Position: PhD Student in Viral Proteomics

Department: Systems Biology of Signal Transduction

Code number: 2021-0208

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.

Job description:

Identification of systems properties determining the dynamics of the hepatitis B virus infection cycle and cross-talk to host cell responses

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are a major health burden with around 240 million affected people worldwide. Currently recommended treatment options are pegylated interferon alpha (PEG-IFNα) or nucleos(t)ide analogues, but cure rates remain very low. Recent studies showed that treatment with the HBV entry inhibitor Myrcludex B and PEG-IFNα resulted in synergistic effects. The focus of this PhD project will be to define the cross-talk of reactions of the HBV infection cycle with host cell responses and the impact of antiviral responses elicited by inflammatory factors to elucidate molecular mechanisms that could contribute to these synergistic effects and most importantly to HBV elimination. The successful candidate will employ a targeted mass spectrometry-based approach for the quantification of the viral components and key signalling components. Changes in the global proteome upon HBV infection will be analysed as well as changes in the dynamics of IFNα, IL-6, HGF and TGFβ signal transduction in HepG2-hNTCP cells and primary human hepatocytes. Further, time- and dose-resolved experimental data will be generated for the development of an integrative mathematical model of HBV infection and IFNα-induced induction of antiviral responses. The techniques employed are mass spectrometry, quantitative immunoblotting, qRT-PCR, RNASeq and multiplexed bead-based analyses.



We are looking for a candidate with a master's degree in biology or a related field. The successful candidate should have an understanding of virology, signal transduction and mass spectrometry, be interested in personalized medicine and willing to develop new experimental techniques. Furthermore, communication skills and the readiness to work in an interdisciplinary project together with mathematical modeling partners and clinicians are key.

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: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is limited to 3 years.

Application Deadline: 30.07.2021


Prof. Dr. Ursula Klingmüller
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-4481

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.