PhD Students (f/m/d) in (stem) cell and tumor biology – Würzburg, Germany

Posted 2 years ago

The Mildred Scheel Nachwuchszentrum (MSNZ) for Cancer Research at the University and University Hospital of Würzburg is funded by the German Cancer Aid and brings together life scientists and clinicians to understand the mechanisms of tumour formation and to develop new therapeutic strategies. Our centre is looking for enthusiastic young scientists (f/m/d) with a background in Life Sciences who are keen to pursue PhD projects centred around the Tumour and Metastatic Microenvironment.

Applications are invited for 2 PhD student positions (1 position per Junior Research Group)

Group Kretzschmar (Adult Stem Cell Niches in Cancer): The group is interested in the adult stem cell niches of the oral cavity during tissue homoeostasis, regeneration, and cancer. Our aim is to understand why oral cancers are so heterogeneous in terms of their occurrences in different oral sites as well as their response to anti-cancer therapy. Within the project funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, the successful candidate will study how the oral epithelial stem cell niches are transformed during tumour initiation and progression. To investigate this process, the candidate will apply different cell and molecular biological techniques such as genetic lineage tracing, single-cell and spatial transcriptomics, and organoid technology. Previous experience with in vivo work, confocal microscopy, RNA sequencing and/or organoid cultures is highly advantageous but not obligatory.

Project start in June 2022 at the earliest (a later start can be negotiated).

Group Rasche (Multiple Myeloma): The group is interested in bone marrow cancers, particularly in the pathogenesis and evolution of Multiple Myeloma (MM). Our aim is to characterize the plasma cell survival niche on a single cell level to identify MM permissive cell-cell interactions, potentially changing our understanding of immunotherapies and informing therapeutically targeted future studies.

Within the advertised project, the successful candidate will implement single-cell and spatial transcriptomics methods. We are hence looking for a highly motivated individual with an interest in combining wet lab and computational analysis. Prior knowledge of bioinformatics analysis (e.g., R, Python) is beneficial but not obligatory.

Project start in May 2022 (earlier or later starting points can be negotiated).

Applicants will be expected to have an excellent graduate degree in biology, biomedicine, biochemistry, computational biology, bioinformatics, or related discipline, sound knowledge and interest in (stem) cell and tumour biology, strong lab skills and a good command of the English language.

Applications can be submitted until March 20th, 2022.

We offer:

The centre is located at the Institute for Virology and Immunobiology at the University of Würzburg with fully equipped and modern laboratories, state-of-the-art technology, competitive funding and access to core facilities.

    • Full-time appointment for 3-years, salary (TV-L, 65%), fixed-term, extension possible
    • Enrolment in the Graduate School of Life Science with broad research and skills training
    • Close collaborations with the Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the University Hospital, the Max Planck Institute for Systems Immunology and the Biocentre in Würzburg
    • Würzburg is a thriving place with local recreation areas and student/friendly vibes

We welcome applications from suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender or disability. The University and the University Hospital aim to increase the proportion of female employees, therefore applications from qualified women are particularly welcome. Preference will be given to people with disabilities in the case of otherwise equal aptitude. Working language is English, knowledge of the German language can be beneficial, but is not required.

If you would like to hear more about the projects, please get in touch with the relevant Group Leader. Please send applications including a cover letter (with a statement of motivation and the preferred group/project), curriculum vitae, relevant degree certificates and academic transcripts as well as contact details of 2 independent references (one of the referees should be the Master’s thesis supervisor) as a single PDF file (max. size: 10 MB) via email to Lukasz Lichorowicz (

About the MSNZ

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