Master’s Thesis in Adult Stem Cell Biology and Cancer Research (f/m/diverse)

Helmholtz-Center München - German Research Center for Environmental Health - HMGU - Helmholtz Association

Neuherberg bei München, Bavaria, Germany

Work group:

Institute of Stem Cell Research

Area of research:

Student assistants

Starting date:


Contract time limit:


Job description:

As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle.



Master’s Thesis in Adult Stem Cell Biology and Cancer Research (f/m/diverse)

Description of the project

Plasticity, defined as the ability of cells to dynamically change cell state drives regenerative processes as well as tumor progression in epithelial tissues. The emerging realization that stem cells are not a fixed entity, but can be recruited from non-stem cell pools under specific circumstances challenges fundamental concepts of tissue formation and offers opportunities for precision medicine approaches in regeneration and oncology. As a research group, we focus on defining mechanisms of epithelial and metabolic plasticity during human mammary gland morphogenesis, maturation and breast cancer progression. We have developed an organoid assay for the human mammary gland, use CRISPR/Cas9-based functional genomics and single-cell analysis and work on constantly developing and improving new tools for culturing primary human cells.

We are offering the oportunity to write your Master's Thesis in of the following project areas involving 1) the molecular control of stem-cell traits in our mammary organoid assay, 2) epigenetic regulation of epithelial plasticity in breast cancer metastasis and 3) characterization of dynamic changes in lipid metabolism in breast cancer.

Methods to be employed include purification and characterization of mammary epithelial cells from human tissue samples, mammalian cell culture, fluorescent activated cell sorting, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, real-time PCR analyses, molecular cloning, manipulation of gene expression using CRISPR/Cas9 and PiggyBac systems and a variety of functional assays.

Your Qualifications

Previous knowledge in mammary gland biology or breast cancer metastasis is not obligatory, what is most important to us is your interest in science.

Our Offer

At the Helmholtz Zentrum München, you can contribute together with leading researchers to the investigation of the development, prevention and treatment of environmental diseases such as diabetes, chronic lung diseases and allergies. In order to further promote your professional development, we offer extensive and targeted research training and career programmes. We support the reconciliation between work and private life with flexible working time models, occupational health management, day care facility for children, a childcare subsidy, Elder Care, as well as other counseling and support services.

The aim of the position is the preparation of your Master's Thesis. You will not receive a remuneration.

As a holder of the Total E-Quality Award, we promote equality of opportunity. In order to increase the proportion of women in management positions, we would be pleased to receive corresponding applications. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.

We are looking forward receiving your comprehensive online application (including Curriculum Vitae (CV) and some information about your lab experience).

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-2018/0544