PhD Position - Investigating Tumor Heterogeneity

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
January 18, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Position:PhD Position - Investigating Tumor Heterogeneity

Department: Precision Sarcoma Research

Code number: 2022-0474

The German Cancer Research Center is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. With more than 3,000 employees, we operate an extensive scientific program in the field of cancer research.

The Precision Sarcoma Junior Research Group (Leader: Dr. Priya Chudasama) at the German Cancer Research Center offers a PhD position in an interdisciplinary and collaborative research project within the ‘Heterogeneity, Evolution, and Resistance in Oncogenic fusion gene-Expressing Sarcomas affecting Adolescents and Young Adults (HEROES-AYA)' consortium, a multi-institutional effort funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Job description:

Sarcomas, or malignant tumors of soft tissue and bone (World Health Organization classification), are a heterogeneous group of more than 200 cancer subtypes that arise from primitive mesenchymal tissue, such as bone, cartilage, muscle, peripheral nerves, and fat. About one third of sarcomas are characterized by recurrent genetic changes known as oncogenic fusions created by structural rearrangements such as chromosomal translocations. This project focuses on functional characterization of intra-tumoral heterogeneity (ITH) - associated events, such as mutations, in fusion-driven sarcoma tumor samples that will be identified by integrative bulk, single-cell and spatial multi- omics approaches. The ITH-associated events will gene-edited (using CRISPR/Cas9) into suitable cell models, which will be subjected to functional genomic screens and mechanistic investigation to reveal genotype-selective therapeutic targets and resistance-associated signaling networks. This effort is aimed towards improved understanding of the biology of fusion-driven sarcomas and nomination of effective targeted treatment for these devastating yet understudied group of cancers.

You will have an exciting opportunity to work on your PhD thesis in an international and collaborative team while advancing precision medicine for rare group of cancers. You will hone your soft skills by presenting your work in regular meetings and conferences and have access to career development program of DKFZ and mentorship to advance your personal career goals.


  • Master's degree or equivalent in molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology or a related field
  • Profound knowledge of cancer biology and immuno-oncology
  • Proficiency in the programming languages Python and/or R
  • Track record of working with cancer genomics datasets, single-cell and spatial technologies will be considered a plus
  • Ability to work independently in a highly collaborative environment and with proactive work attitude and team spirit, ability to drive the projects by own initiative and creativity
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English, enthusiasm to communicate scientific findings in meetings and conferences
  • We offer:

  • Interesting, versatile workplace
  • International, attractive working environment
  • Campus with modern state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Access to international research networks
  • Doctoral student payment including social benefits
  • Flexible working hours
  • Comprehensive training and mentoring program through the Helmholtz International Graduate School
  • Important notice:

    The DKFZ is subject to the regulations of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG). As a consequence, only persons who present proof of immunity against measles may work at the DKFZ.

    Earliest Possible Start Date: as soon as possible

    Duration: The position is limited to 3 years. ​​

    Application Deadline: 18.01.2023


    Dr. Priya Chudasama Phone +49 6221 42 1600

    Please note that we do not accept applications submitted via email.

    The DKFZ is committed to increase the proportion of women in all areas and positions in which women are underrepresented. Qualified female applicants are therefore particularly encouraged 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 (https: // www.

    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.

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