Job:Postdocs in Computational Biology / Statistical Data Analysis at EMBL and Univ. Hospital Heidelberg: mechanisms of drug response from ex-vivo large-scale drug testing and multi-omics in cancer
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EMBL European Molecular Biology Laborat…

EMBL Heidelberg and NCT are looking for two postdoctoral researchers to join the groups of Wolfgang Huber at EMBL (P1) and Thorsten Zenz at NCT (P2). They will develop statistical and computational methods for the integrative analysis of these phenotypic, genetic and multi-omic data types, including advanced new phenotyping assays (e.g. high-throughput microscopy) and mine these data for biological discovery and medical utilization. The positions are set at the cutting edge of scientific research related to mechanisms of disease, personalized medicine, genome bioinformatics and statistics, and its clinical translation.

The tasks will include:

• Analysis of high-throughput, high-content cell-based assays on primary tumour material with pharmacological (cancer drugs) and genetic interventions
• Analysis of multi-omic data including whole genome and exome sequencing, RNA-Seq, methylome, proteomics
• Integrative analysis and modelling of these data types
• Personalized computer models of signalling activities, cross-talks and drug sensitivities / resistances in tumours
• Development of experimental platforms to proof / validate mechanistic insights

Work on these tasks will be shared with a focus on statistical method development and theoretical aspects by P1, and applied, experimental and medical aspects by P2. Both positions will have a strong computational profile. Moreover, P2 will drive the biological mining of these data and the design and execution of follow-up experiments and of further, higher resolution large-scale screens. Both positions will be offered joint affiliation with both research groups.

Qualifications and Experience

The positions are highly inter-disciplinary. P1 requires PhD-level expertise in statistics, physics, computer science, bioinformatics, or a related field. P2 requires PhD-level expertise in functional genomics, cancer biology, cellular signalling, or a related field. Applicants for both positions are expected to have inter-disciplinary interests and be willing to actively engage in all mentioned fields. Proficiency in computer programming (R, Python, or related languages) and in large-scale data analysis is required for both positions, in addition P1 will be able to drive and implement theoretical method development, and P2 will be able to mechanistically dissect biological mechanisms using wet and dry tools.

An appropriate publication record (incl. academic papers and scientific software) is expected.

The positions require the ability to independently take responsibility over your project, strong teamwork and communication skills, reliability, attention to detail and effective time management.


The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the highest ranked scientific research organisations in the world. The Headquarters Laboratory is located in Heidelberg (Germany), with additional sites in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Hinxton (UK) and Monterotondo (Italy).

The National Center of Tumor Disease (NCT) is a joint Comprehensive Cancer Centre of the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Centre (dkfz) aimed at providing world class translational cancer research and cancer care.

SOUND is an international research project funded by the European Commission (EC) within its Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme “Personalizing Health and Care”. Its objective is to create the bioinformatic tools for statistically informed use of personal genomes and levels other ‘omic data (multi-omics) in medicine, including cancers and rare metabolic diseases. It comprises partners from top research institutions including Cambridge, Munich, Zurich, Seattle, Heidelberg and Lisbon, and will run from September 2015 for 3 years.

SMART is a precision oncology initiative for blood cancer, lead by the NCT, which uses innovative large-scale ex-vivo drug response phenotyping approaches of primary (patient) tumours together with comprehensive multi-omic characterization for personalized and stratified treatment design.

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