Helmholtz Zentrum München is a research center with the mission to discover personalized medical solutions for the prevention and therapy of environmentally triggered diseases and promote a healthier society in a rapidly changing world.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student to join the newly established group of Dr. Daphne Cabianca, Institute of Functional Epigenetics (IFE), Helmholtz Center in Munich, Germany to decipher the mechanism of heterochromatin spatial sequestration by MRG-1 in the intestine of C. elegans. At IFE, you will find a scientifically stimulating international environment. Supported by an excellent infrastructure, you will aim to solve fundamental questions of epigenetics, molecular and organismal biology.

PhD student in “deciphering the functional role of the epigenetic reader MRG-1 in the spatial organization of the C. elegans genome” (f/m/x) 100702

Image Full time
Image Neuherberg near Munich
Image PhD

Your mission

The spatial organization of chromatin within the nucleus enables a functional compartmentalization of the genome that mirrors changes in cell identity. Recently, we identified MRG-1 as the first component of active chromatin regulating the spatial organization of silent regions in the nematode C. elegans.

In this project, you will contribute to identifying new players working with MRG-1 to regulate compartmentalization of chromatin. To do so, you will combine high-resolution live microscopy screens, IP-mass spec and cutting-edge molecular biology techniques like RNAseq, DamID and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. See publication: Cabianca DS, et al. Active chromatin marks drive spatial sequestration of heterochromatin in differentiated cells. Nature 2019, May;569(7758):734-739.

Your qualifications

  • Master’s degree in molecular or cell biology or equivalent
  • Wet lab experience and basic skills in molecular and cell biology
  • Experience with protein work including western blotting and immunoprecipitation is an advantage
  • Strong motivation and curiosity for science
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English

What we offer you

scientific training at HELENA Graduate School
work-life balance
flexible working hours & time off in lieu
30 days annual leave
on-site health management service
Image career consultation
Image mobile work
Image on-site nursery
Image company pension scheme
Image discounted public transport ticket

Munich, with its numerous lakes and its vicinity to the Alps, is considered to be one of the cities with the best quality of life worldwide. With its first-class universities and world-leading research institutions it offers an intellectually stimulating environment.

This position also provides the opportunity for you to build specialist knowledge and collect significant professional experience, both of which will help advance your scientific career.

Remuneration and social benefits are based on the collective wage agreement for public-sector employees at federal level (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 three years, but under certain circumstances an extension can be arranged.

To promote diversity, we welcome applications from talented people regardless of cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, physical abilities, religion and age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
Applicant guidance on the Corona pandemic 

If you have further questions, simply contact Dr. Daphne Cabianca, Tel.: 089/ 3187-43371, E-Mail:, who will be happy to be of assistance.

Interested applicants should send a CV, one reference letter and a cover letter detailing research interests and reasons for applying to the position.
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Institute of Functional Epigenetics
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1 

85764 Oberschleißheim

Back to overview Online application