Position: Postdoctoral Scientist in Single-Cell Mutagenesis

Department: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology

Code number: 2022-0004

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. Our labs are both within the Functional and Structural Genomics Program of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in the dynamic and exciting academic landscape of Heidelberg.  


Job description:

This collaborative project will dissect the impact of chemotherapeutics and related mutagens 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 exact mutational landscape and the phylogenetic relationships among cells of known and controlled backgrounds will be analysed. The underlying distribution of DNA lesions derived from lesion segregation, their genotoxic triggers, estimate repair efficiency (from different knockouts and segregation rates) as well as the genomic determinants influencing the kinetics of pro- and antimutagenic forces 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:

    • 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

    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: 01.03.2022

    Duration: The position is limited to 3 years with the possibility of prolongation. ‚Äč

    The position can in principle be part-time.

    Application deadline: 29.01.2022


    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.