As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle.

The Helmholtz Pioneer Campus (HPC) is an innovation campus with a startup culture, founded and funded by the Helmholtz Zentrum München. HPC stands for the smart fusion of biomedical sciences, engineering and digitization in a research environment that has no parallel in Europe.

The 3D Genome and Molecular Neuroscience group headed by Dr. Boyan Bonev is looking for a highly motivated Postdoctoral Fellow interested in studying how 3D nuclear architecture regulates gene expression and cell fate specification in the developing mouse neocortex. The project will utilize cutting-edge technologies such as mouse transgenics, single cell perturbations, and genome engineering in order to address how epigenetic regulation contributes to neuronal maturation and connectivity in vivo.

Postdoctoral Fellow - Epigenetic regulation of neuronal identity and circuit formation (f/m/d) 2019/0198

The challenge

The Bonev lab studies how 3D genome organization and epigenetic modifications regulate cell identity during brain development. Using highly interdisciplinary approaches such as single cell multi-omics, live imaging and computational biology, we aim to understand how chromatin landscape influences cell fate decisions in development and evolution. We are based at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and hence part of an excellent network dedicated to epigenetics and neurosciences including the MPI for Neurobiology, the LMU and TU Munich as well as broad international collaborations.

We have previously discovered that regulating 3D chromatin architecture and enhancer-promoter interactions plays an important role in the control of gene expression and cell fate (Bonev et al., Cell 2017). Using ultrahigh resolution Hi-C in purified cell populations in vivo we have uncovered thousands of cell-type specific regulatory contacts during neuronal differentiation. However, how 3D genome organization is changed in postmitotic neurons during maturation and exposure to stimuli is largely unknown. The goal of this exciting research project is to uncover the epigenetic mechanisms behind neuronal maturation, study how cell-type specific 3D regulatory loops are regulated in postmitotic neurons and what are the consequences for gene expression upon stimulation.

Your profile

Our ambitious and interdisciplinary team consists of passionate and motivated people from around the world. To further support our research, we are looking for talents willing to develop and execute the next breakthrough ideas. Ideal candidates therefore require:

  • PhD in the life sciences or related disciplines
  • Good publication record with evidence of independence (at least one first-author publication in an international journal)
  • Strong background in chromatin biology and NGS approaches (ATAC-seq, RNA-seq, Hi-C)
  • Experience with mouse genetics and cortical development is highly preferred
  • Experience with single cell and CRISPR-based technologies is preferred but not required
  • Fluent in written and spoken English

What we offer you

A challenging and versatile field of work providing you with the freedom to follow your instinct and be creative. With the help of extensive and goal-orientated professional development measures and career-building programmes we encourage you to grow as a person. To ensure a good work/life balance we assist you with flexible working hours, in-house health management, a nursery, child care subsidy where required and an “Elder Care” concept as well as other consultation and support options.

Remuneration and benefits are in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (TV EntgO Bund).

The position is (initially) limited to two years.

The activity involves special knowledge and experience specific to own scientific skills.

As a holder of the Total E-Quality Award, we promote equality of opportunity. In order to increase the proportion of women in management positions, we would be pleased to receive corresponding applications. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.

We are looking forward to receiving your online application (motivation letter, CV, contact details of at least 2 referees and a brief description of research interests and future plans) in a single pdf file. 

Curious? We encourage your inquiries directly to Dr. Boyan Bonev.

Dr. Boyan Bonev
Phone: 089 2180-71902

Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Helmholtz Pioneer Campus
Marchioninistraße 25

81377 München

The Helmholtz Zentrum München is part of the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest scientific organization. Altogether 40 000 people currently work in its 19 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centers. The Association's annual budget amounts to around 4.7 billion Euros.