Position in Systems Biology of Evolution in Mice

ERC Starting Grant


Systems Biology of Evolution in Mice


The Chan Lab at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory located on the Max Planck Campus, Tübingen, Germany, is looking for up to two talented bioinformaticians/computer scientists/evolutionary genomicists to work on cutting edge genomics projects. The positions are available for an initial 2 years (Postdocs) or the duration of the PhD projects.

We work at the cross-section between functional and evolutionary genomics with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of phenotypic variation, adaptation and speciation in mice and other vertebrate systems. The Chan Lab is funded by the Max Planck Society and holds a prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant.

Project description: We aim to understand how genomes encode traits that respond to selection. At the intraspecific level we have a fully-genotyped and -phenotyped dataset of 800 F2 individuals between a large Faroese mouse and a small lab mouse strain. The F2 mapping population show extensive variation in both size and shape. Besides classical phenotypes we also have one of the most extensive 3D morphometric datasets available from whole-body 3D X-ray scans Opens internal link in current window[more information]. At the interspecific level we have pioneered a technique for performing “in vitro” crosses in mouse interspecific hybrids as an 1.5M€ ERC-funded project Opens internal link in current window[more information]. Here we use stem cells to circumvent hybrid sterility to enable genetic mapping. We will perform in vitro differentiation and obtain RNAseq, ChIPseq and other functional genomics phenotypes from the interspecific mapping panel. With this resource you will characterize the functional architecture and organization of the mouse genome over more than 6 million years of divergence.

Requirements: We invite applications for the above positions at postdoctoral or PhD levels (MSc or 4-year BSc required). You will have training in genomics, bioinformatics or statistical genetics and in-depth research experience in these fields. You should demonstrate expertise and proficiency in one or more of the following areas:


  • handling and analysis of NGS datasets (whole genome, single-cell/molecule sequencing, RNASeq, ChIP-seq, 3C/4C)
  • advanced skills in statistical analysis (e.g. QTL or GWAS approaches, genotype imputation, Hidden Markov Models, and haplotype phasing of whole genome data
  • familiarity with parallel computing, visualisation of genomic datasets and associated toolkits (e.g. UCSC/Ensembl genome browsers, proficiency with web-based programming and SQL relational databases desirable)

Experience with UNIX and fluency in statistical and/or programming languages (R, Python or Perl, C++, SQL, java knowledge desirable) is essential. Wetlab skills and experience in other types of data analysis (e.g., image processing) will be an advantage.

We are interested in candidates who are keen to apply new and innovative statistical approaches. Passion for research, team spirit and enthusiasm are essential. 

Our Team: You will work in a multidisciplinary team that focuses on applying genomics approaches to understand the functional basis of adaptation and speciation in mice and fish. Our research groups are funded by the Max Planck Society as well as the European Research Council (ERC). The Max Planck Campus in Tübingen, Germany is one of the leading campuses in evolutionary genomics research. Our campus hosts world-class research groups, including a Nobel laureate and >10 ERC-funded teams. We operate state-of-the-art sequencing and other core facilities. English is the working language. All seminars and communications are in English.

Our Offer: Positions at the Postdoc level will be initially offered for 2 years, with the possibility of extension. Funding for PhD studentship is available for the entire duration. Positions will be supported by contracts with salary and benefits based on the German public service pay scale (TVöD) 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 individuals with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply.

To Apply: Consideration of applications will begin on 1st May, 2016, and will remain open until filled. Please send your application with 1. a cover letter outlining your background, achievements and motivations; 2. your CV, and 3. two reference contacts to Dr. Frank Chan (Opens window for sending emailfrank.chan[at]tue.mpg.de) or the postal address below. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

Dr. Frank Chan

Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

Spemannstrasse 39

72076 Tübingen


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