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PostDoc position (m/f/d) in the area of ‘Autophagy in the immune system’

postdoc / scientific staff

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.

A two-year PostDoc position (m/f/d) according to German pay grade 13, with the possibility of extension, is available from April 2022 in the group of Anna Katharina (Katja) Simon at the Max-Delbrück-Center in Berlin in the area of ‘Autophagy in the immune system’
The Simon group studies the role of autophagy in fate, function and aging of immune cells, investigating immune metabolism, inflammation and immunity. Our work is at the molecular and organismal level and we also translate our findings into humans in clinical trials. See Riffelmacher et al, Immunity 2017, Clarke et al, JEM 2018, Zhang et al, Mol Cell 2019, Alsaleh et al, Elife 2020 for recent examples. We recently reviewed this field in Clarke et al, Nat Rev Immunology 2018. The Simon Group is moving to the MDC in April 2021, while retaining an affiliation with Oxford University UK.

Job Description

The MDC offers a highly vibrant scientific environment, with state-of-the-art infrastructure for immunological platforms such as flow cytometry, for single cell transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics, imaging and in vivo work. Numerous interactions with other groups working in immunology, metabolism, cell biology and ‘OMICS on our Campus in Berlin-Buch are available.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join the Simon Group. The research is at the interface of cell biology, immunology and metabolism. You will work on their own independent project and also closely with all members of the two research teams in Berlin (about 8 members) and Oxford (4 members). The project is to understand the link between autophagy, proteostasis and aging of the immune system.

You will be responsible for the development of the research project and plan new studies with other team members and test hypotheses and analyse scientific data from a variety of sources, reviewing and refining working hypotheses as appropriate. You will supervise junior members of the lab, actively participate in meetings at group, institute and departmental level, maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all findings, and make these available to other members of the team.


You will hold a PhD (or near completion) in a discipline of direct relevance to autophagy, immunology and metabolism. The postholder will have experience in typical immunological techniques, such as flow cytometry, tissue culture of primary immune cells, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, metabolism, in vivo models and preferentially in proteomics, metabolomics and transcriptomics. You will have had at least one high profile first author publication, some experience in giving presentations in international conference, be confident in the English scientific language both written and oral.
A keen interest in learning and developing new techniques, willingness to travel to national and international meetings and the ability to work effectively under pressure, both alone or as part of a team is essential.

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

Cell Biology of Immunity

Application Period:
February 15, 2022

MDC Berlin-Buch

Remuneration will be according to the TVöD Bund, depending on the personal requirements according to German pay grade 13.

Employment volume:
Full Time

Desired starting date:
April 01, 2022

Fixed Term
A two-year PostDoc position with the possibility of extension

Katja Simon
Cell Biology of Immunity

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, including a cover letter, CV, references as well as relevant educational and degree certificates)

Apply now