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Postdoctoral Fellow Positions - Machine Learning in Cancer Research (Theoretical and Applied)

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Location: Heidelberg - Germany
Salary: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th November 2020
Closes: 11th December 2020
Job Ref: HD01864

About the team/job

The research groups of Wolfgang Huber at EMBL and of Sascha Dietrich at the University Hospital Heidelberg are looking for two statisticians / machine learning experts to work on models for single cell multi-omics data from large tumour cohorts. It is intended that one of these positions is more theory-oriented, the other more applied towards the exploitation of a new study and novel datasets in precision oncology using multimodal single cell omics. The positions are funded through a grant from the BMBF, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.


The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is an international scientific research organisation with sites in Heidelberg, Cambridge, Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg and Rome. The research group of Wolfgang Huber ( develops computational and statistical methods for emerging experimental techniques aimed at biological discovery and biomedical and biotechnological translation. 

The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Heidelberg is a leading biomedical research institution in Europe; its hospital is one of the largest medical centres in Germany. The research group of Sascha Dietrich aims to bring biology-based individualized treatment of lymphoma and leukemia into clinical practice; they use a systems medicine approach that integrates functional assays, multi-omic profiling, bioinformatic analysis, mathematical modeling and clinical exploitation. 

The two groups form a joint team within the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU) between EMBL and Heidelberg University Hospital. They also collaborate with the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), one of the largest cancer research centres in the world, on single cell omics technologies. Huber is a unit member of the Heidelberg node of the European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS).

Altogether, the open positions are placed in a highly motivated, collegial and international scientific environment with unique combined expertise in cell and molecular biology, bioinformatics, mathematical modelling and clinical care, and they provide the opportunity to train in an exciting and promising interdisciplinary area of research.

Your role

Postdoctoral Fellow 1, with primary association with the Huber group, will work on theoretical and conceptual method development, computational implementation and testing/benchmarking on existing and novel data. The objective is the learning of low-dimensional mathematical structures to model and understand tumour heterogeneity dynamics from single cell multimodal omics of large tumour cohorts. He/she will develop and apply methods for disentangling cell type composition and gene expression regulation as a function of tumour heterogeneity across and within patients, and dynamically as a function of disease progression and treatment, using methods including factor analysis, low-dimensional embeddings, manifold learning, autoencoders, or regression. 

Postdoctoral Fellow 2, with primary association with the Dietrich group, will design and develop ways to apply these, and other extant methods to single cell RNA-seq and CITE-seq data from clinical studies of blood cancers (incl. AML, myeloma, DLBCL) and drive biological discovery leading towards translation into clinical follow-up research and exploitation.

Application Instructions

Please apply online through 

Please contact Wolfgang Huber ( for questions.

Additional Information

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

To learn more about working & living in Germany, please visit:

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