Helmholtz Munich 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.

The Institute of Computational Biology is globally recognised for innovations in data analysis and modelling of biological systems and diseases, anchored at the Helmholtz Centre Munich and the Technical University Munich.

The Menden Lab in collaboration with the Lingor Lab is currently looking for a

PhD student in "Computational method development to identify multi-omics signatures for differential diagnosis of atypical Parkinsonian syndromes" (f/m/x) 101257

Image Full time
Image Neuherberg near Munich
Image PhD

Your mission

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a heterogeneous disorder presenting with varied clinical phenotypes and prognosis. In particular, the differential diagnosis of atypical Parkinsonian syndromes is still a challenge in the everyday clinical practice and primarily based on the clinical symptomatology. In addition, only symptomatic therapies are available, whilst we are lacking causative treatments, which is also due to the limited understanding of the pathophysiology.

In order to address this, the PhD student will develop and apply artificial intelligence, machine learning and biostatistical methods to isolate prognostic PD subtypes, and predict treatment outcomes based on the molecular profiles and symptomatic phenotype. Competitive advantages of the PhD student include (1) access to unpublished and deeply molecular characterised clinical data of neurodegenerative diseases, i.e. PD and ALS, (2) access to disease domain knowledge of the Lingor Lab, and (3) joining the computational Menden Lab.

In essence, the PhD student will develop innovative methods tailored to neurodegenerative disease biology, thus immediately impacting PD patients care. The aim of the project involves:

  • Apply and adapt artificial intelligence, machine learning and biostatistical methods to predict PD disease subtypes, disease progression and treatment outcome.
  • Develop systems biology approaches to gain insights in neurodegenerative diseases aetiology based on deep molecular characterisations and symptomatic of patients.
  • Identify biomarkers of disease progression from longitudinal analysis and thus permit a patient stratification for future disease-modifying treatments.

Your qualifications

  • Master of Sciences in Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Biophysics or equivalent with interest in neurodegenerative diseases and precision medicine. Alternatively, a Master of Sciences in Biotechnology, Biology or equivalent with significant experience and interest in Bioinformatics / Biostatistics.
  • Excellent programming skills in either R or Python.
  • Excellent experience in either machine learning or biostatistics.
  • Scientific curiosity, commitment to scientific excellence and ability to work independently.
  • Highly motivated to work in a young and multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment including academic and industrial partners.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.

The following skills are considered advantageous:

  • Understanding of one neurodegenerative disease, preferably PD or ALS
  • Experience in artificial intelligence or multivariate statistics.
  • Knowledge of early drug development
  • Working in a Linux environment, with experience of shell scripting, cluster or cloud computing
  • Good communication and presentation skills, including experience in communicating across discipline boundaries.

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
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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 gender, cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, sexual identity, physical abilities, religion and age. Qualified applicants with physical disabilities will be given preference.
If you have obtained a university degree abroad, we require further documents from you regarding the recognition of the degree. Please request the recognition as early as possible.

If you have further questions, simply contact Fr. Daniela Herrmann, 089 3187-43503, who will be happy to be of assistance.
Helmholtz Zentrum München
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Institute of Computational Biology
Ingolstädter Landstraße 1 

85764 Oberschleißheim

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