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Postdoc in Computational Genomics – Machine Learning for Multi-Omics Profiling of Cancer Evolution

German Cancer Research Center in the Helmholtz Association (DKFZ)
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg (DE)
Remuneration according to TV-L incl. occupational pension plan for the public service and capital-fo
Closing date
24 Apr 2024

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Biomedicine, Computing
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

Department: "Computational Genomics and Systems Genetics" and "Regulatory Genomics and Cancer Evolution"

Code number: 2024-0085

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 research groups of Prof. Dr. Oliver Stegle (Division of Computational Genomics and Systems Genetics) and Prof. Dr. Duncan Odom (Division of Regulatory Genomics and Cancer Evolution) are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to join a collaborative project with the goal of deciphering clonal dynamics in cancer by integrating machine learning methods with large-scale spatial transcriptomics analyses.

Our research groups are internationally advancing single-cell and functional genomics technologies (Odom) and are pioneering computational methods for deciphering molecular variation across individuals, space, and time (Stegle). We have a track record in the development of computational methods for high-throughput omics data, machine learning for multi-omics integration and causal discovery. The postdoctoral researcher will work in a highly multidisciplinary setting between both laboratories at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, which is connected to the vibrant local ecosystem for data science, machine learning and computational biology in Heidelberg, including ELLIS Life Heidelberg and AI Health Innovation Cluster

Selected publications: 


Job description:

You will be jointly affiliated with the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Stegle and Prof. Dr. Odom to generate novel insights into how clonal competition across space and time can shape tumor inception and cancer development in vivo. Your activities will comprise:

  • Designing and executing experiments to study in vivo cancer clonal evolution using spatial transcriptomics and single-cell multi-omics analyses
  • Developing tailored machine learning and causal inference methodologies to analyse these datasets 

The project setup allows for some flexibility according to qualifications and interests, and we encourage candidates with strong expertise, which may vary from those listed, to apply.


  • A PhD or equivalent qualification in computer science, statistics, mathematics, physics, and/or engineering, or a degree in biological science with demonstrated experience in computational and statistical development
  • Experience with implementing machine learning or statistical learning (e.g. Bayesian inference, deep-learning) 
  • Programming skills in Python and experience with frameworks like PyTorch, Keras, Pyro or TensorFlow 
  • Motivation and dedication to lead a scientific project
  • Supportive, creative and responsible team member
  • Expertise in the analysis of omics data, genetics, statistical interpretation and analysis of next-generation sequencing datasets is a plus; we encourage applications also from candidates with little or no background in biology or medicine, and a keen interest to learn

We invite applications in all fields, from any eligible researcher regardless of nationality or gender. Our divisions stand for equal opportunities and diversity. We believe that diversity enables us to collaborate more effectively and be innovative in our approaches. Qualified female candidates are especially invited to apply.

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. ​

Application deadline: 24.04.2024


Prof. Dr. Oliver Stegle
Phone +49 (0)6221/42-3598

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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