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Scientific Coworker / Postdoc (f/m)

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum / German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Heidelberg, 20.06.2017

The German Cancer Research Center is committed to increase the percen­tage of female scien­tists and encour­ages female appli­cants to apply. Among candi­dates of equal aptitude and quali­fi­ca­tions, a person with dis­abili­ties will be given preference.

To apply for a position please use our online application portal (

We ask for your understanding that we cannot return application documents that are sent to us by post (Deutsches Krebs­forschungs­zentrum, Personal­abteilung, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg) and that we do not accept applications sub­mitted via email. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The German Cancer Re­search Center is the largest bio­medi­cal re­search insti­tu­tion in Germany. With approx­imate­ly 3,000 em­ployees, we operate an exten­sive scien­tific program in the field of cancer research.

The Division of Episomal-Persistent DNA in Cancer- and Chronic Diseases is seeking a

Scientific Coworker / Postdoc

(Ref-No. 180/2017)

A strongly increasing number of small single-stranded episomal-persisting DNA agents are identified by high-throughput DNA sequencing from samples of most different origin, but mainly from cattle, in part being infectious in humans. It is of utmost importance to decipher putative functions and biological activities of these agents, as there is increasing evidence that these agents might act as human pathogens.

Our division “Episomal-Persistent DNA in Cancer- and Chronic Diseases” isolates and characterizes disease-associated DNA from numerous sample materials, like e.g. milk, bovine sera, but also human samples e.g. related to multiple sclerosis. Exemplarily, more recent studies suggest an association of such DNA agents with the development of chronic neurodegenerative diseases. A central goal of this project is the isolation and identification of even more of such putative pathogenic DNAs and to elucidate whether these DNAs are bio-active and how they may contribute to the development of certain pathologies / cancers, which may serve as a milestone for intervention (vaccination / targeted therapy). This includes establishment of pre-clinical serological / protein screening assays for identification of patients at risk.

In this very multifaceted project the successful candidate exploits experimental techniques in the field of molecular biology, cell biology, immunology, virology as well as high throughput methodology (RNA sequencing, mass spectrometry, serological / protein screening assays, DNA / RNA / protein interaction screening) in order to characterize these novel DNA sequences and their interactions with the host cell. In general, the project comprises the level of DNA (genome), RNA (transcriptome) as well as the level of potentially encoded proteins (proteome) and their effects on infection. We offer a scientific project with excellent technical facilities, a place in a dynamic and creative international team with strong scientific collaborations.

Your profile:
The successful candidate should hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) in life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, microbiology, virology, medicine) with a strong motivation for exploring a completely new research field and for establishment of new experimental procedures, both working as a team-player but at the same time also independently. Theoretical knowledge in the following subjects is mandatory: microbiology, molecular biology, infection biology, cellular biology, immunology. Interest in mechanisms of pathogenicity would be helpful as well as profound experience with biostatistics, cell culture and/or protein biochemistry.

Further qualifications:
  • You are a cooperative team player and easily communicate with your international lab members in English
  • Software for data analysis / documentation: MS office: Word, Excel; Photoshop, bio-statistical analysis; interest in large data set pipeline analysis, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis
  • Reliable and flexible way of working with proper documentation; hands-on mentality with high level of organization and strongest motivation for the scientific project

Please send a single pdf file including CV (Germans: copies of Abitur- and Diplomzeugnis), a cover letter stating research and career interests, and expected availability date. Two to three letters of reference would be appreciated.

The position is initially limited to 2 years, with the
possibility of prolongation. The position can in
principle be part-time.

For further information please contact
Prof. Harald zur Hausen,
phone +49 6221 42-3850.