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3 PhD student positions (f/m/d) - (2 positions AG Riedel – 1 position AG Kretzschmar)

University Hospital Würzburg, Mildred Scheel Early Career Center (MSNZ Würzburg)
Würzburg (Stadt), Bayern (DE)
We provide a salary in accordance with the TV-L.
Closing date
5 Jun 2023

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Biomedicine, Chemistry, Life Science
Job Type
PhD Studentship
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

3 PhD student positions (f/m/d)

(2 positions AG Riedel – 1 position AG Kretzschmar)


Two junior research groups at the Mildred Scheel Early Career Center for Cancer Research (MSNZ) are looking for enthusiastic young scientists with a background in Life Sciences who are keen to pursue PhD projects centred around the Tumour and Metastatic Microenvironment.


Project #1 - Group Riedel (Metastasis, Metabolism and the Microenvironment): The group is interested in the involvement of the tumor-draining lymph node in metastatic disease and tumour immune evasion. A main goal is to characterize the cellular cross-talk between tumour cells, cells of the immune system and the lymph node stroma. More information on the group:


Project a) Metabolites can play a major role in these processes and although it is well known that tumour cell transformation is accompanied by alterations of cellular metabolism to facilitate growth and proliferation, little is known about how this transformation impacts the cells of the microenvironment and cellular cross-talk. Within this project, the candidate will characterize the metabolic composition of metastatic niches and the epigenetic reprogramming associated with it. The main goal will be to identify the requirements of niche-reprogramming for a successful metastatic colonization.


Project b) Myeloid cells play a big role in tumor progression and the metastatic niche. Within this project, we want to characterize the different myeloid cell subsets at the primary tumor site and draining lymph node also during immune-checkpoint inhibition.


Project #2 - Group Kretzschmar (Adult stem cell niche): The group is interested in the adult stem cell niche in epithelial tissue homoeostasis and cancer with the oral mucosa and head and neck cancer as model systems. To map cell-cell interactions and characterise the role of bidirectional signalling within the tissue and tumour microenvironment, we use genetic lineage tracing, single-cell transcriptomics and organoid technology. Within an ERC-funded project, the candidate will develop pipelines for the analysis of single-cell and spatial transcriptomics and imaging data. This also includes the programming of new bioinformatics tools in R and Python environment as well as setting up web-based data visualisation using Shiny apps and other tools. We are thus looking for a highly motivated candidate that is trained or has robust experience in bioinformatics/computational biology. More information on the group:


Our offer:

  • cutting-edge research in young teams, closely collaborating within the MSNZ
  • full-time appointment for 3-years, fixed-term, extension possible
  • enrolment in the Graduate School of Life Science with broad research and skills training



  • developing the bioinformatics/computational parts of the projects, including analysis and visualization of RNA and RNA modifications
  • programming of new bioinformatics tools in R and Python environment as well as setting up web-based data visualisation using Shiny apps and other tools
  • combining wet-lab using state-of-the-art sequencing methods, immunofluorescence and gene editing with bioinformatical analysis
  • presenting results at meetings and conferences


Apply if you have:

  • excellent graduate degree in biology, biomedicine, biochemistry, computational biology, bioinformatics, or related discipline
  • strong lab skills
  • a good command of the English language
  • sound knowledge and interest in cell and tumour biology
  • ability to work independently and collaboratively within a group
  • prior knowledge of bioinformatics analysis (e.g., R, Python) is advantageous but not obligatory (project #1)
  • training or robust experience in bioinformatics/computational biology (project #2)


We welcome applications from suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender or disability. The University aims to increase the proportion of female employees, therefore applications from qualified women are particularly welcome. Preference will be given to people with disabilities in the case of otherwise equal aptitude. Working language is English, knowledge of the German language can be beneficial, but is not required.


If you would like to hear more about the projects, please get in touch with the group leaders. Please send applications including a cover letter (with a statement of motivation), curriculum vitae, relevant degree certificates and academic transcripts as well as contact details of 2 independent references (one of the referees should be the Master's thesis supervisor) as a single PDF file via email to Lukasz Lichorowicz (


Applications can be submitted until 05.06.2023.


Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentrum für Krebsforschung (MSNZ)

Dr. Kai Kretzschmar

Versbacher Str. 7

D-97078 Würzburg



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