Computational Biologist – Functional Annotation of Cancer Variants by Integrative Analysis of High-throughput CRISPR Assays


The German Cancer Research Center is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. With more than 2,700 employees, we operate an extensive scientific program in the field of cancer research.

The Division of Signaling and Functional Genomics is seeking a

Computational Biologist

Functional Annotation of Cancer Variants by Integrative Analysis of High-throughput CRISPR Assays

(Ref-No. 152/2016)

Come work on the frontier of cancer genomics. What do rare recurrent mutations do How do cancer mutations functionally group by phenotype How do they genetically interact with each other and with drugs How can we exploit these for better cancer treatments

The position is part of an exciting new collaboration between the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Heidelberg (EMBL; Wolfgang Huber), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ; Michael Boutros, Claudia Scholl, Benedikt Brors), the National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT; Stefan Fröhling) and Heidelberg University (Ingrid Lohmann) to systematically uncover the biological function of cancer mutations and their impact on cellular networks.

Cancer genomics (such as our own efforts at DKFZ and NCT as well as ICGC, TCGA) has provided us with comprehensive catalogs of somatic cancer mutations, which we now aim to exploit for the development of ‘omics’-informed medicine. However, most of the mutations have unclear biological relevance. This challenge is addressed within our new collaborative research program that aims to systematically annotate the function and relevance of altered genes and their networks in cancer, using systematic arrays of large-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screens in panels of human cell lines engineered to carry uncharacterized cancer mutations.

The specific focus of this position will be to exploit and develop methods for integrative data analysis, including the creation of synthetic genetic interaction maps of cancer mutations. These analyses will give us insights into the function of unknown genetic variants, their regulatory relationships with other genes and networks, their synthetic lethal interactors, and will highlight new drug targets and repurposing opportunities.

The position will be shared between the groups of W. Huber (Multi-Omics and Statistical Computing) at EMBL and M. Boutros (Signaling and Functional Genomics) at DKFZ. The position holder will closely collaborate with the entire team of the joint research program. The position is based at DKFZ. Please contact W. Huber for any further information.

References:, Fischer et al. 2015 (PMID:26912791), Breinig et al. 2015 (PMID: PMID:26700849), Laufer et al. 2013 (PMID:23563794), Huber et al. 2015 (PMID:25633503)

Your profile:
The position requires outstanding quantitative and analytical skills. We are looking for candidates with Ph.D. level education in statistics, mathematics, physics, computer science or related fields, who are looking to make an impact in biomedical research. Curiosity to work in interdisciplinary projects and continuously expand your horizon is expected. Expertise in scientific computing is required, including low-level (e.g. C) and high-level (e.g. R) languages. Experience in large-scale data analysis will be useful. An appropriate record of productivity (evidenced e.g. by academic papers or scientific software) is expected. The position requires the ability to independently take responsibility over your project, strong teamwork and communication skills, reliability, attention to detail and effective time management. Applications should include a CV, cover letter, certificates, expected availability date, a complete list of publications and 2-3 references.

The position is limited to 2 years. The position can in principle be part-time.

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Michael Boutros, phone +49 6221 42-1950.

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, Personal- und Sozialwesen, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg) and that we do not accept applications submitted via email. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Don’t forget to mention Naturejobs when applying.

Source: Nature Jobs

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