Position: PhD Student in Liquid Biopsy

Department: DKTK Munich, Institute of Clinical Chemistry at Klinikum rechts der Isar, TU Munich

Code number: 2021-0342

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.

Together with university partners at seven renowned partner sites, we have established the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).

At the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich (TUM), a PhD student position is available as part of the DKTK-funded project EXLIQUID.

EXLIQUID (Exploiting liquid biopsies to advance cancer precision medicine) collects and examines blood samples (liquid biopsies) from cancer patients who are treated in a precision oncology program (molecular tumor board) nationally at eight DKTK sites. The aim is to achieve an improved prediction of treatment response or failure by analyzing cell-free tumor DNA in the blood and to improve the diagnosis and sub-classification of tumor diseases.


Job description:

  • Work closely together with lab technician to perform whole genome methylation sequencing (WGS) of cell-free DNA in blood from cancer patients
  • Analyze genome-wide datasets and discover epigenomic markers in cell-free DNA from blood plasma associated with therapy response
  • Assess the added potential of cell-free DNA-based epigenomic markers for diagnosis and sub-classification
  • Communicate with local clinical partners, the local biobank, the local project management team, as well as IT specialists and scientists within the consortium


  • Above-average master's or diploma degree in medical or life sciences (bioinformatics, biology, chemistry, medicine, or a related discipline)
  • Experience with R (programming / statistics)
  • Experience with Linux is a plus
  • Excellent communication skills in English, spoken and written
  • Eagerness to learn and contribute to future cancer diagnostics, in particular working with genome-wide DNA methylation data
  • Enjoy working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary environment (lab medicine, clinics, biobanking, IT/ bioinformatics)
  • Strong motivation, scientific curiosity and commitment to scientific excellence

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: 11.12.2021


Christine Koppenhöhl
Phone +49 (0)89/4400-54627

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.