Call for Application #2021-C04 closed since September 12, 2021

Extrachromosomal DNA in Cancer

Call closed!

1 Group Leader (all genders)
2 Postdoctoral Researchers (all genders)
2 Research Assistants (all genders)

What we are looking for

The BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, is establishing a new, fully funded research group in the field of:

Extrachromosomal DNA in Cancer

If you hold a PhD or master’s degree with an outstanding track record or strong interest in the field of oncology, we invite you to apply with a project proposal for a position in our new research group (1 group leader, 2 postdoctoral researchers, 2 research assistants). Each BioMed X project team is sponsored by an industry partner. The sponsor of this call for application is Merck.

Extrachromosomal circular DNA (ecDNA) was recently found to be particularly abundant in multiple human cancer cells, although its frequency varies among different cancer types. Elevated levels of ecDNA have been considered an effective biomarker of cancer pathogenesis. Multiple reports have demonstrated that the amplification of oncogenes and therapeutic resistance genes located on both, circular as well as non-circular extrachromosomal DNA is a frequent event that drives intratumoral genetic heterogeneity and provides a potential evolutionary advantage.

Project proposals should focus on the following key challenges:

  • Generation of a comprehensive atlas of extrachromosomal DNA (circular and non-circular amplicons) in human cancer tissues under treatment naïve conditions and following anti-cancer treatment;
  • Development of innovative assay systems and computational methodologies to investigate how (onco)genes in ecDNA could contribute to tumorigenesis, disease progression, tumor heterogeneity, metastasis, and treatment resistance;
  • Development of novel therapeutic strategies based on oncogenic alterations in ecDNA.

Original ideas based on preliminary experimental findings are particularly encouraged.

Group leader positions are intended to suit candidates who would like to develop themselves towards a leadership career path either in academia or industry and have typically between four and eight years of relevant postdoctoral research experience. Candidates for postdoctoral positions are expected to have completed a PhD or equivalent within the last four years and a certain degree of specialization in one or more relevant cutting-edge technologies and scientific areas including, but not limited to genomics, imaging, DNA metabolism, and chromatin remodeling.

What we offer

  • A position in a fully funded research group: the funding package covering salaries, consumables, services, travel costs, as well as access to the core facilities of neighboring research institutions in Heidelberg.
  • An initial term of two years, with the possibility of prolongation for up to three additional years.
  • An exciting research opportunity in a multidisciplinary and international research institution with a collegial and flexible working environment. There is flexibility over starting dates, but successful applicants are welcome to take up post starting February 1, 2022.

Application & Selection Process

  • Please apply online via the application system on this website.
  • As part of the online application procedure, you will be asked to submit: (i) A competitive project proposal that gives us an idea of your scientific expertise and creative potential (3-5 pages describing an interesting core hypothesis, scientific rationale, and a unique experimental approach); (ii) Your curriculum vitae including your publication record.
  • Deadline for applications: September 12, 2021.
  • After a first selection round, candidates will be invited to a five-day innovation boot camp in Heidelberg (or virtual if pandemic regulations do not allow onsite meetings) from November 8 to 12, 2021. With guidance of experienced mentors, candidates will jointly work on their project proposals and present them in front of a jury on the final day. Successful candidates will be offered a position at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany.

About BioMed X

BioMed X is an independent research institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.


BioMed X Institute

Im Neuenheimer Feld 515
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 6221 42611 0