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PhD Student*Studentin (m/w/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 Experimental Ultra-High Field MR group, headed by Professor Thoralf Niendorf, is seeking a PhD student in the field of biomedical, medical physics, imaging, data science or related fields and experience in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), preferably in the field of cardio MRI (CMR). The candidate will be involved in the project " cardiacMRBIOPSY - Non-invasive Monitoring of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy using Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Virtual Biopsy“ and will be dealing with CMR-based “virtual biopsies” to track the kinetics of myocardial microstructural changes and to predict disease progression in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This project is sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the candidate will work together with scientists from Hasso-Plattner-Instituts (HPI) and other involved partners, among them scientists from Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Instituts (HHI).
We are looking for as soon as possible:
A PhD student in the field of biomedical, medical physics, imaging, data science or related fields experience in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Job Description

  • Optimization of novel cardiac MRI data acquisition methods for quantifying changes in the heart of small animals 
  • Application of novel cardiac MRI methods
  • Establishing a cardiac MRI phenotyping procedure for monitoring of disease kinetics in small animals
  • Longitudinal evaluation and analysis of a cardiac disease kinetics using MRI.
  • Application of microscopy and biochemistry methods to correlate with the imaging findings.
  • Quantitatively explore and correlate MRI imaging markers and histological parameters to detect interdependences across the whole cardiac disease course.
  • Imaging data analysis: applying spatial alignment and registration to correct the motion artifact of MRI data then contours the desired regions of interest using computational tools.
  • Determination of whether there is a statistically significant temporal relationship between imaging events in time series. Development of machine learning algorithms to predict disease progression using imaging markers and histological indices.
  • Exploring the impact of pharmacotherapies on myocardial remodeling process
  • Collaboration with internal and external groups and presentation of own activity through presentations, reports and publications (papers and PhD thesis).
  • Active participation in the MRI and cardiovascular society


  • The ability to work in a team, pro-active learning, interdisciplinary thinking skills, high level of initiative and commitments
  • University degree (diploma/master) in the field of biology, molecular medicine, biomedicine, medical physics, imaging, data science or related comparable
  • General technical understanding and experimental skills
  • Adequate knowledge of English speaking and writing
  • Basic knowledge of cardiovascular related topics
  • Basic knowledge of data processing
  • Practical experience in the performance and evaluation of MRI measurements is advantageous
  • Knowledge of one or more programming languages relevant to the task (e.g. Python, Matlab) is advantageous
  • Hands-on experience using animal (small rodents) as research models

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:


Application Period:
January 31, 2022

MDC Berlin-Buch

Die Vergütung erfolgt nach TVöD Bund, je nach Vorliegen der persönlichen Voraussetzungen bis Entgeltgruppe 13.

Employment volume:
Die Anzahl der Wochenstunden beträgt 25,35 Stunden.

Desired starting date:
April 01, 2022

Fixed Term
Die Stelle ist zunächst für 3 Jahre befristet.

Min-Chi Ku
AG Niendorf

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.

Please use our online portal and submit your application as one pdf file (5 MB max, including a cover letter, CV, references as well as relevant educational and degree certificates)

Apply now