Position: Postdoctoral Position in Neural Reprogramming and Cell Replacement Therapies

Department: Stem Cells and Cancer

Code number: 2021-0287

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:

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the number of Parkinson's patients is steadily increasing. Currently, all available treatment options aim to provide symptomatic relief rather than a true solution to the underlying problem of loss of dopaminergic neurons. Our previously published "induced Neural Plate Border Stem Cells" (iNBSCs) reprogramming technology is designed to generate patient-specific neural stem cells (Thier et al. Cell Stem Cell 2019). After differentiation into transplantable dopaminergic neurons, these have the potential to be used as cellular therapeutics to treat the underlying pathology of Parkinson's disease (loss of dopaminergic neurons).

Our GoBio inital-funded project (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) is a cooperative project between the DKFZ (Prof. Dr. Andreas Trumpp, Division of Stem Cells and Cancer) and the Heidelberg University Hospital (Prof. Dr. Hannah Monyer) and combines the strengths of both participating research groups. In this project, the iNBSC technology will be further developed and transferred into an applicable cell replacement therapy product.  The main goal of this project is to optimize the production of our iNBSCs and their differentiation into transplantable dopaminergic neurons for functional analysis in a Parkinson mouse model. Moreover, we want to standardize the production and differentiation systems so that the final cell product and batch quality are largely reproducible. The ultimate aim is to generate a functional cell product for transplantation into a Parkinson mouse model with a potential spin-off being anticipated after completion of the project.



We are looking for a high-profile PhD with a strong background in molecular cell biology. The advised candidate is highly motivated, able to work precise and independently, and likes working in a team. Previous experience in stem cell culture, neural differentiation and analysis of single-cell RNA-sequencing data are highly desirable. The candidate should be dedicated to the project, willing to develop an innovative cell product and be familiar with cutting-edge technologies such as FACS, single-cell RNA sequencing and methylation profiling and meets the following requirements:

  • Demonstrated previous scientific problem solving
  • Reliable team player with very good organization skills
  • Extensive cell culture practice
  • Gene expression data generation and analysis
  • Excellent communications skills (English)

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: 13.10.2021


Erika Krückel
Phone +49(0)6221/42-3918

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.