Postdoctoral Position in Computational Single-Cell Biology (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg

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

Type of Job


Postdoctoral Position in Computational Single-Cell Biology (m/f/d)

Job offer from June 15, 2020

The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, has an opening for an ERC funded postdoc position (m/f/d) in computational 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. We are 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 and high-resolution spatial imaging approaches. We explore immune cell differentiation in diverse tissue contexts and focus on the liver to study cell state plasticity in health and disease, integrating mouse models with the analysis of human patient material and organoid systems.

The position offers the opportunity to apply machine learning techniques, statistical methods, and mathematical modeling to multilayered single-cell data with an emphasis on the integration of single-cell RNA-seq and spatial imaging-based single-cell data to interrogate the role of cell-cell interactions during cell fate decisions within complex tissues.

The Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg, Germany is an interdisciplinary research institution that conducts basic research in two key areas of modern biology: Immunbiology and Epigenetics. Central questions address the molecular basis of cell type identities, as they are regulated during immune cell differentiation, metabolic response and epigenetic chromatin adaptation.

Your tasks:

Your aim is to understand how the interplay of distinct cell types shapes and maintains a complex tissue. Possible projects involve (1) the development of computational methods for the integrative modeling of single-cell sequencing and spatial imaging data with single-molecule resolution (seqFISH) to correlate extrinsic signals with cell fate predictions, (2) developing improved methods for quantifying gene expression noise, and (3) integrating the inference of gene expression noise dynamics with cell fate prediction to elucidate the role of gene expression noise during stem cell differentiation. The projects will built on recent algorithms from our group, e.g., Grün (2019) Nature Methods, Herman et al. (2018) Nature Methods, and enable further characterization of our recently discovered liver epithelial cell progenitor population – Aizarani et al. (2019) Nature.

Your qualifications:

  • PhD in physics, mathematics, life science, natural science, or comparable,
  • Strong background in at least one of the following disciplines: machine learning, statistics, mathematical modeling,
  • Strong programming skills in high-level (e.g. C/C++) and/or scripting languages (Perl/Python),
  • Proficiency of the R programming language is a plus,
  • Proficiency of next-generation sequencing data analysis and/or image 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. 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.

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. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. A childcare facility is directly attached to the institute.

Application deadline:

Have we sparked your interest? Please submit your complete application, including a CV via our online application portal until 15th of July 2020.

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics
Stübeweg 51
79108 Freiburg

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