PhD student within the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1371 in Virology/Phage Biology/Microbiology (m/f/d)

 Helmholtz Zentrum München  Neuherberg bei München
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 gut microbiome plays a fundamental role in health and disease. CRC 1371 (Speaker Prof. Dr. Dirk Haller) focuses on the digestive tract and proposes an interdisciplinary approach to characterizing the functional relevance of microbiome signatures in the context of inflammation and cancer.

Within CRC 1371, the Integrated Research Training School (IRTG) provides a qualification program for PhD students containing excellent multidisciplinary training with tailor-made subject-based and soft skills courses, annual retreats, summer school, and a supervision concept.

(For more information on the IRTG, the research projects and principal investigators follow the link to the CRC 1371 website

Activities and responsibilities

Job description

Helicobacter pylori not only induces gastric cancer but also appears to impact colonic carcinogenesis. In this project (P9), we hypothesize that chronic H. pylori infection induces changes in the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota, thereby promoting carcinogenesis. We will characterize the influence of H. pylori infection on intestinal/colonic inflammation and tumorigenesis and decipher the microbiome and virome signatures involved. As a therapeutic approach, we will identify specific bacteriophages using a “viral tagging” approach and test lytic phages for the treatment of H. pylori infection in mice without disruption of the endogenous microbiota.

Related publication:

Deng L, Ignacio-Espinoza JS, Gregory A, Poulos PT, Weitz JS, Hugenholtz P, Sullivan MB. (2014) Viral tagging reveals discrete populations in Synechococcus viral genome sequence space, Nature 513, 242-245.

Elbehery AHA, Feichtmayer J, Singh D, Griebler C & Deng L. The Human Virome Protein Cluster Database (HVPC): A Human Viral Metagenomic Database for Diversity and Function Annotation. (2018). Frontiers in Microbiology 9, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01110

Qualification profile

Required qualification

Candidates hold a Master degree (or equivalent) in virology, microbiology, molecular biology, genomics. Experience in any of the following areas is encouraged: viral genomics, metagenomics, flow cytometer (sorter). They are open minded, active and have a good command of the English language (oral and written).


Our Offer

The Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, a leading association Europe-wide, focusing on "Environmental Health". The aim of our research is to proactively detect health risks for both humans and the environment, decoding the mechanisms of pathogenesis and developing concepts for prevention and therapy of diseases.
The Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) is a national research centre of the Federal Government and the State of Bavaria with its headquarters in Neuherberg to the north of Munich, and is a member of the Helmholtz Association, the largest public research organisation in Germany.
Remuneration and benefits are in accordance with the collective agreement for the public service (EG 13 50% TV EntgO Bund). In addition, there is also the possibility of granting an allowance amounting to 15% if the necessary conditions are fulfilled.

The position is (initially) limited to 3 years.

As a holder of the Total E-Quality Award, we promote equality of opportunity. Applications from women are welcome. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
Applicants are asked to send one pdf file. We are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive online application.

Send application to

Dr. Li Deng
Phone: +49 89 3187 49195

Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Institute of Virology
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1
85764 Neuherberg near Munich

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