Open Positions

 

The positions are available in an interdisciplinary research consortium studying the regulatory networks of epigenetic gene silencing in mammalian cells. This consortium is part of a national program on new methods in systems biology (BMBF SysTec). It provides unique opportunities for scientists at the interface of molecular cell biology, biophysics, mathematical modeling, and image analysis. The positions listed below are available for up to three years and can be filled immediately. Payment is according to the federal payment scheme E13 for post-docs and E13/2 for PhD students.

Your profile: The successful candidates will have experience in one or more of the topics mentioned above. Applicants should be highly motivated, enthusiastic about science and have a strong interests in collaborative interdisciplinary work, as well as the quantitative description of biological systems. For selected publications of the groups relevant to the project see http://www.episys.org/EPISYS/Partners.html

Application: Please submit a CV, a list of publications (for postdoctoral scientists) and contact details of 2-3 referees along with a cover letter stating the desired EpiSys research group and your reasons for applying via the DKFZ online application system for a Post-doc (Ref. number 145/2009) or PhD position (Ref. number 146/2009). You can also send your application via e-mail to Diana Haendly.


Prof. Dr. Roland Eils - University of Heidelberg, Institute for Pharmacology and Molecular Biotechnology & BioQuant Center Website: http://www.dkfz.de/tbi

1 PhD position available

Project: PhD position in systems biology of epigenetic regulation. The task is to develop a mechanistic ODE-based mathematical model of epigenetic regulation in close collaboration with experimental partners.

Previous training: Requirements are a Masters (Diploma) degree in Biology, Physics or Mathematics. We expect strong interest in mathematical approaches and biological research.


Prof. Dr. Ingrid Grummt - German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg and DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, Division of Molecular Biology of the Cell II Website: http://www.dkfz.de/en/polymerase

1 Post-doc position available

Project: Evidence from a variety of experimental systems demonstrates that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a significant role in the control of gene expression and epigenetic regulation. The number of known ncRNAs has been gradually increasing. It seems that ncRNAs might be numerous and highly adapted in roles that require specific nucleic acid recognition without complex catalysis, such as in guiding RNA modifications or in directing post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression and chromatin structure. Our previous work has revealed that NoRC, a chromatin remodeling complex that triggers heterochromatin formation and transcriptional silencing of a fraction of rRNA genes, is associated with 100-300 nt RNAs that originate from the intergenic spacer (IGS) separating individual rDNA repeats. IGS transcripts have been known for two decades, their biological role, however, remained elusive. The goal of this project is to decipher the role of NoRC-associated intergenic transcripts in alterations of chromatin structure and epigenetic control of the rDNA locus. Furthermore, a fraction of rDNA is transcribed in antisense orientation. Both IGS RNA and antisense transcripts display a highly tissue-specific expression pattern. A main focus of our research will be studies on the synthesis, regulation, processing and stability of intergenic and antisense transcripts in response to cell growth and differentiation as well as the role of NoRC-associated RNA in epigenetic regulation of rRNA genes.  We expect that in the long term, these studies will lead to an understanding of the mechanisms that propagate a specific chromatin structure through cell division and will reveal how epigenetic defects may cause human diseases.


Prof. Dr. Thomas Höfer - German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) & BioQuant Center Heidelberg, Research Group Modeling of Biological Systems Website: http://nibelung.bioquant.uni-heidelberg.de

1 Post-doc position available

We are looking for theoreticians and experimentalists at postdoctoral and PhD level. Theoreticians - bioinformaticians and mathematical modelers - will have a keen interest in interaction with experimentalists to elucidate the mechanisms of heterochromatin formation, maintenance and spreading. Experimentalists will have experience in fluorescence microscopy or be well-versed in basic molecular biology techniques (cloning, chromatin IP, transcript analysis by RT-PCR, overexpression and knockdown of proteins). Interest in collaboration with theoreticians in quantifying the dynamic regulatory networks that govern histone modifications is a prerequisite.


PD Dr. Karsten Rippe (KR) - German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) & BioQuant Center Heidelberg, Research Group Genome Organization & Function Website: http://malone.bioquant.uni-heidelberg.de

2 PhD positions available in EpiSys and 1 Post-doc position on the spatial organization of chromatin available in a project in the EraSysBio+ program

Project: To dissect epigenetic networks in living cells, we apply a combination of advanced in-vivo fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. These are complemented by in-vitro studies using recombinant proteins that serve to precisely quantitate protein and nucleic acid interaction parameters like binding constants and association state. The goal is it to derive a quantitative description of a prototypic epigenetic networks that induces gene silencing.

Previous training: Candidates should have a master/diploma in Biology, Physics or Chemistry with a study focus on quantitative biology, biochemistry, biophysics or physical chemistry. Interest in interdisciplinary work is expected as well as knowledge/interest in one or more of the following areas: Quantitative/mechanistic analysis of molecular biological processes, chromatin organization and dynamics.

  1. Measurements of the dynamics and the mobility of nuclear factors and their interactions in the nucleus to obtain information on the in vivo regulation of gene expression in human cell lines. Fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy (fast confocal imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, single particle tracking)

  2. Construction of human and mouse cell lines with autofluorescent proteins (GFP, YFP, mRFP1 etc.)

  3. Development of new fluorescence microscopy approaches and theoretical models to analyze the organisation and dynamics of DNA and other factors in the cell nucleus.


Gast-Prof. Dr. Karl Rohr - University of Heidelberg, Institute for Pharmacology and Molecular Biotechnology & BioQuant Center, Group Biomedical Computer Vision Website: http://www.bioquant-uni-heidelberg.de/bmcv

2 PhD positions available

Project: PhD position in image analysis. The task is the automated analysis of 3D fluorescence microscopy images of the cell nucleus using different methods (e.g., segmentation, tracking, registration).

Previous training: Requirements are a Masters (Diploma) degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or a related discipline. We expect good mathematical and programming skills as well as interest in interdisciplinary teamwork.


Prof. Dr. Gunnar Schotta - Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Molecular Biology Department, Adolf-Butenandt-Institute Website: http://www.cipsm.de/en/cipsmProfessorships/Gunnar_Schotta

1 Post-doc position available

Project: The research in our group focuses on the functional analysis of histone modifications in the mouse. In particular, we use knock-out mice to study the functions of histone methyltransferases for normal and aberrant development. Our methods cover the whole field of modern cell and molecular biology/biochemistry such as protein purification, immunofluorescence, ChIP, generation and characterisation of antibodies, quantitative realtime PCR, microarrays as well as mouse genetics, histology and FACS.

Previous training: Candidates should be highly motivated to carry out an independent research project in tight connection with collaborating laboratories. A PhD with a strong research background in molecular biology is required. Expertise in imaging techniques and mouse cell culture is strongly preferred.


Prof. Dr. Heinrich Leonhardt - Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, BioCenter, Department Biology II Website: http://sci.bio.lmu.de/epigenetics/index.htm

currently no positions available


Dr. Malte Wachsmuth - European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg, Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit Website: http://www.embl.de/~wachsmut/

currently no positions available

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