Limited: 31.12.2023 | Starting date: earliest possible | ID: FSPO009/2021 | Deadline: open | Full-time

DESY, with its 2700 employees at its two locations in Hamburg and Zeuthen, is one of the world's leading research centres. Its research focuses on decoding the structure and function of matter, from the smallest particles of the universe to the building blocks of life. In this way, DESY contributes to solving the major questions and urgent challenges facing science, society and industry. With its ultramodern research infrastructure, its interdisciplinary research platforms and its international networks, DESY offers a highly attractive working environment in the fields of science, technology and administration as well as for the education of highly qualified young scientists.

Can we describe the immune-response of a host infected by a virus or bacterium on a quantitative, predictive level?
The project is focused on the numerical study of the immune response following a bacterial or viral infection in a mouse animal model. The successful applicant will develop a kinetic, physiologically based immune­response model, adapting existing pharmacokinetic models and multi-scale models of the immune response. The candidate will develop a comprehensive multi-compartment model - compartments corresponding to specific organs, tissues and interconnections thereof - that will map the relevant anatomical, physiological and biochemical structure of the mouse body, and by a transport & rate-equation model follow the evolution of the pathogens, cytokines and relevant cells (for example Th17 cells and CD4+ T cell differentiation) of the immune system.

The project is a collaboration with the group of Prof. Samuel Huber (UKE, University Medical Center Hamburg-­Eppendorf) and will initially focus on computational immunology of the immune response against pathogenic bacteria causing intestinal inflammation and tissue damage, for which a variety of data exist from previous studies. In a later stage of the project, the study will be complemented by X-ray fluorescence imaging of marked relevant lymphocytes in infected mice (in collaboration with Prof. Florian Grüner, Universität Hamburg), to benchmark the theoretical model with experimental data. Finally, we envision applications of the combined theoretical and experimental approach to model and study the immune response of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

We offer an exciting, interdisciplinary, vivid research environment in Hamburg, with base at the DESY research campus (Prof. Nina Rohringer), linked to the UKE (Prof. Samuel Huber, University Medical Center Hamburg-­Eppendorf), Universität Hamburg (Prof. Florian Grüner), the CSSB (Center for Structural and Systems Biology, Prof. Michael Kolbe), the newly founded Center for Data and Computing in Natural Sciences (Prof. Jan Baumbach) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (Dr. Weibo Li).

About the role:
- Development of the quantitative immune-response model of Citrobacter Rodentium infection in a mouse model, based on existing data and publications
- Implementation of the immune-response model in the open-source COPASI framework
- Benchmarking of the immune-response model based on existing in vitro and in vivo studies of mice
- Benchmarking of the model against x-ray fluorescence imaging results in mouse model
- Adaption of the development of an immune-response model of the SARS-CoV-2 infection (provided that the underlying, necessary experimental and clinical data exist within the limited time frame of the project)

Good reasons to join:
Look forward to a unique working environment on our international research campus. We attach particular importance to appreciative cooperation and the well-being of our DESY employees. You will benefit from our family-friendly and collegial atmosphere, our established health management and occupational pension provision. As a public employer, we offer you a secure workplace and facilitate your individual career with our comprehensive training and development opportunities. Remuneration according to the collective labour agreement (TV-AVH).

To be successful in this role:
The candidate should have a PhD in systems biology or bioinformatics (alternatively in theoretical or computational physics with a strong interest in shifting careers into the direction of bioinformatics) or equivalent qualification
We are looking for a highly motivated individual that is able to work independently in a highly interdisciplinary environment
Knowledge of immunobiology or experience in computational immunology would be a big advantage
We are looking for a communicative person, with excellent proficiency in English, that is willing to work with multiple teams
For further information please contact Nina Rohringer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Screening of the applications will start right now, until the position is filled. Applications (cover letter, CV, copies of degree certificates and a list of 3 references that agreed to be contacted) should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by June 21, 2021.

We look forward to receiving your application via our application portal:

Apply now

DESY promotes the professional development of women and therefore strongly encourages women to apply for the position to be filled. In addition, severely handicapped persons with equal aptitude are given preferential consideration. The advertised positions are basically suitable for part-time employment.

You can find further information here:

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Notkestraße 85
22607 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 8998-3392