PhD student* in high-throughput and high-content assay development for drug screening with patient-derived tumor organoids

The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM is one of around 74 institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the largest organization for application-oriented research in Europe. The aim of research at Fraunhofer ITEM is to protect people in our industrialized world from health risks and to participate in the development of new therapeutic approaches.

At the division of “Personalized Tumor Therapy”  in Regensburg we focus on the metastasis of solid tumors and develop new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for systemic cancer. For TRR 305 project A07 at Fraunhofer ITEM in Regensburg (PI: Dr. Kamran Honarnejad), we are seeking a highly motivated young scientist to develop patient-derived tumor organoid screening platforms for high-throughput/high-content drug discovery, drug repurposing and guiding precision therapy in metastasis.

The position is part of the DFG-funded collaborative research consortium TRR 305 that will become the largest metastasis research consortia in Europe, comprising 18 interdisciplinary research and three core projects between Universities of Regensburg, FAU Erlangen and the Fraunhofer Society.

What we expect from you

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, molecular medicine or other relevant fields).
  • Strong interest in cancer biology (background and prior practical exposure to cancer biology methods would be an asset).
  • Experience in mammalian cell culture is highly appreciated (e.g. prior experience in isolation, expansion and characterization of primary tumor cells and 3D models would confer a strong advantage).
  • Strong affinity to assay development, HTS, automated liquid handling and pipetting robot systems, compound library management is advantageous.
  • Interest and enthusiasm for high-content phenotypic screening, image analysis, developing pipelines for analysis and visualization of large-scale screening datasets in collaboration with other team members is desirable.
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated self-starting personality, commitment, enthusiasm, adaptability, teamwork, and positive attitude.
  • Very good verbal communication and writing skills in English. Basic knowledge of German language is beneficial.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in an international team

What you can expect from us

  • You will be associated to the University of Regensburg’s International Graduate School for Life Sciences’ (RIGeL) PhD program as well as the specific educational program of TRR 305.
  • We offer you an exciting research environment at the interface between precision oncology, drug discovery, HTS and lab automation science.
  • You will have the opportunity to work in an infrastructure equipped with state of the art high-throughput screening technologies and to impact the life of cancer patients by implementing bed-to-bench-to-bed personalized therapy approaches.
  • You will become part of a dynamic team in an innovative scientific environment (academic, pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostic and clinical partners).

Remuneration up to TVöD pay grade 13 (dependent on qualifications).
The remuneration is 65% of an EG 13 TVöD.
The position is initially limited to 3 years.
The weekly working time is 65% of a fulltime-position.
People with disabilities are given preference if equally qualified.
Please note that the chosen occupational title also includes the third gender. The Fraunhofer Society emphasises genderindependent professional equality.

Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. As a result, the work undertaken by our researchers and developers has a significant impact on people’s lives. We are creative. We shape technology. We design products. We improve methods and techniques. We open up new vistas.

Applications must include a motivation letter, curriculum vitae (with publication list, if applicable), a brief description of research experience and a concept paper on how to tackle this specific project (about ½ page – ¾ page max.) as well as contact information of two references. Applications without concept paper will not be considered.

For more information:
Questions about this position will be answered by:
Dr. Kamran Honarnejad
Tel: +49 941 298480-54

Job Reference: ITEM-2021-13 Closing Date: 31.03.2021