Postdoctoral Position (Computational single cell biology)

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg

Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Immunobiology and Infection Biology & Medicine

Type of Job


Postdoctoral Position (Computational single cell biology)

Job offer from November 09, 2017

The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, has an opening for a postdoc in computational single cell biology for an initial period of two years.

The position

The position will be available in the research group of Dr. Dominic Grün. We study the process of cell fate decision during differentiation of stem cells towards multiple alternative lineages. We are interested in the dynamics of this process and, in particular, in the role of gene expression noise during cell fate commitment. Our aim is the characterization of regulatory mechanisms controlling cell fate choice, such as transcriptional regulation, chromatin modifications and signaling. We are addressing these questions with the help of single-cell transcriptomics combined with bulk assays, e.g. ChiP-seq or ATAC-seq, on purified sub-populations. Moreover, we integrate these methods with spatial gene expression analysis in order to elucidate the impact of the microenvironment on cellular differentiation. We also apply lineage-tracing techniques to acquire information on differentiation dynamics and ancestral relations between cell types. Our experimental models comprise murine immune cells in a variety of tissues as well human material derived from distinct organs. Moreover, we apply our methods to investigate tumor emergence.

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.

Your tasks

The position offers the opportunity to work with a team of experimental and computational biologists applying cutting edge single-cell methods. Our lab has a profound interest in the development of novel algorithms for the analysis of single-cell data. You will acquire expertise in computational analysis of single-cell data and you will focus on the development of computational algorithms addressing a number of challenges: (1) The increasing size and complexity of single-cell data sets require efficient algorithms that can deal with massive amounts of data. (2) Novel methods have to integrate data produced by different techinques, e.g. spatial gene expression maps and single-cell transcriptomes. (3) Models of gene regulation have to be derived from these multi-modal data that can be specifically tested in follow-up experiments. You will also have the possibility to learn and apply wet lab techniques for single-cell analysis.

Your qualifications

  • MSc plus PhD in physics, mathematics, life science, natural science, or comparable experience
  • Strong background in statistics, modeling, and computational data analysis
  • Basic knowledge of next-generation sequencing data analysis
  • Profound interest in molecular biology and stem cell differentiation
  • 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. Successful applicants will have a strong track record in computational analysis and/or modeling of biological data. The applicant will be familiar with next-generation sequencing data and will have a profound interest in questions related to stem cell differentiation. Your desire to understand biological problems is a must, and prior experience in the field stem cell differentiation and immunology or epigenetics is a 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.

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. A childcare facility is directly attached to the institute.


Have we sparked your interest? Please submit your complete application, including a CV via our online application portal until December 15th, 2017.

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
Stübeweg 51
79108 Freiburg

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