction is to further study the evolution of complex structural variants arising from stalled replication, which cannot be overcome by translesion synthesis, particularly in TLS deficient lines.

We are seeking a postdoctoral research fellow with extensive molecular biology / genomics expertise to join our efforts. We also encourage applications from accomplished graduate students seeking to switch research fields.


Your responsibilities:

  • Project management, method development and optimization
  • Collection and analysis of novel and large genomic datasets 
  • Close collaboration with computational biologists 
  • Direct training in advanced bioinformatics methodologies



Key skills:

  • A PhD in biological science with extensive molecular biology or genomics expertise 
  • Excellent collaborative and communication skills 
  • Ambition and meticulousness
  • Inquisitive thinking and a scientifically adventurous approach / attitude


Desirable skills:

  • Prior research experience in single-cell methodologies, spatial transcriptomics, transcriptional regulation, epigenetics, and bioinformatics 

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: 01.09.2021

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

The position can in principle be part-time.

Application deadline: 24.06.2021


Dr. Moritz Gerstung
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-4522

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.