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Computational Postdoc

German Cancer Research Center in the Helmholtz Association (DKFZ)
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg (DE)
Closing date
24 Apr 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

Department: "Artificial Intelligence in Oncology" and "Regulatory Genomics and Cancer Evolution"

Code number: 2024-0088

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.

For collaborative efforts between the labs of Prof. Dr. Moritz Gerstung (Division of Artificial Intelligence in Oncology) and Prof. Dr. Duncan Odom (Division of Regulatory Genomics and Cancer Evolution), we are seeking a dry-lab postdoctoral scientist for the exciting intersection between large-scale genetic analysis utilizing experimental models, spatial biology, single-cell sequencing, tumorigenesis, and mutagenesis.

Due to the collaborative capabilities of these labs to both capture and analyze unique and large-scale genetic datasets using custom approaches, we have several running projects and new opportunities to delve into the fundamental forces driving tumorigenesis, tumor evolution, and spatial biology.

Amongst other projects, we are investigating the principles of lesion segregation, a potential mechanism describing the acquisition and passage of somatic lesions throughout tumor progression. Other topics of interest include studying gender-specific molecular differences within the acquisition and maintenance of malignancies, the identification and classification of cellular populations and niches, and the development of both ‘classical’ and AI/ML-based computational approaches to help condense and interpret the full breadth of genetic and molecular features investigated.


Job description:

In this role, the candidate will engage in all relevant aspects of experimental design, computational analysis, reproducibility, and reporting of several long-term projects between the respective labs in close collaboration with experimentalists. Due to the large amount of genetic data and features examined within these projects, the candidate is encouraged to help shape these projects, explore his/her areas of interest, and contribute new ideas and approaches to our research efforts.

In addition, the candidate is expected to develop and extend (reproducible) workflows for handling these datasets.


  • Master's and PhD degree in bioinformatics, clinical data science, AI/ML, or a related field
  • Track record of writing papers, evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts
  • Affinity for collaborative work across discipline boundaries
  • Interest in cancer biology and reproducible research
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English, German skills are beneficial

Knowledge in the following fields is a plus:

  • Prior experience in the field of molecular oncology
  • Experience in working with large-scale sequencing efforts (whole genome, whole transcriptome, methylation, single-cell sequencing)
  • Prior experience working with Linux and high-performance clusters (HPC)
  • R/Python and Snakemake or Nextflow (or others) 

We offer:

  • Interesting, versatile workplace
  • Excellent framework conditions: state-of-the-art equipment and opportunity for international networking at the highest level
  • Remuneration according to TV-L incl. occupational pension plan for the public service and capital-forming payments
  • 30 days of vacation per year
  • Flexible working hours
  • Possibility of mobile work and part-time work
  • Family-friendly working environment, including parent-child room, counseling services, e.g. on Elder Care
  • Sustainable travel to work: subsidized Germany job ticket
  • Develop your full potential: access to the DKFZ International Postdoc Program and DKFZ Career Service with targeted offers for your personal development to further develop your talents
  • Our Corporate Health Management Program offers a holistic approach to your well-being

Important notice:

The DKFZ is subject to the regulations of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). As a consequence, only persons who present proof of immunity against measles may work at the DKFZ.

Earliest possible start date: as soon as possible

Duration: The position is initially limited to 2 years with the possibility of prolongation. ​

Application deadline: 24.04.2024


Dr. Moritz Gerstung
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-4522

Please note that we do not accept applications submitted via email.



About the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. Over 3,200 staff members from 88 nations are dedicated to performing and driving cutting edge research for a life without cancer. Organized in more than 100 divisions and research groups, the focus of our 1,400 scientists is to unravel the causes and mechanisms of cancer development and progression, and to develop novel strategies for the diagnosis, early detection, prevention and treatment of cancer though innovative translational research.

Scientists at the DKFZ have received the most prestigious academic awards, including Prof. Harald zur Hausen, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for his pioneering work on Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV),and Prof. Stefan Hell, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on super-resolution imaging.

The DKFZ core site is located in Heidelberg, the “City of Science”, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Germany with a highly international community: An estimated 56,000 of Heidelberg’s 160,000 inhabitants have an international background – many of whom are scientists or students.


Research Topics and Scientific Collaborations

The DKFZ is an international leader in a number of research areas including stem cell research, bioinformatics and systems biology, cancer genomics, neurooncology, pediatric oncology, cancer prevention, tumor immunology, virology, radiooncology and medical image analysis. The interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment at the DKFZ also results in excellent opportunities for computational and data scientists with interest in biomedical applications.

Research at the DKFZ is organized into six research programs:

On the mission for a life without cancer, the DKFZ collaborates with renowned clinical and research institutions at the local, national and international level. A key goal is to continuously strengthen translational research activities with the aim of sustainably advancing state-of-the-art clinical cancer research in Germany and thereby improving the treatment outcomes and quality of life of cancer patients. Together with University Hospital partners across Germany, the DKFZ established the National Centers for Tumor Diseases (NCT) as leading Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Germany, as well as the Hopp Childrens’ Tumor Center (KiTZ) in Heidelberg with a specific focus on pediatric oncology. Within the German Cancer Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), research institutions and university hospitals at eight partner locations collaborate with the DKFZ, the core center of the DKTK, to speed up the transfer of successful cancer research into clinical practice. Furthermore, the HI-TRON in Mainz is a cooperative effort to make full use of the potential of individualized immunotherapy.


Training Programs and Career Development

Talent management and career development are central parts of DKFZ’s mission to maintain scientific excellence. The DKFZ places strong emphasis on the international recruitment and comprehensive training of excellent scientists, specifically welcoming diverse and international backgrounds.

Dedicated programs train young scientists and clinicians and prepare them for their next career step:

The DKFZ has developed programs to support the reconciliation of family and careers at all levels and international employees are supported by the International Staff Services in the planning, preparation and realization of their stay in Heidelberg.


Innovation Management

The DKFZ builds on strong Innovation Management to foster the development of innovative preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic products for maximum societal benefit. It facilitates technology transfer through licensing and support of spin-off companies. Recent examples include iOmx Therapeutics, Apogenix and mtm laboratories. The DKFZ also has strong collaborations with industry partners, such as Bayer Healthcare, Bosch, SAP and Siemens.

Company info
+49 (0) 6221 420
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280

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