Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology

Head of Max-Planck DNA foundry for automated DNA assembly

Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology

Marburg/Lahn, Germany

Applications are invited for a full time scientist position to head a central facility for DNA assembly at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany.

Background: The MPI in Marburg consists of four Departments and several independent research groups spanning from microbial physiology and genetics to systems and synthetic microbiology. Together with the University of Marburg, the MPI operates the Center for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO), which offers a stimulating interdisciplinary and international research environment and makes Marburg a vibrant hub for synthetic microbiology.
To further advance technological possibilities in synthetic microbiology, the first National DNA foundry will be established in Marburg that uses state-of-the art laboratory automation for the design and a part-based assembly of DNA constructs and their delivery to chassis organisms.

Your role: You will build and lead a team to establish and operate a central facility for the automatized construction and assembly of DNA constructs, in particular genetic circuits, complex operons and artificial (bacterial) chromosomes. This will include the set-up of an automatized, high-throughput liquid robot handling platform and the development of a DNA design-assembly-validation pipeline. Research projects will be developed by you and your team in close contact with different labs from Marburg and the Max Planck Society.
To further enhance the development of the facility additional resources can be made available to you and your team to follow independent research lines.

Your profile: The position requires a PhD and relevant experience in the assembly of complex DNA constructs for synthetic biology, biotechnology or molecular genetics. Experience in advanced genetic engineering methods (CRISPR/Cas, MAGE, etc.), computer-aided DNA design and manufacturing, as well as lab automatization and lab information management systems are highly desired.
We seek a good communicator who is able to interact with scientists from a variety of backgrounds, is team-oriented and enjoys working in a highly collaborative and fast evolving research environment.
The position is initially limited to five years, but can be extended depending on the positive evaluation of the facility.

The location: Marburg is a medieval, international University town that lies in the Center of Germany and in close proximity to Frankfurt Airport, one of the major airport hubs in Europe. Approximately 280 people from more than 30 nations work at the MPI. Daily language at the Institute is English.

Equal opportunity: As an equal opportunity employer, the Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with disabilities. We therefore actively encourage individuals with disabilities to apply. We also seek to increase the percentage of female employees in areas where they are underrepresented. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. Further information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Tobias Erb (

Applications should be sent as a single pdf file by e-mail to Please include your CV, names and email addresses of three academic referees, statements of previous research, as well as future research & career goals (no more than two pages for each).
For details of the Institute please visit
Applications should be received by January 31st, 2019

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Head of Max-Planck DNA foundry for automated DNA assembly