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The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (Dortmund, Germany) seeks to fill a

Postdoctoral Researcher position in Bioinformatics with a strong background in Statistics (m/w/d)

The position is available immediately in the Department of Chemical Biology (Director: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Herbert Waldmann)


Job description

The department is currently running a multi-parameter phenotypic screening campaign (a.k.a "Cell Painting") of its in-house library at the Max Planck Society's (MPS) screening facility COMAS, also located in Dortmund.

In the Cell Painting assay [1], cells are treated with test compounds, then stained with multiple reagents that are selective for different cell compartments. Microscopic images are taken from the cells and analyzed with the Open Source software CellProfiler [2], eventually resulting in profiles of several hundred features for each compound. The profiles are normalized to controls and compared for similarity against sets of reference compounds with known bioactivity or other test compounds.

The whole analysis and post-processing workflow is implemented in Python / Pandas and is running on clusters of the MPS.

The successful candidate will identify and resolve statistical pitfalls, explore further analysis options for the data, and help synthesis groups of the department interpret their results in the assay, leading to the design of new bioactive compounds.

[1] Bray, M.-A., Singh, S., Han, H., Davis, C. T., Borgeson, B., Hartland, C., Kost-Alimova, M., Gustafsdottir, S. M., Gibson, C. C. & Carpenter, A. E. Cell Painting, a high-content image-based assay for morphological profiling using multiplexed fluorescent dyes. Nature Protocols 11, 1757–1774 (2016).
DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2016.105




The successful candidate has:

·         a PhD in Bioinformatics

·         expert knowledge in Statistics

·         expert knowledge of at least one scripting language in the context of data analysis (preferably Python / Pandas)

·         additional knowledge of a cheminformatics toolkit (e.g. RDKit) and experience with Deep Learning (e.g. Keras, PyTorch) would be advantageous


We offer a full-time employment in a modern, international work environment.

The position represents an excellent opportunity to work on bioinformatic projects in a highly relevant chemical biology context within a very distinguished group. The position is available from now on and is limited to two years.

Remuneration is paid in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement of the public service (TVöD Bund), taking account of your qualifications and professional experience. In addition, social benefits correspond to those of the public service.



The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

Furthermore, 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 strives for gender equality and diversity within its workforce.

Applications should be conclusive and complete, including the earliest possible starting date. The application deadline is 19th May 2019.

Please send applications by email in one PDF file to Dr. Axel Pahl (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) using “Bioinformatics” as the subject.

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