PhD Student in Chromatin Dynamics (f/m/d)

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

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Work group:

Helmholtz Pioneer Campus

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

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.

The Helmholtz Pioneer Campus (HPC) is an innovation campus with a startup culture at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. HPC stands for the smart fusion of biomedical sciences, engineering and digitization in a research environment that has no parallel in Europe.

The 3D Genome and Molecular Neuroscience group headed by Dr Boyan Bonev is looking for a self-motivated and enthusiastic PhD student interested in studying the epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation during development. The goal of this project is to understand how transcription factors can dynamically rewire 3D genome organization using the mammalian brain as a model system.

PhD Student in Chromatin Dynamics (f/m/d)

The challenge

The Bonev lab studies how 3D genome organization and epigenetic modifications regulate cell identity during brain development. Using highly interdisciplinary approaches such as single cell multi-omics, next generation sequencing, live imaging and computational biology, we aim to understand how chromatin landscape influences cell fate decisions in development and evolution. We are based at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and hence part of an excellent network dedicated to epigenetics and neurosciences including the MPI for Neurobiology, the LMU and TU Munich as well as broad international collaborations.

We have previously discovered that regulating 3D chromatin architecture and enhancer-promoter interactions plays an important role in the control of gene expression and cell fate in the cortex (Bonev et al., Cell 2017). Furthermore, several key transcription factors are associated at the molecular level with dynamic chromatin loops and may function by remodelling genome topology. The goal of this PhD project is to examine mechanistically how transcription factors can rewire 3D chromatin interactions. It will involve state-of-the art technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering, embryonic stem cells, NGS techniques such as Hi-C, and live cell imaging.

Your profile

Our ambitious and interdisciplinary team consists of passionate and motivated people from around the world. To further support our research, we are looking for talents willing to develop and execute the next breakthrough ideas. Ideal candidates therefore require:

Master Degree in the Life Sciences (completed or expecting to complete)strong motivation for pursuing an ambitious research agendaproven creativity, excellent organizational skills, a proactive approach to solving problemsexpertise in mammalian cell culture and epigenetics (preferred)experience with NGS technologies and bioinformatics (desired)

What we offer

In order to promote your professional development, we offer a dynamic working environment, advanced training in molecular biology and genetics, and cutting-edge NGS and single cell technologies. You will interact and benefit from our collaborative approach to research and the presence of senior groups in the immediate proximity, as well as an international community such as the HELENA Program and the recently established Helmholtz Epigenetics Research School. Furthermore, we will provide you with training in grant and manuscript writing, support for relevant courses and workshops and detailed career development plan.

Remuneration and benefits are in accordance with the collective agreement for the public sector (TV EntgO Bund). The positions are initially limited to three years with the option of extension. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is an equal opportunity employer and embraces diversity. We are located in a city with a vibrant cultural and social life, consistently selected to be in the top 5 global cities to live in. We offer a family friendly environment, flexible working hours, a child care facility on Campus and dual career opportunities. We are a certified holder of the Total E-Quality Award. In order to increase the proportion of women in management positions, we are pleased to receive corresponding applications. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will also be given preference.

We are looking forward to receiving your online application (motivation letter, CV, contact details of at least 2 referees and a brief description of research interests and future plans) in a single pdf file until February 15, 2019.

Curious? We encourage your inquiries directly to Dr. Boyan Bonev.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Helmholtz-2019/0010