Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE)

Postdoctoral Position in Single-Cell Biology of the Liver

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE)

Freiburg, Germany

We are offering a

Postdoctoral Position in Single-Cell Biology of the Liver

The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, has an opening for a CZI funded postdoc position in experimental single-cell biology for an initial period of two years with a possibility of extension. The position is available in the group of Dominic Grün ( and part of a CZI funded Seed Network on establishing a human liver cell atlas (

Our lab is studying cell fate decision in multilineage systems with the aim to decipher the molecular control of cell fate choice. We focus on the interplay of gene expression noise and cell extrinsic signals in the control of cell fate decision by integrating cutting-edge single-cell sequencing of different modalities with high-resolution spatial imaging approaches. We explore the liver to study cell state plasticity in health and disease, using mouse models, human patient material and organoid systems. The position offers the opportunity to integrate single-cell RNA-seq and high-resolution spatial imaging-based single-cell analysis to interrogate the role of cell-cell interactions during cell fate decisions within the liver in health and disease. Integration in the CZI Seed Network will allow interactions with international leaders of liver biology and of the single-cell research community and facilitate the exchange of cutting-edge experimental and computational techniques.

Your tasks:
The aim of this project is the establishment of a high-resolution spatial cell type atlas of the human liver. You will perform an integrated analysis combining highly-multiplexed single-molecule FISH on liver tissue and large-scale single-cell RNA-seq to investigate pathways of cell-cell interactions in the human liver. You will compare cellular crosstalk between healthy and diseased human tissues and perform functional validation experiments using liver organoid culture and mouse models. The project is based on our recent human liver cell atlas – Aizarani et al. (2019) Nature – and will utilize innovative computational methods for single-cell RNA-seq data analysis developed by our group – e. g., Grün (2019) Nature Methods, Herman et al. (2018) Nature Methods.

Your qualifications:

  • Academic degree plus a PhD in biology, life science, natural science, or comparable
  • Profound background in molecular biology
  • Experience in liver biology, liver tissue handling, liver disease models, or liver organoid culture is a strong plus
  • Proficiency in either next-generation sequencing techniques or microscopy/image processing
  • Experience with computational data analysis and basic programming skills
  • Strong interest in computational single-cell analysis
  • Proficiency in the R programming language and in scripting languages
    (Perl/Python) is a strong plus
  • At least one first author paper in an international peer-reviewed journal
  • fluency in English

We are looking for motivated team players with strong communication skills and the desire to work in a dynamic environment. Your desire to understand biological problems is a must, and prior experience in the field of stem cell differentiation and immunology or epigenetics is a strong plus.

We offer:
Based within close vicinity to both France and Switzerland, our institute hosts a vibrant community of international researchers and many state-of-the-art facilities (e. g. a modern deep-sequencing unit and a powerful data center). Salaries will be based on previous experience according to TVöD guidelines.

Application deadline:
Have we sparked your interest? Please submit your complete application, including a CV via our online application portal at until 4th of February 2020.

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
Stübeweg 51
79108 Freiburg

Our Institute investigates the molecular basis of the immune response and other topics of the developmental biology, such as the origin and differentiation of the immune cells as well as the development of vertebrate embryo. Another main focus of the Institute is Epigenetic. This area deals with inheritable traits, which are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence.

Handicapped applicants with equal qualifications will be given preferential treatment. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas, where they are underrepresented, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. A childcare facility is directly attached to the institute.

If you would like to work in a dedicated team, please convince us now by sending us your complete application documents together with your salary expectations and your earliest possible date of joining the Institute.

Max Planck Institute
of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
Ms. Laule

Please apply via recruiter’s website.