Jobs blur

PhD Position in Cancer Systems Biology (m/f/d)

PhD student

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) is one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions. Max Delbrück, a Berlin native, was a Nobel laureate and one of the founders of molecular biology. At the MDC’s locations in Berlin-Buch and Mitte, researchers from some 60 countries analyze the human system – investigating the biological foundations of life from its most elementary building blocks to systems-wide mechanisms. By understanding what regulates or disrupts the dynamic equilibrium in a cell, an organ, or the entire body, we can prevent diseases, diagnose them earlier, and stop their progression with tailored therapies. Patients should benefit as soon as possible from basic research discoveries. The MDC therefore supports spin-off creation and participates in collaborative networks. It works in close partnership with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in the jointly run Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC ), the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité, and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK). Founded in 1992, the MDC today employs 1,600 people and is funded 90 percent by the German federal government and 10 percent by the State of Berlin.

The MDC is dedicated to interdisciplinary biomedical research with the aim to translate basic research findings into clinical applications. At its two research locations in Berlin the MDC is expanding in relevant biomedical research fields, for example, Medical Systems Biology, including Imaging Technologies and Data Sciences. Research at the MDC covers a wide range of applications from basic sciences to (pre-)clinical research in various areas of diseases. Research groups and technology platforms are integrated in numerous collaborative research projects and technology developments with national and international partners.
A PhD position is available in the research group of Dr. Fabian Coscia at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) in Berlin, Germany.

Job Description

The Coscia lab is undertaking translational research projects involving mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics of archived tissue specimens and preclinical models for patient phenotyping and biomarker discovery. For this purpose, a combination of tools including multi-level proteomics (expression-, interaction- phospho-proteomics) and functional cell biology assays are used and developed. The successful candidate will make use of our recently described multimodal concept Deep Visual Proteomics (DVP), which combines high-resolution imaging, machine learning and ultra-sensitive proteomics (, The candidate will further develop and apply this new and exciting technology in the field of precision oncology.
We are a highly collaborative research group and closely work with clinical scientists to better understand cancer treatment resistance (and sensitivity) with the goal to identify new therapeutic vulnerabilities and improve patient stratification. You will join a young and enthusiastic team of scientists working at the cutting edge of proteomics and genomics. You will have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation (mass spectrometry, high-resolution microscopy, NGS) and artificial intelligence guided computational workflows.


The candidate should have a strong interest in developing and applying mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics approaches to study human health and (cancer) disease. A solid background in (cancer) cell biology and cell culture techniques, imaging or proteomics is advantageous. Excellent communication skills in English are required. Instead of a detailed cover letter, we expect you to write a 1-page project proposal demonstrating your intrinsic motivation and how you would integrate the DVP technology to answer previously unanswered biomedical questions, preferably in the field of cancer research. To apply, a master’s degree (or equivalent) in biology, biotechnology, medicine, molecular medicine, chemistry, computer science, data science, engineering, mathematics, physics or a related field, is required.

We offer

  • International working environment with communication in English and German
  • Interesting career opportunities and a comprehensive range of qualification and further training opportunities
  • Compatibility of family and career certified by the berufundfamilie audit
  • Varied support for "New Berliners" (Welcome & Family Office)
  • Company health management with fitness center

You also benefit from:

  • A remuneration in accordance with the collective agreement for the federal public service (TVöD-Bund), including additional company pension schemes
  • Flexible working hours and childcare support
  • An idyllic green campus, which is easily accessible by bicycle, public transport or car

Further Information:

Job Type:

Spatial Proteomics

Application Period:
May 25, 2021

MDC Berlin-Buch

PhD researchers are fully funded through an initial 3-year employment contract with the MDC, according to 65% TVöD 13 (monthly net payment of approximately 1600 EUR). Health and social insurance are included in the contract. Salaries are competitive to the national standards.

Employment volume:

Desired starting date:
July 01, 2021

Fixed Term
The initial contract will be offered for 3 years with the possibility of extension.

Fabian Coscia
Spatial Proteomics

Parity and equal status:
The MDC is committed to diversity and actively promotes equal opportunities for all employees regardless of their origin, religion, ideology, health impairment, age or sexual identity. We look forward to receiving applications from open-minded people who enjoy working in diverse teams. Applications from severely disabled persons will be given special consideration.

Enquiries about the position should be addressed to For information about the MDC, please visit our web site (
Applications from women are explicitly encouraged.

Apply now