Jobs blur

Fully Funded PhD Student Position – RNA biology in oxygen sensing

Wissenschaftler / Doktoranden

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) is one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions. At the 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. Patients should benefit as soon as possible from our 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 at Charité, and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research. 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.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to investigate the molecular mechanisms of rapid oxygen sensing, and the roles of RNA in this response.

Ihre Aufgaben

The Sugimoto lab is investigating the molecular mechanisms of environment sensing by human cells. Oxygen is an essential molecule for life. However, many key physiological responses to oxygen availability, such as the rapid control of vascular and respiratory systems, remain to be understood. We aim to address these fundamental questions of biology using innovative genomics approaches, mainly from the perspective of RNA biology (Sugimoto et al., Nature 2015; Sugimoto and Ratcliffe, bioRxiv 2021). We are currently investigating the mechanisms of oxygen-dependent changes in protein-RNA interactions (e.g. by phase separation), and in mRNA translation. We are also working to utilize the knowledge from our research to treat diseases such as cancer, vascular and neurodegenerative disease, and viral infections. We are looking for a PhD student who will extend our existing projects. The Sugimoto lab is a young laboratory at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC). We offer a vibrant and collaborative research environment and an access to state of the art technologies.

A fully funded PhD student position is available from September 2022 in the Sugimoto lab. The PhD student will investigate the enzymes whose activity is modulated by the availability of oxygen, and their roles in gene expression regulation. We are particularly interested in the regulation at the level of RNA (e.g. alternative splicing, mRNA translation, mRNA degradation, and formation of molecular condensates by phase separation), but the scope of the project can be extended. To this end, the student will employ and develop cutting edge genomics and/or single cell technologies, along with data science (e.g machine learning) to analyze the data. The project is anticipated to reveal novel oxygen sensing mechanisms of human cells, and offer insights on treating various diseases.

Ihr Profil

An ideal candidate has a passion to address fundamental questions of biology and an eagerness to learn/develop new techniques. The postholder will hold a diploma/master degree (or near completion), in a discipline of molecular, cell, or computational biology. The postholder will have experience in basic molecular and cell biology techniques. Previous experience in RNA biology is a plus. The ability to work independently and as part of a team is essential.

Ihre Benefits

  • 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
  • An idyllic green campus, which is easily accessible by bicycle, public transport or car
  • A secure job, even in uncertain times
  • Flexible working hours and childcare support
  • On-campus nursery (nursery is free in Berlin)
  • Subsidy for the job ticket as well as discounts in the campus canteen
  • Additional health benefits such as flu vaccination, eye test, ergonomics advice at the workplace, hygiene measures (medical mouth-nose protection, self-tests, disinfectants)
  • Free use of Nextbike from the Buch S-Bahn station to the campus



22. August 2022

MDC Berlin-Buch

Remuneration will be according to the TVöD Bund, depending on the personal requirements, up to the fee group 13.


Gewünschter Eintrittstermin:
01. September 2022


Yoichiro Sugimoto
AG Sugimoto

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 including a cover letter (summarizing your research experience and motivation), CV (without photo, age and information about your family status) and contact information for at least two references.

If you have a foreign degree, please submit proof of the recognition of your Master's degree in Germany with your application. The proof can be determined via the anabin database ( and can be submitted as a PDF attachment to the application.

Jetzt bewerben