Postdoctoral Fellow in complex trait genetics and tissue engineering



Postdoctoral position in stem cell genomics and tissue engineering



A postdoctoral position in complex trait genetics and tissue engineering is available in the Chan Lab at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany as part of a Max Planck and ERC-funded research team investigating gene network evolution in mouse tissue culture models.


The key innovation in the HybridMiX project is the development of in vitro recombination (IVR) in tissue culture, specifically in F1 interspecific hybrid mouse ES cells for genetic mapping (see Opens external link in new windowLazzarano et al., PNAS, 2018). IVR allows us to create recombinant cell lines across species of effectively unlimited panel size, at low costs and within a matter of weeks. We now aim to map the evolutionary divergence between mouse species at the tissue and cellular level by generating interspecific panels and obtaining their phenotypes via tissue engineering, organ-on-a-chip or droplet microfluidic single-cell methods.

Your role:  You will be the main driver in our exciting new project in studying gene network evolution using in vitro crosses of tissues from interspecific mouse hybrids. You will adopt tissue engineering techniques to assay expression and tissue phenotypes. You will analyze DNA and RNAseq data to dissect the genetic architecture of gene expression evolution in mouse tissue and organoid models. You will have the opportunity to develop independent research ideas within our mouse in vitro cross framework.

Requirements: You will have a PhD or equivalent degree in the areas of genetics, molecular biology or regenerative medicine. You should demonstrate expertise in tissue culture techniques, especially in the area of differentiation or flow-based cultures. Alternatively you may be familiar with single-cell techniques and with performing functional genomics experiments such as RNAseq, ATACseq and ChIPseq. We are looking for a strong track-record and demonstrated excellence in creative and interdisciplinary thinking. A strong bioinformatics or statistical background will be advantageous. A background in evolutionary biology will be helpful, but not a requirement. We are interested in candidates who are keen to apply and develop new genetic tools and technologies. Passion for research, team spirit and enthusiasm are essential.

Our Team: We are a multidisciplinary team that focuses on the systems biology of development and evolution in mice, combining population and functional genomics with molecular biology and tissue engineering techniques to investigate the evolution of complex genomes like the mouse. Our research group is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and the Max Planck Society and is located on the Max Planck campus in Tübingen, Germany. The Max Planck Tübingen Campus is a highly innovative research hub with world-class genomics and machine learning expertise. Our sequencing core features the Illumina, PacBio and 10X Genomics platforms. English is the working language. All seminars and communications are in English.

Our Offer: The position is available for an initial 2 years with the possibility of extension based on performance. Salary and benefits are according to the German public service pay scale (TVöD Bund up to and including E13) and are commensurate with training and experience.

The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply.

To Apply: Consideration of applications will begin on 1st Dec 2018. The projected start date is in early 2019 but can be negotiable. Please send your informal enquires or application to Dr Frank Chan at 

Complete applications should include: 1. a statement of research interests and why you have applied for this position, 2. your CV, and 3. three reference letters


Publication: Lazzarano et al., Genetic mapping of species differences via in vitro crosses in mouse embryonic stem cells. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 2018. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1717474115