The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in the Helmholtz Association is an international biomedical research center dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of health and disease with the goal to devise new diagnostics and medicines. The MDC is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest scientific organization, and offers an engaging research environment with cutting-edge research infrastructure. Currently, ~1250 employees and ~500 guest scientists work at the Berlin-Buch and Berlin-Mitte campuses. Our diverse workforce is a core strength that inspires creativity and innovation at the MDC.
The MDC is committed to improving human health through transformative biomedical research. Our goal is to pioneer discoveries for preventing, treating, and ultimately curing disease.
Subject: Studying alternative splicing at single-cell resolution
We are looking for a creative and motivated Postdoctoral Fellow or Computational Expert to investigate the function, regulation and evolutionary conservation of alternative splicing at single-cell resolution, primarily (but not only) in neurodevelopmental physiological and pathological contexts.
Contributing to a shared grant between Manuel Irimia (CRG-UPF, Barcelona) and Nikolaus Rajewsky (BIMSB-MDC) the candidate will engage in dynamic and highly multidisciplinary collaborations with several groups in Berlin as well as with colleagues in the Irimia lab in Barcelona, Spain.
Alternative splicing is a major mechanism for transcriptomic diversification, affecting 95% of human multi-exonic genes. It is essential for nearly all physiological processes in which it has been studied and its pathological importance is well established, particularly in cancer and neurological disorders. However, a major limitation of most of these studies has been the lack of single-cell resolution, which has also dragged the field of single-cell omics as a whole, since it is missing this important post-transcriptional layer. This lack of resolution has been largely due to various technical reasons. Nevertheless, in recent months, important progress at the methodology and analysis levels has been made, setting the field for groundbreaking discoveries and conceptual advances.
To achieve these goals, the candidate will develop and optimize computational tools to identify and quantify alternative splicing using data generated by different methods of single-cell transcriptomics (both short and long reads). By studying different experimental systems, we aim to answer questions such as:
- How extensive is alternative splicing heterogeneity among cells of the same type?
- How does this heterogeneity compare and associate with that at the gene expression level?
- How is alternative splicing mis-regulated in individual cell types in different disease contexts?
- How much do alternative splicing profiles contribute to define cell type identity?
- How are microexons and other cell type specific exons regulated during differentiation?
- How conserved is alternative splicing at the cell type level, and can we identify novel isoforms specific to rare cell types?
Preferred scientific background: A PhD in the fields of Bioinformatics, Functional Genomics and/or Molecular Biology.
Preferred technical expertise: The candidate should be highly experienced in computational transcriptomic analyses of single-cell RNA-seq and/or of alternative splicing. Previous experience in software development as well as successful interactions and collaborations with non-computational researchers will be highly advantageous for the application. Expertise in neurobiology and evolutionary genomics is not essential, but will be a plus.
Candidate profile: The candidate should be highly enthusiastic about engaging in collaborations, be able to work independently, and show creative thinking and proactivity.
- international working environment with communication in English and German
- interesting career opportunities and a range of opportunities for further qualification and training
- Compatibility of family and career certified by the workandfamily audit (“berufundfamilie audit”)
- Support for "New Berliners" through the MDC Welcome & Family Office
- On-campus health and 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
- Opportunities to perform research visits at the Irimia lab at the CRG (Barcelona, Spain)
- flexible working hours and childcare support
- Subsidy for the job ticket
- additional health benefits such as flu vaccination, eye test, ergonomics advice at the workplace
- A modern research building in the center of Berlin
- the possibility of mobile working